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7.31.2007 

Breakfast Of Champions

Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Year: 1973
Pages: 302
Rating:92/100
Amazon: Breakfast of Champions

Dwayne Hoover is a successful car salesman who unbeknownst to his friends is quickly going insane. His favorite author is the obscure science fiction writer Kilgore Trout. Trout may or may not be insane. Throughout Breakfest of Champions there is a build up to the climatic meeting of Trout and Kilgore in Midland City for an arts convention.

In the last third of the story Vonnegut enters himself within the plot. This is great fun as it makes no practical sense but somehow enhances the clarity of the story.

An interesting touch is that Vonnegut includes his own line drawings throughout the story. These simple drawings depict things such as an anus, a vagina, chickens, syringes, flags, electric chair, etc.

The book was originally called Goodbye Blue Monday. Vonnegut changed the book to the "registered trademark of General Mills, Inc. for use on a breakfasts cereal box. The use of the identical expression as the title for this book is not intended to indicate an association with or sponsorship by General Mills, nor is it intended to disparage their fine products."

Litty’s Take

Kurt Vonnegut recently passed away and I was fortunate enough to read some amazing obituaries and stories about the great author. I even wrote a blog post about how much I admired Vonnegut and his writing.

I hadn't read a Vonnegut book in years and was excited to warp back into his wacky world. For some reason I never got around to Breakfast Of Champions (recognized as one of Vonnegut's top three with Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle) so thought it would be a perfect choice.

I enjoyed this book as much as I have always enjoyed Vonnegut. Through his writing he makes the world seem chaotic and perfect all at the same time. Vonnegut allows you to see the world in a different way, his way, and it feels like you can laugh at all the things in your own world that usually make you worry and fret.

I'm not sure that everybody will understand and appreciate Vonnegut dark satiric wit as much as myself. I do recommend you give it a chance though because if you do like it you are in for a real treat.

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