Breakfast Of Champions: A Novel by Kurt VonnegutBreakfast Of Champions: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut

Breakfast Of Champions: A Novel

byKurt Vonnegut

Paperback | May 11, 1999

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“Marvelous . . . [Vonnegut] wheels out all the complaints about America and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful and lovable.”—The New York Times

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.

“Free-wheeling, wild and great . . . uniquely Vonnegut.”—Publishers Weekly
Kurt Vonnegut’s black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America’s attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as “a true artist” (The New York Times) with Cat’s Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, “one of the best living American writers.” Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April...
Title:Breakfast Of Champions: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 7.97 × 5.24 × 0.65 inShipping dimensions:7.97 × 5.24 × 0.65 inPublished:May 11, 1999Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385334206

ISBN - 13:9780385334204


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great without being Good Breakfast of Champions is one of Vonnegut's most broken works. The story constantly shifts along a scattered writing style, broken up by random pictures as funny as they are often unnecessary. Vonnegut himself almost didn't publish the book, and would later rate it as a "C", far below his classics. The pacing is strange, the format a-typical, and it's constantly padded with almost irrelevant outlines for short stories Vonnegut liked the idea for but knew he'd probably never write. And yet the book is a breath of fresh air for anyone looking to take a break from typical, highly-edited, formulaic novels. All these things which should make the book terrible instead contribute to the charming strangeness (or perhaps the strange charm?) of the work. And, if you can wade your way through the mess, you will find in this work a compelling commentary on the fine arts in our modern world.
Date published: 2018-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool Pictures Laugh out loud funny, text nicely broken up with author's drawings. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-02-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Need to read again My buddy told me read this book when I was in college, and I did. I think at that point in my life I wasn't open to new genres and I didn't quite get it or want to understand it. But now, a few years later, I think I should read it again to really appreciate this author's work.
Date published: 2018-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Vonnegut! Can't get enough of this stuff...
Date published: 2017-12-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from First half was better I bought this for a school project to compare cats cradle and breakfast of champions. I enjoyed cats cradle and expected to like this book as well. The only good part of this book I found was the beginning then it started going downhill. It seemed like he just didnt have enough plot so he added random crap to it.Maybey im to young to understand it or somthing but i just found it a boring read and was counting down the pages till i could finish.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vonnegut at his best! This is by far my favourite Kurt Vonnegut novel. It's also one of my favourite novels ever!
Date published: 2017-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Vonnegut Pretty much exactly what you'd expect when Vonnegut makes himself a character in his book. Hilarious from start to end.
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Vonnegut does it again! A dry, satirical look at all that is wrong with Americans as evidenced by the lives of a mentally unstable car dealer and an unsuccessful science fiction author. Hilarious and thought provoking. 4.25/5
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vonnegut at his best Witty and hilarious, if you're a fan of Kurt a must read.
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So... Okay, so this is probably the funniest book I have ever read but is is a particular kind of funny. While reading Breakfast of Champions I kept thinking to myself, "This is funny because it's true. Vonnegut is not always nuances (lol) but he is most definitely intuitive. If you want to have a laugh at your own expense (or the people around you), then this is the book for you.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic While this isn't my favorite of his novels, its one of his most iconic and is recommended for fans.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strange and humorous #plumreview A great of example of dark, satirical writing. Vonnegut' stake on American life is startlingly relevant all these years later.