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Breakfast of Champions

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  169,467 Ratings  ·  4,415 Reviews
"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who's really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity--both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut's pure fantasy, it lacks the shi ...more
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published (first published 1973)
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Bryson McCheeseburger Slaughterhouse Five was one of my least favorites. I started with Galapagos and Welcome to the Monkey House. I would go Monkey House and if you don't…moreSlaughterhouse Five was one of my least favorites. I started with Galapagos and Welcome to the Monkey House. I would go Monkey House and if you don't like his short story style, you may not like the rest of his books. Timequake was genius (after having read a few Vonnegut novels). Bluebeard was great storytelling. Sirens of Titan was like a cooler, more interesting Slaughterhouse, but still on the same vein. Love Cat's Cradle. Currently reading Breakfast of Champions which I have heard is excellent.

I would suggest you go with these three, in this order...
1) Welcome to the Monkey House
2) Cat's Cradle
3) Galapagos

If those three don't catch you, then best to not continue to others.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Honey
Aug 06, 2008 Honey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am about to finish Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. I checked out the book from the Multnomah County Library four weeks ago. I've never read anything by Kurt Vonnegut before. The book looks like this:

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I'm enjoying the book because it feels easy to read. I'm not enjoying the book because parts of it induce discomfort. There are many things in the universe that make me feel the opposite of discomfort. One of those things is a lava lamp.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A lava lamp emi
...more
Bookworm Sean
I needed this book. You have no idea how much so. Vonnegut is just so hilarious. There is a certain sense of wisdom in perfect irony, and Vonnegut’s irony is anything but perfect. It boarders upon the outrageous and plain mad. His ideas are crazy yet strangely perceptive; it’s like he sees beyond the idiotic surface world of human culture, of life itself, and makes fun of it. He points at it and has a good old laugh. If you read his books, he’ll share it with you too! He's good like that.

“The t
...more
Tim Paccione
Jul 09, 2008 Tim Paccione rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
God, what a terrible book of nonsense.

The two main characters are just overly weird and bizarre for the sake of being bizarre. And I mean really really bizarre. (I suspect many people say they like Vonnegut because he is so damn weird, but theres gotta be a purpose to it. You can't just have completely random ridiculous thoughts that do not have any purpose towards the message of the story. When you do that, its like the intellectual version of VH1 reality; people love it for shock value, while
...more
Joe
Jul 06, 2007 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with bad chemicals in their heads
Good old Kurt (God rest his soul) has truly helped me understand what all this fuss is about "wide open beavers".
This is a quick and rewarding read (with funny drawings) that makes you think about the world in a totally new way. I love how Vonnegut writes about America as a civilization which died out long ago and is addressing an audience who knows nothing of it.
This book is hilarious and heart-breaking at the same time. It follows a sci-fi author (Trout) of Vonnegut's own creation who meets a
...more
Lyn
Apr 18, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my earliest favorites and I have gone back to revisit several times over the years.

In high school I was both amazed and hooked by Vonnegut's wry humor and devilish mid-western charm. I have since caught on to the more serious metaphors and themes into which he delves. But the humor drew me in initially and makes me think of Vonnegut today.

Insanity explained as a chemical imbalance and dysfunctional families, relationships and communities described as matter of factly as a still l
...more
Anthony Vacca
Apr 24, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back before I nicked a diploma and put that particular time and place in the rearview, there were only two authors that nearly all of my fellow Liberal Arts College English majors blabbered-on about unendingly: Chuck Palahniuk and Kurt Vonnegut. (Lucky for us all that the Second Coming of Christ didn’t happen just once but twice!) Even though I had read and liked Slaughterhouse Five as a young, emotionally-stunted and delusional fifteen year-old, I had also dutifully read through six of Chucky’s ...more
MJ Nicholls
The House of Trouts:

Kilgore Trout’s latest book, World’s Funniest Thermonuclear Accidents, was forthcoming from Michael O’Mara. He shared a bathroom with Kilgore Trout, whose latest book, Complications in the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum, had forthcome from Yale Press. The two Trouts co-rented a kitchen with Kilgore Trout, whose book I Was a Teenage Obergruppenführer, had not found a publisher. All three Trouts did not read each other’s books and did not discuss literary matters at all. When o
...more
Manny
Oct 20, 2014 Manny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I read this novel as a teenager, I remember finding the following paragraph strikingly witty:
1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
Though since then, the point has
...more
Jason
He was a graduate of West Point. West Point was a military academy that turned young men into homicidal maniacs for use in war.

