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Breakfast of Champions (1974)

by Kurt Vonnegut

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,311152304 (3.99)264
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.
  1. 50
    The World According to Garp by John Irving (soffitta1)
    soffitta1: Both are left-field, with overlap in themes.
  2. 40
    The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving (readandride)
  3. 30
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (esswedl)
    esswedl: Both of these Vonnegut novels involve the question of free will (and both are great).
  4. 10
    Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson (sombrio)
  5. 00
    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (sturlington)
  6. 00
    Mist by Miguel de Unamuno (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Books in which the author appears as himself and interacts with the characters while manipulating their fates.
  7. 01
    Something Happened by Joseph Heller (ateolf)
  8. 01
    Kurt Vonnegut's crusade; or, How a postmodern harlequin preached a new kind of humanism by Todd F. Davis (pyrocow)

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» See also 264 mentions

English (147)  Czech (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
I’ve come to the conclusion that a Kurt Vonnegut novel is like a music album from an artist that never changes their formula e.g. AC/DC or Red Hot Chili Peppers. You know what an AC/DC album is going to sound like. You know what RHCP’s next single is going to sound like (and it’s probably going to involve California). That’s not a bad thing — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Kurt Vonnegut is like that, like a music album more than a story. There are other authors like that too, but Vonnegut is so embossed that his style outshines any other part of the book. He’s not necessarily a storymaker, so much as a style. You’ve read one Kurt Vonnegut story, you know what the others are going to offer. There won’t necessarily be a linear plot or characters you like, but there will be a technique, a voice. Something that’s got a form that can’t really be described. And it’s popular because it’s something different. This is not a slight against Vonnegut, just a description.

It’s so stream-of-consciousness that I wasn’t sure where the story actually started. The plot meanders all over the place so that you’re not so much reading a story as you’re reading Kurt Vonnegut’s brain. Dwayne was a car dealer. Car dealers sell Corvettes. I once had a Corvette. I drove the Corvette up a mountain. The mountain did not like this. “Ouch,” said the mountain. It’s like a four-year-old telling you his dream, but amped up to the composure of an adult.

As far as I can tell, it’s a satirical indictment of capitalism. But with a non-linear story sustained long enough, it all becomes a mess, and I found myself getting distracted while reading because there was nothing to hang onto. It was like a painting that’s a swirl of colors that might seem pretty, but there’s nothing for my eye to rest on. ( )
  theWallflower | Oct 3, 2022 |
Great book, great narration. ( )
  captc2000 | Aug 18, 2022 |
Four stars because it kinda got boring a few pages past the middle. The beginning was very strong and funny. The ending was ok.

Kilgore Trout is an interesting character. I liked the description of his novels, especially their ideas and how the author, who is the narrator, integrates it into the story.

The framing of the story is the first time I've encountered. The story is narrated by the author who is also a character in the novel. The problem is that the narrator is omniscient and omnipotent, so he can do whatever he wants to the characters. Does this detract from the 'reality' of the characters?

It is a short novel, and the drawings provide an additional source of humor. The language is plain. The book is very quotable.

Some quotes from the novel:

"The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head. I have no culture, no humane harmony in my brains. I can’t live without a culture anymore."

“Bill, Bill—” he said, “listen, I’m leaving the cage, but I’m coming back. I’m going out there to show them what nobody has ever seen at an arts festival before: a representative of all the thousands of artists who devoted their entire lives to a search for truth and beauty—and didn’t find doodley-squat!”

"Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done."

And so on. ( )
  rufus666 | Aug 14, 2022 |
Listen: you know what I can write about this book? Doodley-squat. It looks like this: ( )
  blueisthenewpink | Jul 2, 2022 |
An absurdist, rambling satire on America, madness, and writing. ( )
  SChant | May 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vonnegut, Kurtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malkovich, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zanon, CássiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
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.
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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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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