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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (900 )
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4.4 (828 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Haley Bishop, Ca, United States 04-04-14
    Haley Bishop, Ca, United States 04-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worthwhile listen"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. I am glad I listened - it was short, the narration was awesome, and Capote is an amazing writer in the way he describes situations and people.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was fitting I thought, however it was still somewhat of a let down in that I felt there was no real closure.


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

    He did great voices and you really felt like he was the main character.


    Was Breakfast at Tiffany's worth the listening time?

    Yes it was. I just had a hard time getting through some of it because I kinda hate Holly's character, and seeing as she is a main focus in the book, I had a somewhat love/hate relationship with the story.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 07-10-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "Great writing, boring story"

    I think that this story would be better to read, given the great writing Capote uses for his descriptions. It is harder to savor great writing on audio, I think. I never really cared about any characters, and quit halfway through. I understand that the author is a great writer, but that was not enough for me to keep my interest in this book.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 06-29-14
    Simone St Laurent, Quebec, Canada 06-29-14 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

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    "Not my cup of tea"

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s is part of pop-culture (I think mostly thanks to the movie and Audrey Hepburn) so that’s why I was curious about the book.

    I did not care for Holly one iota which made her story uninteresting; I found her more annoying than anything else.

    -mysterious and quirky? NO.
    -bratty and self-centered? YES!

    Well, now I know. I only persevered because it was short - I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t plan to after this.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 08-09-14
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 08-09-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Writing is great, story not so much"

    Smart, young woman tries to put her ugly beginnings in rural poverty behind her by coming to the big city, where she becomes a prostitute. Written with style and intelligence but the story is merely OK. Would've been better as either a short story or a full novel because we don’t learn much about her after the initial introduction and yet it seems so much more could've been said.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 09-16-14
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 09-16-14 Member Since 2011

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Salt Lake City, UT, United States 09-11-14
    Amber Salt Lake City, UT, United States 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana PORT ANGELES, WA, United States 09-10-14
    Diana PORT ANGELES, WA, United States 09-10-14 Member Since 2010
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    "I had to listen to it twice."
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it kept me going. It is not long but the story was very full.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Landa 08-29-14
    Landa 08-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "love"
    What did you love best about Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    love the story one of my favorite movies and love Michael C.Hall as Dexter. It wasnice hearing his voice in a different context


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fred the narrator, such an insightful perspective


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

    The inflections and tones used for each caracters personality


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when she abondoned cat and when fred found him in the window oh and the lavish lifestyle of Holly GoLightly


    Any additional comments?

    great listen for a short road trip

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 08-23-14
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 08-23-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Unrequited Love"

    Fabulous book by Truman Capote. You will enjoy it again if you have already read it, and if not, I think you will be very pleased. The narrator, Michael C. Hall, did a superb job reading it.

    I liked Holly a lot in the story and the way that she was everything and more. I also liked Paul her neighbor and the way that he loved her no matter what.

    What a great writer Truman Capote was!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lara Donahue, IA, United States 08-18-14
    Lara Donahue, IA, United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2011
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    3
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    "great story with an excellent narrator"
    What about Michael C. Hall’s performance did you like?

    His effortless way of reading and changing character - it was never forced or fake.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 39 results PREVIOUS1234NEXT
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  • Ysera
    Luxembourg, Luxembourg
    3/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I have no idea why this is a classic..."
    What disappointed you about Breakfast at Tiffany's?

    Boring story. Sordid lives. I have not seen the movie, but I don't know why anyone would bother making this into a movie. I guess I only made an effort to finish because it was short. I even left the last 40 minutes pending for a week before I managed to get back to it and finish...


    Would you ever listen to anything by Truman Capote again?

    Probably, as I think I read something by him many years ago and found it good enough.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I guess he did his best, the material he had was sort of lifeless...


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Since the movie is famous, I had expected better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan Henderson
    Scotland
    2/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I actually walked the long way home on a couple of days because I didn't want this to end. I have read the book before but really enjoyed having it read to me. I really felt transported to the moment of the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are a lot of interesting characters in this book but of course Holly is the star. She isn't the nicest person in the world and you know you shouldn't like her yet its difficult not to feel a little jealous of her life and admire her spirit.


    Which character – as performed by Michael C. Hall – was your favourite?

    Michael Hall performs excellently. His accents are wonderful. I especially enjoyed his portrayal of Holly's "husband" ,Doc.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me happy. It reminds us that life is an adventure and we should never "settle".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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