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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

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  •  
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 06-22-15
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 06-22-15 Member Since 2009

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

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    "Iconic Freebird"

    Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a short novel that provides a lifetime of memories. Its scenes and homilies on life will forever echo in your memory. They will be there to help guide you in your life.

    Breakfast's allegories and guiding proverbs come from our protagonist Hollie (Holliday) Golightly; a philanderer. She is a women who suffered many harms and wrongs as a child. When we meet her now she is running from those past horrors by seeking some alleged form of “elegance” through association with pseudo sophisticates. On one hand we all admire her catch as catch can attitude but also remorse at her loneliness and abandonment. She is one of the most iconic free bird characters in all of literature.

    A book one can read again and again and never lose interest in or fail to receive value from.

    And: Thank you Audrey Hepburn for bringing Hollie to life in the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Do see the movie and read the novel. The Hollies are a bit distinct but each provides the same immortal experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 04-29-15
    Calliope 04-29-15
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    "Wow, this man could write! Incredible novella!"

    Enjoying a book from a fabulous writer can really highlight the weaknesses of other authors, though it's really an unfair comparison because genius writers are rare jewels. I think Capote was a genius writer, though he wrote relatively little in his lifetime (more's the shame). The two most popular are both in Audible: In Cold Blood (read it in print) and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

    This is not the movie, with the lovable, streetwise yet naive, party girl who entrances every man she meets. This Holly Golightly is a selfish teenaged schemer, who works hard at attracting and entrancing wealthy older men so they will pay for her lifestyle.....yet somehow earns the affection of the men in her life she is not trying to captivate. They see in her some of what they wish they could be: untamed by society's rules and expectations, unburdened by any sense of responsibility and so able to experience so much more of life. The fact that Holly disappeared into the world without much of a trace allows those who remember her to paint some of their memories with a bit of a rosy hue and a sense of hope for her unknown future.

    While many have said wonderful things about the narration by Michael C. Hall, I found it to be just average. Not bothersome, but certainly not anything I'll make a point of searching for in the future. In fact, his narration kept me from buying this audiobook at full price, and it wasn't until it was on sale that I felt it was a worthwhile purchase.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sasha New York, New York 01-17-15
    Sasha New York, New York 01-17-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Lovely, warped novella"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley P. Valentine 12-12-14

    Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.

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    "I need to listen to this again"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    guenthecat Dallas, TX 12-02-14
    guenthecat Dallas, TX 12-02-14 Member Since 2015

    Hobby costumer, wannabe jewelry maker, recipe hoarder, fancier of DIY house projects that may never get done, and all around daydreamer.

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    "A classic that I"ll go back to again and again"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gzl5ry Oakland, MI, United States 10-07-14
    gzl5ry Oakland, MI, United States 10-07-14 Member Since 2014

    Always open to something new, but my favorite genres are horror, sci-fi/fantasy with more of a leaning toward fantasy.

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    "I'm Not Sure Why People Rave Over This Story"
    Would you try another book from Truman Capote and/or Michael C. Hall?

    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.


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

    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.


    Was Breakfast at Tiffany's worth the listening time?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  •  
    Angie Jimenez 08-18-14 Member Since 2015
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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 2015
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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
  •  
    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

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