Customer Reviews for

Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Prime Vonnegut

Anyone familiar with any of Kurt Vonnegut's works will not be disappointed by this classic satire. It features characters recurring in his novels - Kilgore Trout, Eliot Rosewater, and Rabo Karebakian - as well as fresh inventions, whose stories collude to turn any reade...
Anyone familiar with any of Kurt Vonnegut's works will not be disappointed by this classic satire. It features characters recurring in his novels - Kilgore Trout, Eliot Rosewater, and Rabo Karebakian - as well as fresh inventions, whose stories collude to turn any reader into a social cynic. The novel is narrated by Vonnegut, who directs his monologue at a reader unfamiliar with Earth and its customs. Because of that, he is compelled to frequently illustrate his point - whether it be with a sketch of a vagina or an electric chair - to great comic effect. Early in the book he states that he needs to empty his mind of useless clutter, which he would seem to do quite effectively, though what may seem to be a random outburst will be, without fail, a cleverly constructed social criticism. Readers familiar with works such as Slaughterhouse V will be pleasantly surprised to find that they already have a fair bit of background on Kilgore Trout, the protagonist, as well as Eliot Rosewater, whom one may remember shares a hospital room with Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse. Kilgore becomes quite lovable in this installment. One of the more profound scenes occurs at the very end and features Vonnegut as character as well as narrator. He and Trout have an excellent dialog that I shall not spoil here. It is sufficient to say that it caps a very good point Vonnegut makes throughout the book regarding the control people have over their own actions. In summary, an excellent read.

posted by 4695147 on September 13, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Poor formatting, unique but uncompelling story

The plot is very unique, but not one that I will find myself thinking about for a long time like Cat's Cradle. The paragraphs are not indented and it can be hard to tell when one ends and the next begins, especially at large text sizes. There are very few misrecognized ...
The plot is very unique, but not one that I will find myself thinking about for a long time like Cat's Cradle. The paragraphs are not indented and it can be hard to tell when one ends and the next begins, especially at large text sizes. There are very few misrecognized characters, Dr,no instead of Dr?no being the only consistent one.

posted by sakabako on March 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Whoa... what did I just read? Great!

    My first Vonnegut novel... loved it... addictive. I read it through so maany times. Hard to follow at times... but probably because I read it too young (16) but still... Great! ^_^

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2013

    Very funny!

    Check it out, it's hilarious, clever and irreverent. Almost every page will make you laugh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

    A definite read for Vonnegut fans

    Vonnegut first starts this amusing novel by mentioning that the title has no association to registered trademark of Generals Mills, INC. which is "Breakfast of Champions". The story starts off with the introduction of the story's main plot, the meeting of Kilgore Trout, a science fiction writer, and Dwayne Hoover, a Pontiac dealer. Kilgore Trout receives five hundred dollars from a Midland city art enthusiast and invitation to come to the Midland city arts festival for writers and artists. Dwayne is then introduced as one of Midland city's most wealthy men; however Dwayne has mental problems due to bad chemicals in his head. The story goes on as Kilgore trout makes his way to Midland city by hitch hiking and as Dwayne goes on with his lonesome life wondering about the Universe and its creator. While the destined meeting of the men is getting closer, Vonnegut uses black humor to describe many of the things the men encounter. Dwayne Hoover's life is explained in detail with the addition of the satirical comments about aspects of life during the time period of America¿s 1990s. Throughout the entire story the men are both searching for more answers about the Universe. The novel also contains stories of minor characters like Dwayne¿s wife, son, and mistress, but they are mainly there for the satirical aspect of the novel. Before the meeting of men occurs, Vonnegut places himself at their place of meeting, the Midland city arts festival, to witness the event. The events of follow the meeting are important piece of the novel. This is because Dwayne has been searching for someone like Trout to give him fresh ideas<BR/> In my opinion this is a great book for fans of Vonnegut or anybody who likes comedy in a novel. The humor in this novel is worthy of a trophy. Vonnegut is satirical genius when it comes to making fun of anything from cows to diapers. This book is great for people who want a new view of the world from someone truly creative. It is a masterpiece for those who mind reading small parts to a gain a greater whole understanding of a novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2006

    Hilarious and smart

    Vonnegut certainly outdid himself. This book is clever and witty. He mocks society and its beliefs in a laughable fashion. This is the perfect summer pleasure book because it's enjoyable and it's an 'easy-read'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005

    hilarious

    This book isn't the best Vonnegut novel I've read, but it could be the funniest. I don't think he had quite as much to say in this one, though he does take his jabs at society and its hypocrisy. It is a silly book. I laughed out loud constantly as I read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2005

