Pages - 100
First published by Penguin books in 1961
I am always drawn to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods. For instance, there is a brownstone in the East Seventies where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New York apartment.
I just loved this book and from the first paragraph I was smitten. I have watched the film so many times, that I wondered if the book would be a little boring to me as I knew the story so well, but I was completely wrong.
For anyone who doesn't know, this is the story of Holly Golightly and the effect she has on the people in her life. Holly is an enigma, no one knows who the real Holly is and everyone she meets is fascinated by her. She comes across as a girl full of fleeting fancies with no real attachment to anyone, her life is full of fun and laughter. Yet underneath, you learn that Holly has a past like everyone else, yet she has been more successful at covering it up. She can change her character and lifestyle with the blink of an eye. As I read the story, I could not help but picture Audrey Hepburn in this role, as to me, Holly and Audrey are as one.
At the end of the book, you cannot help but feel sorry for Holly, as an innocent act on her behalf leads to her downfall. Her life is turned upside down very quickly, however she deals with it with dignity and grace, by packing up and moving on to a new beginning.
Truman's descriptions within the book are vivid and fulfil nearly all your sensory needs. His writing is truly beautiful and I can' t believe I have not read any of his work before. His characters are full of life and seem to jump off the pages of the book. This book is a short book, but a powerful one that stays in your thoughts long after you have finished reading it.
The book is written in first person, yet you never get to know who the narrator is. He remains a shadow in comparison to the colourful Holly. It reminded me of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, which also had the narrator as an unknown talking about the enigmatic Rebecca. I didn't enjoy this writing style within Rebecca, but I felt that it suited this story so well, because no one could compare and stand out as much as Holly. Holly is a flighty character who tries to shock the people around her with her strong opinions of others; she does all she can to be the centre of attention.
I would highly recommend this book, even if you have watched the film. I hope to read 'A Christmas Memory,' too, before Christmas descends upon us.
Have you read any of Capote's books? Which one would you recommend?