Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's provocative, naturalistic masterstroke about a young writer's charmed fascination with his unorthodox neighbor, the "American geisha" Holly Golightly. Holly - a World War II-era society girl in her late teens - survives via socialization, attending parties and restaurants with men from the wealthy upper class who also provide her with money and expensive gifts. Over the course of the novella, the seemingly shallow Holly slowly opens up to the curious protagonist, who eventually gets tossed away as her deepening character emerges.
Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote's most beloved work of fiction, introduced an independent and complex character who challenged audiences, revived Audrey Hepburn's flagging career in the 1961 film version, and whose name and style has remained in the national idiom since publication. Hall uses his diligent attention to character to bring our unnamed narrator’s emotional vulnerability to the forefront of this American classic.
©1950, 1951, 1956, 1958, 1978, 1979, 1984 Truman Capote. Copyright renewed 1986 by Alan U. Schwartz (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"[Michael C. Hall] uses his diligent attention to character to bring our unnamed narrator’s emotional vulnerability to the forefront of this American classic.... I felt content and comfortable in Hall’s hands as the tale unfolded. He did a wonderful job giving each character voice, especially that of Holly." (Caffeinated Book Reviewer)
I had high expectations for Breakfast at Tiffany's, In Cold Blood being one of my favorite books of all time. It did not disappoint. The story is engaging - like a train wreck you can't stop watching. Michael C. Hall nails the narrator, Fred - a fellow who is observant, nosy, with an active mind but incredibly lazy and passive nonetheless. And, if nothing, it's worth it to read this novella to introduce yourself to the infamous Holly Golightly.
Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.
I have to listen to this book again because even though it was only a couple months ago, I already forget a lot about what happened. But it’s a worth while read and very well done by Michael C. Hall who has always had an oxymoronic aggressively masculine yet fey kind of voice which creates a nice kind of tension and atmosphere for Holly Golightly’s world. Every guy has a Holly Golightly somewhere in his life, especially if he has spent any time at all in the creative community. I love that Capote showed her warts and all because in these kinds of stories...well I don’t want to get into anything that might be misinterpreted because I’m not saying something clearly enough. Suffice to say this is a real love story that is full of inanity, passion/obsession, wonder, desperation, cruelty and unrequited fantasy and heartbreak that most of us go through. I’m not sure Capote even meant this story as a love story or not. I think it is though. I feel like a lot of girls see the movie and kind of want to emulate Holly Golightly. I never saw the movie so I don’t know how she is portrayed there. But I’m glad the story shows that people get hurt, even Holly herself, and that while she is a beautiful curiosity, probably she isn’t something to be aspired to be like or desire, ha. Yet I’m sure guys will always love the Holly Golightly’s and girls will always want to be her, at least the movie image of her. I realize this isn’t quite a review of the book, apologies. I felt like writing about what I remember feeling at the time while reading.
Hobby costumer, wannabe jewelry maker, recipe hoarder, fancier of DIY house projects that may never get done, and all around daydreamer.
I adore the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's and wasn't sure what to expect in the book. Yes, it's true that most books are better than their movie adaptations, but I was still nervous about whether it would translate as well in book/audio form. I think I'm even more in love with the book, and Michael C. Hall's reading of it, more than the movie. I will certainly have this book on rotation to listen to again and again.
Always open to something new, but my favorite genres are horror, sci-fi/fantasy with more of a leaning toward fantasy.
Truman Capote? I don't think so. I'm not really sure why people rave over this story. It was a mediocre story at best. Maybe I don't get the age it was written in or something? Still, I have a good sense of context in writing but this story just wasn't very good to me.
I might try Michael C. Hall again, he did ok with the characters including female voices. I'd like to see if he can handle a wider cast of characters as he may end up being a pretty good narrator.
Mheh. It wasn't long really, so I don't think a couple of hours is that big of a deal even though I didn't care for the story overall.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
There is so much more going on here than the writing and characters crafted by Truman Capote over half a century ago, no matter how good all but one of those words were to Norman Mailer, that it is impossible for me to review Breakfast at Tiffany's in a vacuum, or to give it the rating I really wanted to give it (three stars -- it grows to four stars in my mind after listening to it, taking all of those ancillary issues into account).
There is first and foremost the movie, which I would hazard to guess is universally better known than the original novel. Capote may be an icon in his own right, but when you think about Holly Golightly, you think about Audrey Hepburn. And you think about a naive country girl caught up in the swirl of the big city, ultimately falling in love with her neighbor. None of which, it turns out, was part of Capote's conception.
The book is almost identical to the movie, with two notable exceptions (the wartime setting and the final scene), and yet the book is about a couple of things that are completely and radically different than the movie. I don't think I'd be giving anything away by revealing that Capote's Holly is a call girl and his narrator and alter-ego is gay, since that has been well documented and extensively analyzed. The movie, made during a buttoned-up Hollywood era, sanitized those elements.
