Sunday, January 29, 2017

Capote, Truman (Breakfast at Tiffany's)

Who knew that Truman Capote had written Breakfast at Tiffany's? Obviously, lots of people know this, but there were a number in our book club who did not know, including me. It's just that I don't acquaint the person who wrote In Cold Blood with a dashing romp about high society, or at least something playing at being high society.

After finishing, I had to immediately watch the trailer for the movie again, to see how alike they were. They beef up the romance (quite a bit, in fact) but the funniest part is that the movie announcer can't say Capote's last name! You'd think someone in the studio would have noticed that...

I confess to not necessarily understanding all the words in this novella. I would need some education on the time and place to make sense of it all. It also doesn't seem to matter much. It's perfectly clear what kind of a girl our Ms. Holly Golightly is, and what it must have been like to live in her building, meet her friends, go on escapades with her, and then watch as things rather fall apart. I was disappointed at times that the language did not match the times, or at least the times as I think of them (Holly is, after all, a product of her upbringing, but still).

What I appreciate the most about Capote's writing is that he is a premier example of an excellent storyteller: tell us the basics, give us as little description as necessary, build up the mystery with only a few words, and leave us wondering how it all really works out. And if you're lucky enough to get a copy that includes the short story A Christmas Memory, you'll see exactly why Capote is a master.

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