Tag Archives: Truman Capote

Books Reviews of 2006

File this post under blasts from the past(s). As my 10 years blogiversary approached last year, I was feeling nostalgic about my old, hand-coded website, so of course I looked it up on the Wayback Machine. I was braced for something really amazing, and instead I found a website with roughly ten book reviews and three recipes on it. Below you will find the un-edited book reviews from 2006 aka most of my website back then (spoiler alert: they’re kind of pretentious). I hope someone on the internet finds them useful someday.

The highlight of this set of review, I believe, is that it contains my first reading of Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as my hilariously waffling on Science Fiction, which I now love. Part one of this series is Book Review of 2003, if you finish this yet crave more, and I also added my annotated bibliography on James’s The American to the site. These are all the book reviews that the vault holds, so I hope you enjoyed them!

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid A Small PlacePublished in 1988 Kincaid’s A Small Place is an unflinchingly angry portrayal of post-colonial, post-slavery life on the island of Antigua. To put it simply: Kincaid is as mad as hell, and she’s not going to take it anymore. If you’re white and can shelve your defensiveness for a moment this book is actually really enjoyable, it’s written in first person and directed at “you,” the British colonizer and/or the fat white tourist.

Kincaid’s sense of humor is wonderfully dark, and there are a lot of moments of humor, if you keep an open mind. Still, at the heart of the matter is the story of Antigua’s decay, left to rot by the British colonizers, with a population that doesn’t vote openly corrupt officials out of office. She openly points out the irony of the celebration of emancipation and the valorization of the Hotel Training School, which teaches the residents of the island to be servants.

In the end, Kincaid concludes that no one is to blame, that after slavery the masters are no longer evil and the slaves are no longer “noble,” but that everyone is merely human. She problematizes the matter, but offers no solutions, which might irritate those concrete sequentials among us. Also, she refers to Columbus, and the explorers in general, so adored in American culture, as “human rubbish” on multiple occasions. You might not agree with Kincaid, but this is one topic someone should be pissed off about, and her unapologetic narrative is about as honest as you can get.

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Top 10 Reasons That the Novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s is Better Than the Movie

To turn a book into a movie small, acceptable crimes must be committed, but there are some changes that they made to Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the conversion process that open a gulf between the novella and the movie that must be detailed. That’s why I present to you the Top 10 Reasons That the Novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s is Better Than the Movie … I could have also called it Crackerjack Prizes vs Christopher Metals Comma Saint* …

My Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired collage

10. In the movie they write out Joe Bell – who, in the novella, is a very sweet, lovable, and important character. He’s also part of the novella’s overarching theme of “other” kinds of love, a larger category of love that is next to removed from sexuality, this is the way that both the narrator (Paul in the movie, unnamed in the novella) and Joe love Holly.

9. Rusty Trawler, Mag Wildwood, and José Ybarra-Jaegar (they changed his last name for the movie for some reason) – are all mangled in the name of film continuity, as is all of the action surrounding them (the party, which is pretty altered, and a group vacation that gets written out completely). That they make Mag shorter than José, leave out Mag becoming Holly’s roommate, and make Trawler’s character (eventually) broke and heterosexual (in the novel he’s actively fighting a homosexuality which horrifies him) are just some things that get left out. In the novella they’re wonderfully fleshed out and they’re missed in the movie, but all that would make for a 5 hour film so it’s somewhat understandable.

8. The Falling Out – is totally different in the movie and not nearly as poignant because, in the novella, there’s a long period of time that passes before they make up, whereas in the movie it’s the very next scene. In the novella it’s a clash of character while in the movie it’s precipitated by Holly drunkenly mentioning Paul’s being “kept” by his “decorator friend.”

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