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Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
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Breakfast of Champions (original 1973; edition 1973)

by Kurt Vonnegut

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11,585104233 (4.01)164
Member:Alabroad
Title:Breakfast of Champions
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Info:Cape, Jonathan (1973), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (1973)

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This is the third Vonnegut book I've read...and possibly one that makes me feel he was a bit unstable himself. In Slaughterhouse Five, I thought everyone was purposefully crazy to give the impression that war is crazy (like Catch-22). Welcome to Monkey House was a selection of short stories, which I felt were excellent...but this was jut like crazy after crazy. Entertaining book to be sure. And I loved the digs at american history and culture. But crazy!! :) ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is the third Vonnegut book I've read...and possibly one that makes me feel he was a bit unstable himself. In Slaughterhouse Five, I thought everyone was purposefully crazy to give the impression that war is crazy (like Catch-22). Welcome to Monkey House was a selection of short stories, which I felt were excellent...but this was jut like crazy after crazy. Entertaining book to be sure. And I loved the digs at american history and culture. But crazy!! :) ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
I quite liked it, particularly the drawings done by Vonnegut. I wish this hadn't been a library book because there would have been a lot of passages I would have underlined.


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  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Breakfast of Champions = martini.
Tap-dancing and farting = alien communication.
Creator of the universe = author.
Wide open beavers = well, you know.
”And so on.”

There was a sign in my head while reading this. Here is what it said: Why are you reading this nonsense?

OK, so the description from my library says, “Breakfast of Champions is vintage Vonnegut. One of his favorite characters, aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. The result is murderously funny satire as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.”

I get it – it’s satire. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t like the story. I didn’t like the silly science fiction tales thrown in via the writer character. I didn’t like any of the characters. My son loves Vonnegut, so I was glad to take the opportunity via the American Authors challenge to give him a try. But I am obviously not the reader for Vonnegut. For that reason, to my personal low opinion of it, I’ve added an extra star. ( )
1 vote countrylife | Jun 4, 2014 |
Biting satire, crude drawings, crazy characters--a deliciously low-brow humor. This is an amazing accomplishment.

Who is Kilgore Trout? I’m Kilgore Trout, you’re Kilgore Trout. He is every hack writing who ever felt overwhelmed by his creativity and underwhelmed by his talent. He is anyone who has ever tried and failed. I suppose there is a little Trout in all of us, especially if you like seafood.

One of the great things about the book is Kilgore Trout’s endless imagination and his ability to come up with a science fiction story for just about anything. Kilgore Trout reminds me of Douglas Adams.

Was Douglas Adams of a figment of Kurt Vonnegut’s imagination?

In a way the book is written with all the subtlety of a middle schooler--of course, underneath is the mind of genius. But then again, we were all smarter in middle school. We were also free to use our imaginations before the forces out there told us that our writing and imagination was actually poo-poo.

The book is squarely the child of the 1970s. It is blunt, childish, full of anger at Vietnam and the pollution of the earth. I know this is a bad comparison, but why not a bad comparison--Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.--anyone? anyone? After all, it seems like Vonnegut imagined Douglas Adams before Douglas Adams was Douglas Adams the writer.

Quite a few of the chapters and sections end with the words, “And so on.” As if we are doomed to repeat the same asinine things throughout life.

In the end, does the book have an ending? Do the pieces fit? I have great admiration for Stephen King, but unfortunately, many of his books have no ending and sometimes the pieces don’t fit.

I should also say this--there is also a lots of fourth wall breaking. In other words, the author refers to himself within the book as the creator of the book (VALIS is another great example of this technique--it’s a marvelous book) Can anyone explain to me what the first three walls are? (This wikipedia article may have some answers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_four...)

By the way, Vonnegut’s book consistently made me think of this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfPdh...

My view of this book is one of 3,227 on goodreads. This can either make me feel insignificant, as one in an ocean of 3,227, or it can make me feel part of a community. Honestly, I’m just happy that that many people still read.

Yes, a lot of fourth wall breaking. I want to say happy 50th anniversary to the author, but then I realize the book was written in the early 1970s and Mr. Vonnegut has since passed on.

Thank you Fujisawa library for letting me read this book free of charge! Classy move Fujisawa library, classy move.

At points in the novel, Vonnegut falls into bouts of laziness and pessimism so deep and lonely that only words such as “And so on” and “ETC” can pull him through. Things--terrible things continue to happen to all us humans because we’re robots and we can’t help ourselves.

So, instead of trying to make meaning of things, he inserts crude drawings and uses these repetitive literary devices to make the story move.

And you know what, that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay. If I could, I would draw a thumbs up.

This is only the second Kurt Vonnegut book I’ve read. I’ll read more later.

After reading Vonnegut’s biography on Wikipedia, I wonder: Did somebody just make that up? Do people really live lives that interesting? Orson Welles did. But he was a director and movie star, not an author.

My life is nowhere near that interesting.

By the way, this is a fantastic book. You should read it on a day when you feel stuck, approaching the age of fifty, or just want to ponder the great questions like, “What’s it all about?” ( )
1 vote DanielClausen | May 6, 2014 |
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Epigraph
When he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
-JOB
Dedication
In Memory of Phoebe Hurty,,
who comforted me in Indianapolis--
during the Great Depression
.
First words
This is the tale of a meeting of two lonely, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.
Quotations
Roses are red and ready for plucking; you’re sixteen and ready for high school.
Here is a picture of a wide open beaver.
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe.
The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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The author questions the condition of modern man in this novel depicting a science fiction writer's struggle to find peace and sanity in the world.

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