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Breakfast Of Champions (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Kurt Vonnegut
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 May 1992 Vintage Classics
In a frolic of cartoon and comic outbursts against rule and reason, a miraculous weaving of science fiction, memoir, parable, fairy tale and farce, Kurt Vonnegut attacks the whole spectrum of American society, releasing some of his best-loved literary creations on the scene.

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Breakfast Of Champions (Vintage Classics) + Cat's Cradle (Penguin Modern Classics) + Mother Night
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (21 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099842602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099842606
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.5 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kurt Vonnegut was a writer, lecturer and painter. He was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. During WWII, as a prisoner of war in Germany, he witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an experience which inspired Slaughterhouse Five. First published in 1950, he went on to write fourteen novels, four plays, and three short story collections, in addition to countless works of short fiction and nonfiction. He died in 2007.

Product Description

Review

"Vonnegut performs considerable complex magic... Fresh, funny, outrageous...he very nearly levitates" (New York Times)

"A great deal of wit and playfulness...an entire universe of disorder is distilled" (Guardian)

"Outrageous, witty, thought-provoking, unputdownable, scintillating, invigorating, ennobling, enlightening and masterly" (Spectator)

"Brilliant... It seems, at times, as if Voltaire has returned to satirise the horrors of plastic, disposable America" (Sunday Times)

Book Description

'After Vonnegut, everything else seems a bit tame' Spectator

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now. 11 Sep 2005
Format:Paperback
I'm not entirely sure how or why I came across this delightful book, but I am thankful that I did. The illustrations really do help to elevate this book into utter hillarity, as do the insane characters, which upon first impression don't seem central to the plot at all. Eventually though, everything comes together in what has to be one of the most bizarre endings I have ever read. Things that happen in this book just dont occur in other books. One of these things for example, is Vonneguts actual omnipotent presence in the book, he places himself in the story (with all the characters he has created at his mercy) to describe it like this in an amzon review does not do it justice.
Alltogether a briliant read, Happy 50th Kurt.
And so on.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
You know that anything goes once you pick up a work by the zany and terrific Kurt Vonnegut. The man knows how to dish up satire like none other. He'll spew out his complaints about the government, the world, people, etc., and instead of making it sound like a bunch of inane ranting he uses all of that to create a crazy world filled with outrageous characters and situations. "Breakfast of Champions" is an off-the-wall novel that is about 300 pages of pure hilarity and comedic chaos. Some of the most outrageous characters lie within this masterpiece.
Listen: This story revolves mainly around two characters. There's Kilgore Trout who is an aging and bitter sci-fi writer that nobody has ever heard of (except for one person). His stories have only appeared in very adult magazines. So naturally, he has "doodley-squat" to show for it. The other person that this story is about is a car dealer by the name of Dwayne Hoover, a man that everyone in town considers a "fabulously well-to-do" person. Dwayne is losing his mind and is ever so gracefully slipping into the cozy and wonderful world of insanity. What pushes him over the edge will take place when the two meet and Hoover takes one of Trout's literary works as reality. The results are unforgettable and hilariously disturbing in this dark and offbeat tale of the flawed human beings who are destroying Mother Earth.
This amazingly written book is completely ADDICTING. I easily finished it within a week. Once you start you do not want to stop reading until you have finished. Very rarely does a book have the power to make me laugh aloud so frequently and carelessly. People must've thought I was on something when they saw me laugh so uncontrollably while reading this in public.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Postmodern Pleasurezone 5 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is it, this is the book that proves that literature still has something to offer. Vonnegut's style easily peaks in Breakfast of Champions, with the most humorous pathos known to man, making even satiric masters like Swift green with envy. Through his almost child like perception of modernity, Vonnegut strips down life to its bare essentials, and shows humanity for the inhumane thing it is. Vonnegut is the only man who can make me laugh whilst depressing me at the same.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Vonnegut in biting satirical form. 15 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you enjoy the bittersweet sardonic wit of American 'greats' like Joseph Heller ('Catch 22') then Kurt Vonnegut's seminal '70's classic should definately appeal. True, it is is technically different from the traditional kind of prose style, being written as a kind of retrospective journey through Vonnegut's own literary past, but it does contain the usual beginning, middle and end normally associated with standard prose fiction.
'Breakfast Of Champions' is Vonnegut's fiftieth birthday present to himself so it is tempting to see the whole process as some kind of mid-life clearing out of much of his literary characters, thoughts and, maybe even, aspirations, however don't let such a gloomy critical assumption deter from the comic genius that Vonnegut allows free rein during this emancipation of his fictional creations.
The plot centers around failed science fiction author, Kilgore Trout (said to be loosely based on real-life author Theodore Sturgeon). Trout lives an empty, post-modernist suburban American existence until his work is recognised by a warped but rich art collector who thinks that Trout is a genius, and possibly the saviour of mankind, (get the picture?) Thusly Trout relucantly sets out, Homer's 'Odyssey' style across mid-America, encountering all kinds of adventures, not least pushing automobile salesman, Dwayne Hoover over the brink of insanity along the way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Painfully true, and absolutely magnificent. 11 Aug 2001
Format:Paperback
This has to be the most hilarious piece of fiction I have ever read. The way that Vonnegut creates such interesting characters in order to show the failings of America is superb. No satirist has ever come this close to portraying America, and society in general, with such humour and verve. This book kept me up until 2 in the morning, as I could not put it down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully barking mad.
Intriguing. The first time in years that I have opened a book and read it from cover to cover without a break (although, to be fair, I did stop every five minutes or so to laugh... Read more
Published 11 days ago by D. SWATMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Blue Monday!
Vonnegut at the top of his game. Strangely, Vonnegut didn't really rate this work among his best, but I disagree with that great man. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PeterCat
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
After being galvanized by the realms of American literature on account of exposing myself to the works of Palahniuk and C. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Colm
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure yet
Starts good, gets a bit wishywashy, haven't got to the end yet but am sure it'll be a good-un as I get further in.
Published 4 months ago by Dave Leggett
4.0 out of 5 stars Different and wonderful
Another excellent Vonnegut tale that engrossed my mind with it's reality and fantasy combination. no spoilers . . . entertaining and thought provoking.
Published 7 months ago by Jenny
4.0 out of 5 stars "If you enjoy Orwell then try Vonnegut"
If you know Vonnegut's work then you don't need me to recommend him but if like me you love Orwell then discovering Kurt's works was wonderful
Published 9 months ago by Big C
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute classic
Read it many years ago and had to get a copy. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I find it hilarious.
Published 10 months ago by Alan Gilmore
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible book!
I have this tenacious streak that causes me to persist to the end with every book that I start. On this occasion the upshot has been to waste several hours of my life. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ianp
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Seller
In the morning if my face is a little puffy I'll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now.
Published 12 months ago by THOMAS L HEMMETT
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable.
A great quirky book. Everyone I've lent this to has not returned it, so I usually end up buying three or four copies per year.
Published 13 months ago by Lucy Dorman
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