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An e-book conundrum around 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

January 13, 2012 | 10:37 am

Breakfastattiffanys_hepburnSam Wesson's "Fifth Avenue, 5AM" was an LA Times bestseller both when it came out in hardcover in 2010 and in paperback last year. For readers who'd been thinking about buying the book but hadn't yet gotten around to it, the e-book edition is on sale for just $2.99.

Subtitled "Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman," Wesson's book tells the story of the film's cultural impact and its production, following star Audrey Hepburn, director Blake Edwards and author Truman Capote.

Capote, of course, wrote the novella on which the movie was based. When it came out in 1958, the L.A. Times book critic called it "impressive," writing, "'Breakfast at Tiffany's" is the best novella since Saul Bellows' memorable 'Seize the Day.'"

Such praise might send fans of the film, and maybe those who'd read Wesson's book, back to the original material. But here's the rub: while you can buy an e-book about the movie based on Truman Capote's book, you can't buy an e-book of the work itself. Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is not yet available in an e-book edition.

Rights and estates are complicated, but it does seem baffling that there is no e-book of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It's an uncommon commodity, a back-list title that might regularly draw new fans; successive generations have become fascinated by protagonist Holly Golightly through the famous film. And the book is supposed to be a little bit more salacious than the movie was. Who wouldn't want to read it?

Those who are curious won't be able to get an e-book edition. But there are still print copies available.

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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film, "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Credit: Christie's, Ronald Grant Archive / Associated Press

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