Another brilliant ride through Vonnegut-land. Part comedy, part searing social satire, this book has its fourth wall broken more than any other book I’ve read. At times, I may not have understood where it was going or what the “point” was, but it certainly left me satisfied. Also, I am now completely convinced of Mr. Vonnegut’s influence over Douglas Adams.

The Creator of
...more
Ian GalaDali
description

Breakfast of Champignons


Now It Can Be Told, Thank God

So I finished reading this novel soon after I arrived at my hotel, and I thought I’d better write a review while it was still fresh in my mind. But, first, I decided to go down to the cocktail lounge for a drink. All the seats at the bar were taken, so I had to sit by myself at a table for four.

The waitress took my order. A dry martini. When she returned, she placed it before me and said, “Here it is. The breakfast of champions!”

I sucked on t
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits.

ASSHOLE.
Beth Kleinman
I should have liked this book more. It's about as "Vonnegut" as Vonnegut books go - with Kilgore Trout as a leading character, and Vonnegut mixing his views into the narrative to the point of eventually inserting himself, as author, into the story. And, of course, the book is filled with Vonnegut's humorous drawings and ability to return to an earlier observation in a way not unlike an incisive stand-up comedian. A modern-day Mark Twain, Vonnegut has been one of my favorite authors for years. So ...more
Erin Martin
Mar 21, 2009 Erin Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood
This was the first Vonnegut book I read, when I was 13. I chose it from the ones my mother had because, when scanning through, I noticed the little drawings. I am so grateful that those little drawings made me choose this book first. Since then, after reading many others, I know it was definitely the best to introduce me to the Vonnegut genre. It is lighthearted and funny, yet full of moments where the characters achieve great inner reflection, causing the reader to do the same. Vonnegut changed ...more
Oriana
Why Kurt Vonnegut is a genius:

As for the story itself, it was entitled "The Dancing Fool." Like so many Trout stories, it was about a tragic failure to communicate.

Here was the plot: A flying saucer creature named Zog arrived on Earth to explain how wars could be prevented and how cancer could be cured. He brought the information from Margo, a planet where the natives conversed by means of farts and tap dancing.

Zog landed at night in Connecticut. He had no sooner touched down than he saw a hous
...more
Miss Ravi
Apr 03, 2016 Miss Ravi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: رمان
بگذارید بهتان بگویم این چهار تا ستاره را بهخاطر ویژگی خاصی در اثر مثل زبان، فرم، دیالوگ و... ندادهام. بلکه همهی کتاب یکجورهایی مجابم کرد که کمتر از این کوتاهی در حق کورت ونهگات و اثر بامزهاش است و «از این حرفها». این ترکیب داخل گیومه هم مُدام در کتاب تکرار میشد. فکر میکنم طنز ونهگات هماناندازه که پنهانی خواننده را میخنداند هرگز به سمت لودگی و ننربازی نمیرود. و برای آدمِ نسبتاً تلخی مثل من این نوع خندیدنِ درونی و گاهاً بیرونی خیلی هم لذتبخش است. ...more
João Fernandes
Feb 18, 2016 João Fernandes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book on the Tube and as I began a small child started blasting joyful children's tunes in full sound on her mother's phone. Obviously she was unaware of the strict unspoken rules who rule the cesspool of antisocial behaviour that is the London Underground, until her mother began to tell her to lower the volume. She kept rising it and the mother kept telling her to lower it or else.

And I couldn't help but think how relevant all of this setting was to Vonnegut. A child, una
...more
seak
Feb 15, 2012 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2012
Where to start? First of all, Vonnegut has such a way with words. He can make the most mundane thing not only interesting, but the funniest thing you've ever read. Speaking of that, there's quite the exposition on beavers...and not the hairy varmint...well...

