Kurt Vonnegut – Breakfast of Champions

11Feb09

You know how it is – People recommend a book to you, you read the gist at the back, it looks interesting, you buy it, you live to regret it. That pretty much sums up Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions, for me. I read the first 50 pages, and attributed the dullness to the book kicking off slowly. Read the next fifty, and figured, it’s bound to get better. The next fifty was even more painstaking, and by the time I hit the 200th page, I figured this book was as pointless as it gets.

It’s experimental writing – I’ll give the author that. But, that’s about all I’ll give him. The story (if you can call it that?) revolves around two men: Trout, a poor sci-fi writer, and Hoover, a well-off car dealer who’s on the brink of insanity. The story meanders through their lives, and it comes to a close when the two men meet, Hoover reads one of Trout’s books and actually goes over the edge, because he thinks the Creator wrote the book, addressed it to him, and told him how he’s the only human and everyone around him is a machine. Don’t curse me for giving the ending away – the author tells us this almost at the very outset. It’s the meanderings that apparently make the story, not the ending.

The author tries, almost too hard to be funny. He stoops down to the level of illustrating apples, underwear, flags, and actually centers a lot of the book around the vital stats of various women, and men. Completely irrelevant, pointless, and frustrating… it’s supposed to be a social satire. It’s really not. (My two bits).

Don’t even bother… you’ll wish you hadn’t.

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2 Responses to “Kurt Vonnegut – Breakfast of Champions”

  1. Interesting review. Is this the first Vonnegut novel you’ve read? I’m going to be reading Slaughterhouse-Five sometime this year I hope. I like the short stories I’ve read of his.

    • 2 uncertainprinciples

      It was. I had Slaughterhouse 5 on my list as well, but I’m going to put it off ’til next year or something.

      I don’t know… maybe, I just didn’t ‘get’ this book. I know some people who thought it was both, interesting and funny, so…


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