    Hamburger for Breakfast

    Read it, loved it, saw the movie, hated the movie, loved the book. Kurt Vonnegut takes the idea of a failing life and has these two wasted men, wasted on life, to meet. When these two concepts meet, the book establishes a sense of calamity. All in all, the book is great, a very fun read and it gives a very interesting avenue into the mind of the characters

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2005

    Worth reading

    We read this book in my English course and it sounded interesting to me without having heard much about this title before. The book ¿Breakfast of Champions¿ by Kurt Vonnegut is about the two main characters Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout. Dwayne Hoover is a widower and a big car dealer. Kilgore Trout illustrates science-fiction stories in porn magazines. One time they meet in the story of the book and Kurt Vonnegut created crazy stories around these two characters which contain a lot of criticism in many different aspects. If you look closer you can also find hints about Kurt Vonnegut¿s attitude to life which he depicts with these two characters and their milieu. Dwayne and Kilgore are a kind of contrast as well; Dwayne is the successful business man and Kilgore is the one with lack of prosperity who represents the loser. Kurt Vonnegut often uses vulgar speech which differentiates him from the majority of authors when talking about criticism. In my eyes the book becomes a fresh and naughty touch because of this confident and unconventional writing style with its vulgar language. For me the book is a kind of output of Kurt Vonnegut¿s thoughts that he wants to tell everybody how he thinks about American society and the aspect of war in the world. In another way he also shows his feelings and thoughts about life in general. Kurt Vonnegut is one of the authors who made me really laugh about his strange descriptions and crazy illustrations of things. It was a great deal of Vonnegut to choose the characters of Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout to tell his stories because they are really oratorical with a good way of delivering their emotions. These characters are one big reason that makes the book worth reading because they create a funny mood with their crazy attitude and the way they discuss or even talk to other people. This book made me think about problems in the world which I never thought about before so it was interesting to see that Vonnegut tackled this task that the people really think about his opinion and form their own. It doesn¿t matter if you agree with Vonnegut or not - what counts is that Vonnegut¿s stories make you think about their plots not too serious and always with wit. The movie of the book is a really bad implementation of the story and lost all of its extravagance that made the book unique. Even the great Bruce Willis can¿t offset this film because it¿s hard to understand the stories and the content without having read the book before. Coming back to the book it¿s to mention that Vonnegut¿s ¿Breakfast of Champions¿ is really worth reading - if you like having fun while reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2005

    Top!

    You think George W. Bush is the personified devil? You never miss any opportunity to criticize American society und American policy? You demonstrated against the Iraqi war? But pay attention! Not only nowadays the United States is full of intolerance and mad oppositeness. This is why you should occupy with Kurt Vonnegut¿s ¿Breakfast of Champions¿. The story is basically about two individuals named Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout who have nothing to do with each other, but whose ways cross as things developed. The whole story is pieced by a lot of fragments like anecdotes and subplots. The book is essentially about this: Dwayne Hoower is a more or less successful Pontiac dealer. His wife committed suicide and now he has got a love affair with his secretary. In the course of the story he gets more and more insane. On the other hand, Kilgore Trout is a science-fiction author without any success except that his weird stories are published in porn magazines. Kilgore Trout is invited to an arts festival by a rich business man named Elliot Roosewater. The story culminates when both Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover meet each other at this festival and the catastrophe sets in. The first aspect that strikes one¿s mind is that the story contains many subplots and explanations that are not linked with the action. Kurt Vonnegut paints a picture of the American society and its abnormalities with a lot of black humor and sarcasm. He discloses all the faults and makes them appear ridiculous. Vonnegut criticizes every aspect like war, racism, violence and prude. It is very fascinating to see how the criticism of American society is conveyed. Due to the fact that both Hoover and Trout represent ordinary American people whole society is exposed to ridicule. Furthermore, the childish way of writing and describing the environment gets to the heart of truth without any veiling. To exemplify this method of disclosure Vonnegut makes Kilgore Trout¿s stories slip in again and again. His weird short stories about aliens and strange planets can be projected onto society as well. On the other hand the novel is very confusing sometimes, because of many subplots that are irritating. But if you are able to look through all the parallel actions in the beginning, you will be totally content with ¿Breakfast of Champions¿, because it both makes you laugh and think about several aspects just on account of the individual and ironic way of writing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2005

