Eleven well-to-do-yet-highly-mature men-about-town came in out of the rain at the Parkland brownstone apartment of Prof. K.I. Gilbert, and were delighted and mesmerized with the apparition-like appearance of a real-life Holly Golightly, complete with up-swept blonde hair, cigarette holder and glass of wine, a real pearl choker almost from Tiffany's, and, of course, the iconic little black dress. Wow! Were we dreaming, or what? We all wanted to give her $50 for the powder room, but Bob W. thought she was selling drugs, and Tom G. didn't have anything on him less than $100. What a character! 110 pages, and we discussed her up one side and down the other for two hours:
Dick J: I really wanted to hate this book. Truman Capote was an obnoxious curmudgeon, and I can't stand Audrey Hepburn as an actress. But I really liked it! I especially like the way he left the ending, making it not a love story. A-
Jack F: I thought it was a great story, he's a great writer. I can't recall from my 13 years with this group of talking for two hours about one character who is covered in 85 pages. I want to read more by Capote. A great evening and a spellbinding discussion. A
Bob S: I liked it, it reminds me of my mother's life. The book was infinitely better than the movie. The book captured a cultural aspect of America lucidly. A
Ron B: Good, short, not hard to follow, not verbose, I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed In Cold Blood. This was the story of a young girl escaping from her past. Good writing. A
Dick A: Really was 105 pages vice 85, as a study of one character, Holly. She was very unconventional character, and he made her believable. I call it a tragedy because she disappears at the end, a downer that she heads down to South America. The ending was much better than the movie. The writing was excellent. I give it an A.
Kenny G: Capote really knows how to write. It could have been a comedy, it could have been a tragedy, it could have been simply a character study - you didn't know how it would turn out. I give the book an A and the movie a B-
Rob E: I liked the book. The only thing that didn't ring true to me was Tulip, Texas. This is so often the NYC literati view of anything west of the Hudson River as Rubesville. I didn't mind that Blake Edwards made Hollywood-style changes to the book. I liked the movie and its feel-good ending. I had never seen Audrey Hepburn in this movie before a couple of days ago. She was Holly: flighty, strange, coping. Even stealing the masks was fun. I enjoyed both the movie and the book. A- (would have been an A book without the Tulip, Texas stereotype. Note: Tulia, Texas is the Panhandle hometown of Bob Wills. You can see one of his touring buses there and get a good chicken fried steak. Saw no 14-yr old brides there, however one of the waitresses ...)
Bob W: I thought it was an exercise in excellent writing. You begin not liking Holly. I didn't think there were people like Holly, but Bob S. says yes. You end up liking her. I thought the movie was piss poor. The book: A
Tom G: 1. re the movie: Hollywood can make any movie they want, but it is dishonest to use the name of a well-known book and then make a movie that is not true to that book. 2. This book reminded me of Shane - a story told by a narrator years later, about an iconic character that comes into his life (Shane, Holly), makes a huge impact, and then disappears. 3. The word that describes all these stories is melancholy. A
Mike B: Truman Capote wrote a wistful, melancholy, heart-tugging American tragedy with uplifting and downing (mean reds) life cycles. Blake Edwards made a romantic comedy with slapstick overtones - but was fortunate to have Audrey Hepburn create on screen the quintessential Holly Golightly. Capote packed so much into his 110 pages, much the way that Holly packed so much into her dialog, into her Life - run, run, run; go, go, go. I loved so many little feelings that Capote captured, right from page 1 when he talked of the good feeling of having that key in your pocket that meant this dreary apartment was really yours, with your things and your Life. Beautifully done, all the way through. A
Keith G: You all covered it very well. One character developed in 100 pages and you never understand her. A
25 Things you may not know about Breakfast at Tiffany's (55th anniversary is 5 Oct 2016)
And from well outside downtown Manhattan:
I will be unable to attend the meeting tonight. I have been entertaining my sister for three days and I am exhausted.
I read the book and I found it very disconnected and rambling. I have always disliked Truman Capote ever since I saw him interviewed on TV. He came off as a whiny little self-absorbed curmudgeon. The movie was much more entertaining but the only part that was correctly cast was the Cat. George Peppard as the author/narrator was miscasting.
- Tom Eaton