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from At his most self-indulgent is greatness found Why do we read Vonnegut? He tells good stories, but it's his style. The way the man wrote is what gets us. His comments on our world are apt yet surprising, so it goes. Breakfast of Champions is another Vonnegut classic because it tells a very simple story involving one of his better recurring characters (Kilgore Trout) going to a convention as a guest, but not really understanding why. That's it, mostly. It is also a writer commenting on his creative process in the middle of things, once again playing with shifting time, but mostly saying "This is why I do this." While he's doing it. He promises a climax at the beginning that remains the climax at the end, but all along the way he's using his style to comment on his (1970s) American Lifestyle. A delight.
Date published: 2013-09-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I'm Disappointed The first two pages were intriguing, witty and funny. But everything after that was simply stale and childish. It's as if after the first chapter he stopped trying to think of new points to make and new commentary and simply extorted all the jokes and satirical comments he had already made. I cringed through almost every bit of it. I really don't see what the allure is to this book. I'm a huge fan of satire and this book did nothing for me. I try my best to like every book I read but there was nothing for me in this book. I didn't find it offensive or anything, it just bored me. Sadly, this was my first Kurt Vonnegut book and i'm reluctant to read any more of his work. If you're looking for a good satire that's always hitting you with something new, I would not suggest this book: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for example, is a much better book in so many ways, including satire, humour, and pace.
Date published: 2006-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A litmus test This book is the litmus test for whether you'll like anything else by Kurt Vonnegut. If you enjoy it, you should buy all of his other books and read them. If you hate it, you know what to avoid. Personally, I liked Cat's Cradle and Jailbird better, but this is a good starting point. BTW, do NOT see the movie.
Date published: 2005-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A darkly humourous tale of modern American life I said modern American life: the book was in fact written in the 70s, but the terrain is dishearteningly familiar today. Read this book. It can be offensive, but if you don't like it, at least it's short, and there are Kurt's lovely pictures for you to enjoy. I was programmed to enjoy the beaver picture, as were about half of you. Aren't we predictable?
Date published: 2003-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flagship work Along with 'Slaughterhouse 5', this is perhaps Vonnegut's best work. It is dripping with Vonnegut's characteristic sarcastic wit and charm. It is the sort of book that you cannot put down, not because of a spellbinding plot, but because of the entertaining style in which it is written. This is the book that got me hooked on Vonnegut. Don't be turned off by the film version either, the translation to screen was horrible. I recommend this book most highly.
Date published: 2001-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breakfast of Awesome! This book rules, he even drew crappy pictures that, despite being crappy from a technical standpoint, are amongst the best I have ever seen in the context of the book. The only book with better illustrations is "The Rainbow Goblins" which all kids should read over and over if they wish to nurture their creativity and lead fruitful lives...and not be dumb. So read this book and forget about the movie version, I don't care how much you like Brice Willis or Nick Nolte (dressed in drag, no less) or Albert Finney! In terms of "best book to worst movie version ratio" this one takes the cake. Oh yeah, read every other Kurt Vonnegut book while you're at it, you'll thank ol' Ricardo Jones later.
Date published: 2000-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from goodbye blue monday! breakfast of champions is honestly one of the best books i've ever read! vonnegut is both hilarious and poignant. buy this book. love this book. and so on.
Date published: 1999-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Vonnegut's Universe The Breakfast of Champions is a hilarious social commentary of everything human and/or American. Vonnegut carries on with a bizzare narration technique by constantly reminding us that Dwane Hoover, Kilgore Trout, and other people who appear in his novel are nothing more than fictional character doomed to whims of the "Creator of the Universe" -- a writer -- who gives them their lives.
Date published: 1999-11-02