    Review: Breakfast of Champions

    There are good books and bad ones. Breakfast of Champions counts to the first group. Dwayne Hoover, the main character of the book starts getting insane after reading a short story by the science fiction author Kilgore Trout. Dwayne Hoovers life is becoming upside down after his wife commited suicide and his only son¿s homosexuality outcome. His secretary advised him to go to the Midland City Arts Festival where he can talk to people who a different than the others in town. He decides to go there where he finaly meets Kilgore Trout and has a talk to him. Kurt Vonnegut, the author of this novel, does not let one opportunity slip to criticise the American society. One main aspect Breakfast of Champions deals with is materialism. But there are also many other problems in the American society the book alludes to like segregation or the consumer culture. The many aspects of criticism are not the only reason for reading the book. The style Kurt Vonnegut uses is completely different from other books. In combination with the many illustrations that are also painted by the author it makes the novel unique. To this comes that the many plots that does not really match to the main action are very funny. All in one the novel Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut is worth reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2003

    WOW.

    This is a wild one-- beautifully obscene, and filled with the usual heavy dosage of sadistic humor. Breakfast of Champions chronicles an adventure on the part of Vonnegut's favorite character and professed alter ego, Kilgore Trout. The novel culminates in Trout's recieving free will as a character, no longer bound by the whims of a writer's pen. It's great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    breakfast of champions

    Although not my favorite vonnegut piece, it was exactly what i expected from this famed writer. if you enjoy vonnegut contact me at Brokenvessel17@aol.com. love to chat about him, good to hear new views.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    The world through the eyes of its creator

    In Kurt Vonnegut's work, it is hard at times to find the sincerity in his satire and dark humor. But in Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut does this wonderfully as every page keeps you turning to find out what these unstable characters will say next. Arguably the most effective part of the book is Vonnegut's use of himself, the author, as an actual character. He sees the characters in the book (even as he is creating them and altering them, many times to his own dislike) and even interacts with them rarely. In a very cleverly written scene, Vonnegut has himself being scared and almost chased by a dog of his own creation, a very stark contrast from the normal idealistic person who would give him or herself perfection. The characters, Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover, are both very complex and interesting. Kilgore writes countless novels that, because of unpopularity, are only published alongside smut pictures in pornographic novels. Dwayne is a very wealthy person whose primary business is owning a car dealership, where he frequently has sex with his secretary. The most interesting part of Kilgore Trout is that his stories are intruiging and insightful enough to make the reader want their hands on a copy. In his most well-known work (and the one that causes problems when these two main characters meet), there is simply one person on the world with free will, and all the rest are drones just made by 'the creator' to see how the free will person will interact. This parallel between himself and his characters is portrayed brilliantly throughout the book. Vonnegut also includes some drawings, which appear about every three pages, and though some are original and add to the story, many seem quite unneccesary. And the story could have benefitted from the presence of 'the creator', or Vonnegut, from the beginning. But the last 100 pages or so are gold, and worth reading just for the enjoyment you gain from watching a narrator create his world while simultaneously being a part of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2001

    Far beyond today's standard 10-28-2001

    The potential for relating to a very modern world (9-11-2001)has never been more obvious. The position that the main character finds himself in is universal and controvertable to the death. Chosing sides is not an option. Rarely has black and white been made so gray. Recommended to any history enthusiast. It could have happened and we wouldn't even know...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2001

    Buy this book and loan it to friends!

    This was the 1st Vonnegut book I read and now I've read them all. This one is probably the funniest. I've been searching for another author that can do what Kurt can do, but there aren't any. Priceless, Intelligent, Funny, Completely Worthwile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2000

    bizarre, yet intriguing at the same time

    it really makes you think about life and whats out there in the 'real world', aside from the one you live in. i'm a first time kurt vonnecut reader, so this book really got me, its so real, and also so funny at the same time, definitely worth reading, but probably for more um... understanding readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2000

    Reality

    This book was very interesting and it gives you a true outlook on life.Its the little things that we all wonder about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2000

    This book is very good.

    If you love Kurt Vonegut, you'll really like Breakfast of Champions. This book is very easy to follow and interesting. It is comedic, but satirical, as all Vonegut books are. He has a mastery of words, and this book is very well written. As with any good book, I was very sad when I was finished reading it because I had enjoyed doing so greatly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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