Review: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

This edition of Capote’s work contains his famous novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as three other short stories: House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar, and A Christmas Memory.

My Thoughts:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s took up the majority of this book, and having watched the movie already (only a couple years ago) I wasn’t really blown away by the story itself. A lot of the action happened in the narrator’s head, so I felt removed from Holly in a way that didn’t happen when watching the movie. Holly was much less charming in the book - in my humble opinion - and I just didn't care for her. I think this is one of the very few times in my life I've thought to myself, “Eh, I'd rather just watch it on Netflix.” (It's interesting how the narrator's orientation is completely changed in the movie. I'd totally watch a modern day remake where the narrator is open about the implied sexuality.)

The first short story, House of Flowers, was about a prostitute, Ottilie, who fell in love with a man upon meeting him and left her home to marry him. Of course, things went wrong and she immediately clashed with her husband’s grandmother. This grandmother was a crazy, vindictive woman and made life miserable for Ottilie and I wasn’t much happier reading about it.

The second story, A Diamond Guitar, was about a veteran prisoner who befriended a new, younger prisoner. The younger man convinced the older one to help him escape jail, and the plan didn’t work out exactly as expected. I didn't care for this one much because I kept thinking, “Stop, nice older guy! Don't let this punk manipulate you!!”

The third short story, A Christmas Memory, I actually really, really liked. It was based on Capote’s life growing up poor in Alabama, and it was a really sweet story. The main characters were a young boy and his elderly relative, who was his best friend. Together, they celebrated Christmas by making fruitcakes for all their friends and family. This story was utterly charming and perfectly written and I think it helped that I read it right around Christmas, I was able to appreciate the nostalgia in every line that much more. I could easily be talked into re-reading this every year during the holidays as a reminder not to get swept up in the commercialism. It was lovely.


When looking at this book overall, I rate it a 2 out of 5 but the last story gets a 5 on its own.  Everything else didn’t really capture my attention. A Christmas Memory aside, I guess Capote’s writing style just isn't my cup of tea though I can certainly respect it.