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Breakfast at Tiffany's | [Truman Capote]

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) performs Truman Capote's 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, February 2014 - Although very familiar with the iconic film, I’d never actually read the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. When I heard that actor Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) was narrating it for Audible, I jumped at the chance to listen. Capote’s classic is simultaneously darker and more wistful than the film, and the famed Holly Golightly a little more calculating than charming. Michael C. Hall delivers a mesmerizing performance, giving each character their own unique voice. Hall’s cadence perfectly matches Capote’s words, and he forced me into my own whirlwind friendship with Holly. I’d never before experienced a narrator who seemed to so completely understand an author’s intentions – the effect was magical. —Katie, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"[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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 09-16-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 09-16-14

    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.

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    "Reading Between the Lines"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 09-11-14
    Amber 09-11-14 Member Since 2013

    I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.

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    "Great short classic. Superb narration."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Angie Jimenez 08-18-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Michael C. Hall is so dreamy!"
    What made the experience of listening to Breakfast at Tiffany's the most enjoyable?

    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!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story line was surprisingly corky, and I found myself laughing throughout the whole book.


    What does Michael C. Hall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the 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!


    Who was the most memorable character of Breakfast at Tiffany's and why?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad I decided to get this!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Winston East Coast U.S.A. 08-15-14
    Ms Winston East Coast U.S.A. 08-15-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Classic Tale Brought to Life for a New Generation"
    If you could sum up Breakfast at Tiffany's in three words, what would they be?

    Still has magic!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    What about Michael C. Hall’s performance did you like?

    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.


    If you could rename Breakfast at Tiffany's, what would you call it?

    I would not rename it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Jaime 08-13-14
    Jaime 08-13-14

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Loved It"

    I have read the book before and love the story..... so I was excited when this became available. Michael C. Hall does an excellent job narrating! I have listened to it multiply times and still enjoy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Orland park, IL, United States 05-20-14
    Thomas Orland park, IL, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Different than movie..."

    The book is far ahead of the movie with Audrey Hepburn...Great character Holy Golightly...Great easy read...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick King Exeter, NH 04-29-14
    Patrick King Exeter, NH 04-29-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Hall Brings New Depth to A Great Story"
    What did you love best about Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    Beyond Capote's light yet vivid scenes and characters, Hall's narration adds a sense of mystery and longing completely appropriate to the theme of the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    The narrator's initial meeting with OJ Berman in Holly's living room is not what the listener expects and therefore very amusing and beautifully described.


    Have you listened to any of Michael C. Hall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I'm familiar with Mr. Hall's work on the TV show, Dexter, the primary reason I got this audio book. I've read the book at least twice before and was just curious to see what Hall would do with it. Breakfast at Tiffany's was in my view an unusual choice for Mr. Hall to read. Frankly I was blown away by it. I was aware of the charisma in Hall's voice from his TV work. Add to that Capote's exquisite description and characterizations and this was my treat for last week. I will listen to this again.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Never love a wild thing.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Mr. Hall will have time in his schedule to read more books. Rest assured I'll be listening to them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    nicole 04-16-14
    nicole 04-16-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Delicious Treat....."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Breakfast at Tiffany's to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I found myself looking forward to the time when I could listen again.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave 04-06-14
    Dave 04-06-14
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    "So much more than the movie"
    Any additional comments?

    I saw the movie first and now realize that Capote's story has so much more to offer than what's portrayed on screen. I always considered the movie to be a chick-flick, and I still do. The book however, is nothing of the sort. It's an absolutely terrific story, and the narration of Michael C. Hall is great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 02-23-14
    Janice Sugar Land, TX, United States 02-23-14 Member Since 2010

    Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.

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    "Never love a wild thing"

    When a book has been made into an iconically famous film, and when that film is playing through your head as you listen to the book, your reactions to the book can be a bit confusing. On the one hand, the film got the story all Hollywooded up, fleshing out the narrator character to give him more to do, and adding some artificial sweetener to Holly to make her more palatable the audience. The callousness of the real Holly was a bit disconcerting with dear Audrey in my mind’s eye.

    In spite of movie scenes floating through my head, I was able to appreciate the sharpness of Capote’s writing, and the enigma that is Holly Golightly who so carefully hides who she is, possibly even from herself. She expects to be taken care of but also to have things her own way, envisioning herself as a 'wild thing'. Without the Hollywood dressing Holly’s behavior is more consistent with her character, infusing the story with cynicism, poignancy and a sense of lonely inevitability. The outcome is a story much more organic than the film.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
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