Theoretically, that should make the book better than the movie -- the same story, but with more depth and richness, with a more complex sub-text. Especially when you consider that of the real life people who contributed to the character of Holly, the most prominent and important and interesting is Capote's mother, who was absent from his life for most of his childhood, having left the south for New York City.
But it is no accident that the movie beats out the book in pop culture consciousness by a ratio that probably approaches 99-1 percent. This short novel, despite all of the peripheral areas interest that have built up over time, just doesn't evoke the same level of enchantment and romance as the movie, at least not for me. And I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to the issues the book tackles that the movie shies away from.
I've been a big fan of Michael Hall going back to Six Feet Under, and Dexter of course. He does a great job as a celebrity narrator of a classic (his only other audiobook dates back to 2002, before anyone really knew him). Some of his voices didn't work for me, but that may just be me.
Two other side notes: I was floored to hear that Capote's first choice for Holly was Marilyn Monroe. I discovered that only after listening to the audiobook -- the physical description of Holly is so evocative of Audrey Hepburn that you would think he wrote the book with her in mind (actually, that would be after your initial impression that he was describing a boy rather than a girl, even though his real life models were certainly women).
The other note: If you're wondering about the reference to Norman Mailer, he once said that Capote's writing is so good that he wouldn't change two words. Which begs the question -- which one word would he have changed before not wanting to change the second word? Which also begs another question -- as much as I love audiobooks, would this have made more of an impression on me in print? I think not, because my issues are with the depth of the storytelling, not the writing or narration.
If I keep going, my review will be longer than the book, so I'll stop.
I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.
I don’t know what I expected from this book, but it was very different than I had imagined it to be. I’ve never seen the movie, so I went into the book knowing the bare bones from the description. It’s a good thing this was on sale or I may not have found myself hypnotized by the narration of Michael C. Hall or the literary genius of Truman Capote. Also, this book is so short that even if you dislike the book, not much time is wasted.
The narrator, Holly’s man neighbor who is a writer, finds himself in a sort of friendship with Holly (the main character). We get to see Holly’s life from the neighbor’s point of view and it is an interesting point of view. She is a socialite, a party girl and the neighbor hears the parties and even gets to attend one. For how young Holly is (18 or 19?), she seems to be very intelligent, albeit shallow, and this comes across in the way she speaks. At times I couldn’t quite picture a young girl like this coming across with so much wisdom at times, but it was easy for me to forgive Capote because the book was written so well. Holly also seems very lost and doesn’t seem to comprehend consequences at times and this was spot on for a girl her age. Holly thinks she knows how to find what she is looking for… thinks she knows how to find that place you call home. The narrator who is sometimes called “Fred” (even though that’s not his real name) is a likable personality and I cared about what happened to him, but mostly I cared about what happened to Holly. There were surprise twists to the story that added drama and I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for other readers, but this classic is worth a listen in my opinion. I got lost in the story and narration. Michael C. Hall was just that good and I hope he narrates a few more books.
On a side note, I guess Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to be cast as Holly in the movie and I think maybe he was right. The persona of Marilyn seems to fit the character of Holly more than Audrey Hepburn.
Books are for dreaming with eyes wide open.
Hall's voice is like the best silky chocolate I've ever tasted! His narration was perfect! He's character narration was awesome! I would buy anything he ever reads out loud!
The story line was surprisingly corky, and I found myself laughing throughout the whole book.
Hall's voice for his characters made the story come alive! I felt like I was watching the movie (even thou I've never seen the movie, but for sure will!) on an old school TV with my grandmas embroider placemat on top. He made me love fall in love with the characters!
Holly! She was wonderfully feminine and back country, strong, stylish, funny, honest, and fun! Can't wait to see the movie and see how Audrey Hepburn portraits Holly's character!
I'm glad I decided to get this!
Still has magic!
The unnamed narrator -- he was so unsparing of himself and, while he realized the flaws in Holly, his love for her was the glue that held the story together. His devotion even extended to her cat, knowing how upset she was after her final action toward the animal. His final "encounter" rounded out the story.
I liked everything about it save the way he did Holly's voice. For the most part I have found that the biggest problem in audio books is a male narrator doing a female voice, and the reverse. To paraphrase the movie "Victor-Victoria" it sounded like a man pretending to be a woman. To Hall's credit, the narrative was spot on with just the right touch of longing...there was an autumnal feeling about his narration that I didn't get in the movie version.
I would not rename it.
Very well done and can be listened to in one sitting -- in fact I recommend doing it that way so as not to jar the experience. One I will listen to again and again.
The book is far ahead of the movie with Audrey Hepburn...Great character Holy Golightly...Great easy read...
I loved Michael C. Hall's narration, he was perfect for this story. I really enjoy Truman Capote's writing style and perspective. I find myself identifying with all of the characters and can understand their point of view.
I found myself looking forward to the time when I could listen again.
Glad the cat had a happy ending. A very melancholy story. Different to my usual murder stories.
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