Breakfast at Tiffany's Book Cover, EM Keeler, Bookside TableThis was my first time reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and other than a smallish handful of reporting pieces in The New Yorker archives, I hadn’t really read much Capote. I fell asleep watching the film Capote, and also, come to think of it,  the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But I stayed up way too late reading this book. Which didn’t even have Philip Seymour Hoffman in it,  so that’s really saying something.  When I woke up, I pretty much had a Holly Golightly hangover.

In a way, it’s hard to describe my experience reading this one, partially because I feel like you’ve probably already read it or seen the movie or something. But then again, I hadn’t done those things, so we’re back to square one. It’s so weird how a book can permeate culture, can become an idea or a reference that makes the original thing, this wonderful and  seamless novella,  become kind of hollowed out.

That said, one thing that really struck me was the way that the unnamed narrator actually seemed like he had his own stories, a whole back log of them, but he was just legitimately more interested in telling tales about Holly Golightly. I mean, at one point he causally lets drop that he once went for a 500 mile interstate walk. He’s not a blank pair of eyes, there to let the reader in. He has his own stories, his own singular history, and the small details that surface up as he describes the way that this young woman lives her life are specific to him.  Capote struck the perfect balance between having this young writer type be the filter through which we see the real story and hinting at the multiplicity of the stories contained within the filter himself.