I must say, as a journalist I read a lot of literature. From blogs to magazines to papers to books (both fiction and nonfiction), I really do consume a lot of written word. Sam Wassoon’s book Fifth Avenue, 5 AM is certainly some of the most captivating prose I’ve come across of late. He takes the world of 1950s film, the rise of Audrey Hepburn as an actress and fashion icon, and the evolution of screenwriting and film production and turns it into a page-turning novel. The table of contents not only sets up the way Wassoon places events in chronology, but gives the reader a cast. He brings Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote, Hubert de Givenchy, Henry Mancini, George Axelrod and all other major players to life even before page one. It’s a spectacular display, in all honesty, it’s a piece of art I couldn’t put down.
I’ve been a fan of Audrey for some time now, my favorite movie (of hers, and in general) is Funny Face. However, after reading this book, which focuses on everything that brought Breakfast at Tiffany’s to life, I watched the movie from a different perspective and love it far more than I did the first time I saw it. Audrey is the wallpaper on my phone, a poster on my wall, and in my movie collection. She was absolutely elegant to watch on the screen. Her poise, her gait, her smirks all embody a femininity that I think has become lost, and one that I would love to see revived. I also really love – after having read this book – that she was an accidental fashion icon, Audrey and fashion sort of happened into each other, neither really sought the other out, which is really endearing to me.
I should also add, that now (actually I had been planning on this all along, but my decision has been recently reinforced) I am definitely going to be Holly Golightly for Halloween this year. And I can’t wait.