Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote

The movie’s good, but the book is much better. The writing is so polished. It’s short, too, at 1000 Kindle marks.

It’s a delight to to read ‘40s Americanisms, particularly towards the end, where for paragraphs you have no idea what the characters are talking about.

A good deal of good lines:

Like many people with a bold fondness for volunteering intimate information, anything that suggested a direct question, a pinning down, put her on guard.

Except for a lack of youth, the guests had no common theme, they seemed strangers among strangers; indeed, each face, on entering, had struggled to conceal dismay at seeing others there. It was as if the hostess had distributed her invitations while zigzagging through various bars; which was probably the case.

He was a middle-aged child that had never shed its baby fat, though some gifted tailor had almost succeeded in camouflaging his plump and spankable bottom. There wasn’t a suspicion of bone in his body.

But it was not appearance that singled him out; preserved infants aren’t all that rare.

A jealous man might have lost control, watching her as she skimmed around the room, carrying the cat in one hand but leaving the other free to straighten a tie or remove lapel lint; the Air Force colonel wore a medal that came in for quite a polish.

But I have’t any right to give him a name: he’ll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I.

Since gin to artifice bears the same relation as tears to mascara, her attractions at once dissembled.

Leave it to me: I’m always top banana in the shock department.

“Well, idiot,” she said, and playfully slapped me with her purse. “I’m in too much of a hurry to make up now. We’ll smoke the pipe tomorrow, okay?”

“She’s drunk,” Joe Bell informed me. “Moderately,” Holy confessed.

I’ve always thrown out such a jazzy line.

“Our girl’s going to need fancier shysters than I can afford.”

“Are you starkers?” she demanded.

“Ah, Mr. Bell. The lady doesn’t vanish every day. Won’t you toast her?”

“What do you think? This ought to be the right kind of place for a tough guy like you. Garbage cans. Rats galore. Plenty of cat-bums to gang around with. So scram.”