In the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's a phone call from an old friend prompts a writer to reminisce about Holly Golightly, a unique woman who lived in his building during WWII.
After seeing the movie, I couldn't help comparing the two. First, Holly is much more brash than the character Audrey Hepburn plays. She's ahead of her time. Her thoughts on lesbianism would have shocked movie goers in the early 60's. Also, the movie played up a romance between the writer and Holly. I never felt that there were romantic feelings between them while reading the book.
Holly is a complex character. She's brutally honest yet she's a liar, or as one character calls her, a phony but a real phony. She's loyal but will stab a friend in the back to have her way. I found myself charmed yet frustrated by this girl, much like the writer did. She surrounds herself with friends but keeps everyone at a distance. No one really knows her; who she is or where she came from. Her morals are questionable. Is she a prostitute? Maybe but by her own definition, no. But she does use men- older, richer men- to survive. Men who give her 'powder room money'.
Truman Capote's writing is beautiful, lyrical. It's a joy to read even though there is so much ugliness in this story. It's never really dark. That's real artistry.
Here's an interesting footnote: Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for the part of Holly. I find it hard to imagine anyone else but Hepburn as Holly. She looked so good in the costumes.
Note: This was a library copy from 1958. The cover had been replaced and someone must have spilled a whole cup of tea on it and then tried to cover it up with some cheap perfume. Despite being gross, it added to the reading experience. It seemed appropriate for Holly.