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Breakfast Of Champions (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 21 May 1992


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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: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,648 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.

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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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 Sept. 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 April 2002
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ryan R. Ashe on 27 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading some of the blandly negative reviews on the site, I felt I should say something about the book - which is a great one, from what I can tell. One especially zealous reviewer suggested that Vonnegut inserts himself in the book to add an autobiographical element to the proceedings - but this is really not the case. I don't want to go on, suffice to say that the overarching theme of the novel is that of free will, and specifically how much of this is actually desirable. The narrator is an example of absolute free will. Vonnegut (not necessarily the same person as the narrator) allows his narrator tell the story in as ridiculous, digressive, anarchic a style as possible. This perhaps illustrates the idea that total free will is not necessary or indeed beneficial to rational happiness. This sort of thing is evident throughout the novel, with the story of the robot pimp etc. To be honest, 'Breakfast...' is just a totally interestng, thoughtful and lovely book. Everyone should at least give it a try. Just look closely, that's all.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on 16 April 2004
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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