Read from the Book

Dwayne was a widower. He lived alone at night in a dream house in Fairchild Heights, which was the most desirable residential area in the city. Every house there cost at least one hundred thousand dollars to build. Every house was on at least four acres of land.Dwayne's only companion at night was a Labrador retriever named Sparky. Sparky could not wag his tail--because of an automobile accident many years ago, so he had no way of telling other dogs how friendly he was. He had to fight all the time. His ears were in tatters. He was lumpy with scars.Dwayne had a black servant named Lottie Davis. She cleaned his house every day. Then she cooked his supper for him and served it. Then she went home. She was descended from slaves.Lottie Davis and Dwayne didn't talk much, even though they liked each other a lot. Dwayne reserved most of his conversation for the dog. He would get down on the floor and roll around with Sparky, and he would say things like, "You and me, Spark," and "How's my old buddy?" and so on.And that routine went on unrevised, even after Dwayne started to go crazy, so Lottie had nothing unusual to notice.Kilgore Trout owned a parakeet named Bill. Like Dwayne Hoover, Trout was all alone at night, except for his pet. Trout, too, talked to his pet.But while Dwayne babbled to his Labrador retriever about love, Trout sneered and muttered to his parakeet about the end of the world."Any time now," he would say. "And high time, too."It was Trout's theory that the atmosphere would become unbreathable soon.Trout supposed that when the atmosphere became poisonous, Bill would keel over a few minutes before Trout did. He would kid Bill about that. "How's the old respiration, Bill?" he'd say, or, "Seems like you've got a touch of the old emphysema, Bill," or, "We never discussed what kind of a funeral you want, Bill. You never even told me what your religion is." And so on.He told Bill that humanity deserved to die horribly, since it had behaved so cruelly and wastefully on a planet so sweet. "We're all Heliogabalus, Bill," he would say. This was the name of a Roman emperor who had a sculptor make a hollow, life-size iron bull with a door on it. The door could be locked from the outside. The bull's mouth was open. That was the only other opening to the outside.Heliogabalus would have a human being put into the bull through the door, and the door would be locked. Any sounds the human being made in there would come out of the mouth of the bull. Heliogabalus would have guests in for a nice party, with plenty of food and wine and beautiful women and pretty boys--and Heliogabalus would have a servant light kindling. The kindling was under dry firewood--which was under the bull.Trout did another thing which some people might have considered eccentric: he called mirrors leaks. It amused him to pretend that mirrors were holes between two universes.If he saw a child near a mirror, he might wag his finger at a child warningly, and say with great solemnity, "Don't get too near that leak. You wouldn't want to wind up in the other universe, would you?"Sometimes somebody would say in his presence, "Excuse me, I have to take a leak." This was a way of saying that the speaker intended to drain liquid wastes from his body through a valve in his lower abdomen.And Trout would reply waggishly, "Where I come from, that means you're about to steal a mirror."And so on.By the time of Trout's death, of course, everybody called mirrors leaks. That was how respectable even his jokes had become.In 1972, Trout lived in a basement apartment in Cohoes, New York. He made his living as an installer of aluminum combination storm windows and screens. He had nothing to do with the sales end of the business--because he had no charm. Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.Dwayne Hoover had oodles of charm.I can have oodles of charm when I want to.A lot of people have oodles of charm.Trout's employer and co-workers had no idea that he was a writer. No reputable publisher had ever heard of him, for that matter, even though he had written one hundred and seventeen novels and two thousand short stories by the time he met Dwayne.He made carbon copies of nothing he wrote. He mailed off manuscripts without enclosing stamped, self-addressed envelopes for their safe return. Sometimes he didn't even include a return address. He got names and addresses of publishers from magazines devoted to the writing business, which he read avidly in the periodical rooms of public libraries. He thus got in touch with a firm called World Classics Library, which published hard-core pornography in Los Angeles, California. They used his stories, which usually didn't even have women in them, to give bulk to books and magazines of salacious pictures.They never told him where or when he might expect to find himself in print. Here is what they paid him: doodleysquat.They didn't even send him complimentary copies of the books and magazines in which he appeared, so he had to search them out in pornography stores. And the titles he gave to his stories were often changed. "Pan Galactic Straw-boss," for instance, became "Mouth Crazy."Most distracting to Trout, however, were the illustrations his publishers selected, which had nothing to do with his tales. He wrote a novel, for instance, about an Earthling named Delmore Skag, a bachelor in a neighborhood where everybody else had enormous families. And Skag was a scientist, and he found a way to reproduce himself in chicken soup. He would shave living cells from the palm of his right hand, mix them with the soup, and expose the soup to cosmic rays. The cells turned into babies which looked exactly like Delmore Skag.Pretty soon, Delmore was having several babies a day, and inviting his neighbors to share his pride and happiness. He had mass baptisms of as many as a hundred babies at a time. He became famous as a family man.And so on.

Editorial Reviews

“Marvelous . . . [Vonnegut] wheels out all the complaints about America and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful and lovable.”The New York Times

“Free-wheeling, wild and great . . . uniquely Vonnegut.”Publishers Weekly