Puccini, as was his wont, found a trivial but amusing piece of drawing-room literature, Henri Murger's Scènes de la vie de Bohème, a series of vignettes originally published as a serial, removed all of the faintly radical politics, swapped several of the characters' names and characters around (Mimì wasn't even the girl who died in the book ...) and produced an operatic hit (albeit not an immediate one), even though it was somewhat overlong and, by his standards, rather short on good tunes, even if Che gelida manina (Your tiny hand is frozen) found its way into every room with a piano in it for about fifty years.

Puccini's contemporary Ruggiero Leoncavallo also wrote an opera of the same title based on the same book (and hence with a completely different plotline) which contains by far the best game of billiards in all of opera, but otherwise remains deservedly obscure.