With that introductory diatribe out of the way, I can now say that, yes, I was wrong about Vonnegut, and so now we can all move right on along to my review Breakfast of Champions is a sad and gloomy slice of metafiction that still manages to find a sense of humor about what an awful fucking nightmare it is to exist in this sad sorry sack of shit of an excuse for a world If read aloud, every sentence in this book should end with a sigh and a defeated glance out the window at nothing but a bleak view of nothing.
Vonnegut writes this book, as he does with most of his books, through the 1st person POV guise of being a weary misanthropic novelist named Kurt Vonnegut, whose thankless job it is to write another goddamned book about all of these horrible but also sometimes very seldom wonderful people we re stuck with in this life BoC goes about this in a conversational, vernacular heavy, clich ridden prose style that still manages to be quite charming and clever The focus of this book is the hours leading up to a chance meeting between Kilgore Trout, a loser who writes off beat science fiction novels that nobody reads, and Dwayne Hoover, a successful car salesman who is starting to lose his shit in a major way Along the way there is plenty of time for digressions full of deadpan takedowns of American culture as well as for dozens of endearing little doodles from our author.
The end result is a novel that reads like something an off beat science fiction novelist would write if given the task of explaining the United States in the 1970 s to an alien species Vonnegut makes it clear that there is so much in this world that makes him angry, and getting older does nothing to ease his resentment But even in the face of murder, hate, racism and greed, Vonnegut can t help but care about people and sympathize for what it must be like for not just his characters but for every last one of us who goes about chug chugging along through this nightmare we all share together And it s that big god damned heart of Vonnegut s that s the real treasure of this wonderful novel.
Like most science fiction writers, he knew almost nothing about science Breakfast of Champions is not my favorite Kurt Vonnegut novel and I have a bit of difficulty to understand why Maybe because it was crazier than the others that I ve read, with long passages without any sense There weren t one or two deeper themes that I had to dig between the irony and the absurd It wasof a collection of crazy talk or talk by crazy men mingled with the author s ideas about the world I enjoyed the latter partsthan the former, I laughed out loud many times but it wasn t enough For the whole novel we are prepared for a momentous meeting between our main characters, the still undiscovered, aging, soon to become monumental, SF writer, Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover, a successful Midwest car dealer Dwayne, due to bad chemicals in his brain, is slowly going crazy and the meeting with the SF writer will make him derail irrecoverably The story switches between Kilgore s trip to reach an Art festival in Midwest to Dwayne s increasingly weird mind At some point we also get to meet the author, which was an interesting feature The plot offers Vonnegut the opportunity to launch in a bleak satire on race, politics, social standards, sexism, etc I don t know how Vonnegut can be pessimistic and funny at the same timeAs I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had becomeandenraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books This was the reason Americans shot each other so often It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tis sues Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit part players in their made up tales Forthan half of the book, I listened to the brilliant narration of John Malkovich I believe the actor s voice and Vonnegut s work go perfectly together However, I do not usually listen to audiobooks so it might have altered my reading experience somewhat I enjoyed the novel, it s Vonnegut duh, but I felt he crammed a bit too much inside the pages I also don t believe it is the place to start if you are a newbie to his work Slaughterhouse 5 would still my first choice By the way, Kilgore Trout is a character in that novel as well There are many characters, themes and places that appear inthan one novel of the author and that is a prize for his fandom, of which I am still part ofDear Sir, poor sir, brave sir he read, You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next and why Everybody else is a robot, a machine Some persons seem to like you, and others seem to hate you, and you must wonder why They are simply liking machines and hating machines You are pooped and demoralized, read Dwayne Why wouldn t you be Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn t meant to be reasonable So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too In Breakfast of Champions, One Of Kurt Vonnegut S Most Beloved Characters, The Aging Writer Kilgore Trout, Finds To His Horror That A Midwest Car Dealer Is Taking His Fiction As Truth What Follows 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 Breakfast of Champions Goodbye Blue Monday, Kurt VonnegutBreakfast of Champions, is a 1973 novel by the American author Kurt Vonnegut His seventh novel, it is set predominantly in the fictional town of Midland City, Ohio and focuses on two characters Dwayne Hoover, a Midland resident, Pontiac dealer and affluent figure in the city and Kilgore Trout, a widely published but mostly unknown science fiction author Breakfast of Champions has themes of free will, suicide, and race relations among others 2017 1393 312 9786002781147 20 God, what a terrible book of nonsense.
The two main characters are just overly weird and bizarre for the sake of being bizarre And I mean really really bizarre I suspect many people say they like Vonnegut because he is so damn weird, but theres gotta be a purpose to it You can t just have completely random ridiculous thoughts that do not have any purpose towards the message of the story When you do that, its like the intellectual version of VH1 reality people love it for shock value, while I, and others like me, are disgusted by its lack of substance You feel dumber for having spent part of your life dedicated to it Theres zero suspense as you are told what the ending will be in the first chapter The entire book is a build up to that event which ends up being a short, disappointingly mild one.
The entire book was written in an obnoxious tone, speaking about everything humans do in an condescending manner As if the author considers himself not only separate from, but better than the human race and its tendencies.
Finally, as if the book wasn t self indulgent enough for Vonnegut, he inserts HIMSELF as a character for the last third of the novel, telling us what he can and can t do if he wishes and how every characters actions are predetermined by his will, even as he interacts with them This came across as so arrogant and narcissistic that it was almost too much to bear.
It is clear to me after reading Breakfast of Champions that Kurt Vonnegut s biggest fan, by far, is Kurt Vonnegut himself.
The Emperor s New Clothes, As retold by Kurt Vonnegut, taking a leak view spoiler a main theme in Vonnegut s novel, symbolizing holding up a mirror hide spoiler Good old Kurt God rest his soul has truly helped me understand what all this fuss is about wide open beavers.
This is a quick and rewarding read with funny drawings that makes you think about the world in a totally new way I love how Vonnegut writes about America as a civilization which died out long ago and is addressing an audience who knows nothing of it.
This book is hilarious and heart breaking at the same time It follows a sci fi author Trout of Vonnegut s own creation who meets a Pontiac dealership owner Hoover in the 1970 s Their meeting puts Hoover over the edge of sanity through one of Trout s novels, making him believe he s the only person with free will in the universe, and that everyone else is a robot a meat machine as Vonnegut puts it.
The highlight for me is one of Trout s novels about an alien race that communicates only by farting and tap dancing You have to read it to see what happens
Nothing is sacred in Breakfast of Champions The narrator Philboyd Studge Vonnegut makes his appearance as the Creator of the Universe or at least the creators of the characters in his novel as he delivers what amounts to a searing meta critique of American culture The big show is inside my head, he tells a waitress as he watches his main protagonists, and decides what they will do next After his brief appearance in Slaughterhouse Five, it was fun to see Kilgore Trout, the failed science fiction writer, take center stage Of course, Vonnegut makes it clear that he as the narrator is the one pulling the strings and arranging, of all things, a Nobel Prize in Medicine for the confused Trout Fun, interesting and bizarre A novel is a dead tree with words on it Breakfast of Champions is a great dead tree with words on it.
That being said, I enjoyed Cat s Cradle Easily my favourite of his works.
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