XOXO,Holly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s – A Book Review)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Author: Truman Capote
Published: 1958

Breakfast at Tiffany's

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Autumn of 1943, during World War II. The setting is an apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the newest tenant moves in to pursue his career as a writer. His life is changed when he meets Holly Golightly, a young girl who’s turned socialite. With all of her stories and the famous people she knows, like a model and a mobster, her life appears to never be dull. Full of life, naivety and the illusions of love, this bittersweet novella will charm even you.

Breakfast at Tifaany's

Truman Capote’s most well-known novella of which you can connect Audrey Hepburn to is a wonderful classic of a young woman with no true direction who believes that nothing bad can ever happen to her. I first read this during my freshman year in college and discovered it a few weeks ago in a stray box, all dusty and longing to have its pages turned.

The seemingly endless possibilities that Holly had in the novella really brings out the dreamer in me while realizing how she appears to have such a fantastic life is unsavory. She doesn’t take up the workforce to earn her way, but uses her wits to get other people to pay her way and help her keep her cushy lifestyle. There is a lot of disregard for the possible consequences of this, showing just how wild Holly and how she values people.

One of the parts that have always reached out to me is Holly’s dislike for cages. It comes up more than once throughout the story. Looking beyond the cage, it’s the idea or reminder of being stuck in one, whether literally or metaphorically, that I believe makes Holly dislike them. It seems simple enough to dissect, but then you have to discover what is caging her in, which you can figure out for yourself when you read the novella. (I can’t spoil it for you, but I can give you a thought.) I can honestly relate to that. For me, and I’m sure a lot of people, the small hometown is my cage. While I would love to travel, I also want to find a home of my own, a home that doesn’t feel like a toxic vortex that’ll never let me go. It’s a strong element to think on. What’s your cage?

Breakfast at Tiffany's

It’s a beautiful and buoyant piece. Capote’s writing is wistful and direct. While it seems like I’ve given away too much, trust me when I say I haven’t, but if I’m making you think about it, then give it a read. It’s worth it.

 

Quotables:

“You’ve got to be sensitive to appreciate her: a streak of the poet. But I’ll tell you the truth. You can beat your brains out for her, and she’ll hand you horseshit on a platter.” (O.J. Berman, p. 31)

“Never fall in love with a with thing, Mr. Bell” (Holly to Joe Bell, p. 74)

 

More to come soon…

P.S. Song today? NOT Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something. Nope! It’s Beautiful by Ben Rector. Love you, bookworms.

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Down in the Mud (Lord of Misrule – A Book Review)

The Lord of Misrule
Author: Jaimy Gordon
Published: 2010

Lord of Misrule

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Welcome to the world of horse racing. This isn’t about the Kentucky Derby or any of popular races that we know about. No, this is a story at the bottom of horse racing at the track of Indian Mound Downs in West Virginia. Experience life on the racetrack for various characters from a veterinarian to a dangerous trainer that threatens the well-being of several people, to a girl that keeps up folks’ hopes and works as a hotwalker (person that cools down the horse after a workout or a race) and anything else that involves working with the horses. This will give you a personal, inside look at the gritty, and even a dark side, of horse racing. Trying to cheat the system, get the upper hand, and survive in this world where horses whose best running days are long lost are put up on the track.

This book became an instant classic for me. I don’t put classics in subcategories. Classics come from all over time. But anyway, a classic, yes. While the story took place in our modern time, the depth and detail really sunk in and I admired the way the book moved from one character’s POV to another. Each character had a different view of Indian Mound Downs and those that inhabited it, and that pulled me in even more because each character had opinions and even various ways of recognizing other characters, making them very independent of each and made the imagery extremely vivid for me.

The detail in Jaimy’s words envelop the senses, allowing you to feel like you are really there. You can feel the hot, humid air that stings your nose with horse manuer and sweat and see as these horses are pushed beyond their limits. She makes the senses tingle and capturing this sport from such an intense and unlikely angle that horse racing isn’t as glamorous as we believe it to be is what truly sparked my interest. It can make and break a person and horse over and over again. That and this was a gift from my professor, (by the way, thank you).

Before my brother and I were born, my mom worked on a racetrack. While the work was grueling, she loved it and wouldn’t have given it up for the world. I believe that if we hadn’t been born that’s where she’d still be today. That doesn’t make me upset. I’m thrilled by the thought because she had been so passionate about something. What does that have to do with this book? Well, this book gave me a glimpse at what it was like for her to work on a track, aside from the dark intentions of some characters. From the stories she’s told me, I imagine my mom to be much like Maggie from the book—in the aspect of working with horses that is.

This book was a challenge for me. There were no quotation marks to direct conversation between characters so I had to train my brain on reading the text without them. In my opinion people should find a book that challenges them every once in a while, give them a different and/or new angle to at life from. It’s part of the reason it took me so long to get this review up. This book was quite enjoyable and really kept me involved. I recommend it to anyone looking for a challenge.

 

Quotables:

“You can drink yourself to hell, Duecey said, and I know you will. I ain’t taking this horse.” (Duecey to Kidstuff, p. 68)

“I tell you a secret, horse racing is not no science. Some of em tries to make it a science, with the drugs and the chemicals and that, ma’fact it’s more like a religion. It’s a clouded thing. You can’t see through it. It come down to a person’s beliefs.” (Medicine Ed to Maggie, p. 83)