It's really hard to explain this book. The actual "story" that's told could probably be told in a single long-ish paragraph (which Wikipedia actually does quite nicely). The rest of the book is filled with anecdotes, allegories, drawings (I'
...more
Algernon
May 09, 2013 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2013

The Abominable Snowman has arrived. If I'm not as clean as most abominable snowmen are, it is because I was kidnapped as a child from the slopes of Mount Everest, and taken as a slave to a bordello in Rio de Janeiro, Where I have been cleansing the unspeakably filthy toilets for the past fifty years. A visitor to our whipping room there screamed in a transport of agony and ecstasy that there was to be an arts festival in Midland City. I have escaped down a rope of sheets taken from a reeking ha
...more
El
I shouldn't like this book. It does things that I've disliked other modern writers for doing, authors like Adam Levin or Dave Eggers. I don't like excessive cleverness that smells like pretension. I think a story can usually stand on its own without illustrations of staplers, and if it cannot then it probably wasn't a very good story to start. I don't care for bells and whistles - they're loud and distracting and jarring.

Kurt Vonnegut might be the Godfather of Bells and Whistles. And, by god, he
...more
Stuart
Breakfast of Champions: A dog’s breakfast of Vonnegut’s perennial themes

This was the sixth Kurt Vonnegut book I listened to this year, and it was a major let-down compared to The Sirens of Titan, Mother Night, Cat's Cradle, and Slaughterhouse Five, despite being narrated by John Malkovitch. It has all the familiar themes and characters, as he makes simplistic digs (assisted by childish drawings) at racism, capitalism, inequality, mental illness, politics, pollution, and the hypocrisy and absurdi
...more
Madeleine
I can't believe that my first exposure to Vonnegut's brilliance happened an embarrassingly few years ago. And that this is only the second book of his that I've had the good fortune to spend some time with. My only complaint is that this proved to be far too quick of a read, as I could have happily spent hundreds more pages with this kind of storytelling. I have too much fun with the way Vonnegut navigates a story. It's an absolute treat to get lost in a book when the writing's this good.

I have
...more
Daniel Clausen
May 05, 2014 Daniel Clausen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Biting satire, crude drawings, crazy characters--a deliciously low-brow humor. This is an amazing accomplishment.

Who is Kilgore Trout? I’m Kilgore Trout, you’re Kilgore Trout. He is every hack writing who ever felt overwhelmed by his creativity and underwhelmed by his talent. He is anyone who has ever tried and failed. I suppose there is a little Trout in all of us, especially if you like seafood.

One of the great things about the book is Kilgore Trout’s endless imagination and his ability to c
...more
Evan Leach
Breakfast of Champions is a book by Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut was a writer who could be very funny while also writing about some very serious stuff. He also could draw a pretty mean dinosaur:

img: Dinosaur

This is the story of a man named Kilgore Trout. Trout is a spectacularly unsuccessful writer who has only one fan in the world. That fan arranges for Trout to attend an arts festival in Midland City. Unfortunately for Midland City, Trout has an unexpected effect on one of Midland City’s leading citizens,
...more
Fatin
When is the moment you realize that it isn't just the book that's a favourite of yours? It's the author as well? I love Kurt Vonnegut.

It's kind of difficult to explain his books, I suppose you can tell the plot, or explain what you think of it but you can't really convey the feel of them. You need to experience them.

Well, Breakfast of Champions is a very intimate book about life, humans, those of who we think matter, and those we don't, about dreams and how they mean the whole world to somebody,
...more
Jonathan
Mar 20, 2009 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: devoted Vonnegut fans who know what they're getting into.
Shelves: general-fiction
This book, thankfully, was not my introduction to Vonnegut. If it were, I probably would not have cared to sample any of his other works, and would have missed out on some of the last century's most brilliant satire. Here, however, Vonnegut is engaged in either some bizarre parody of himself, or simply being lazy (or, most probably, both).

Sitting down to write this review, I had to read the Wikipedia summary of the book, simply to remind myself exactly what it was about. As my impression goes, t
...more
Mohnish
Sep 07, 2014 Mohnish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm convinced that Vonnegut's novels don't need any kind of spoiler alerts because he's probably gonna spill the beans on all the major plot twists & ending in the first 20 pages itself.

Preface:
This is a review a book titled BOC/Goodbye Blue Monday, the latter might trick you into thinking that after reading this absurd satire on pretty much everything that is wrong with our civilization, from our stories to over-population/pollution, that one can finally be free from procrastinating on Mond
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 27, 2015 J.L. Sutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing is sacred in Breakfast of Champions. The narrator/Philboyd Studge/Vonnegut makes his appearance as the Creator of the Universe (or at least the creators of the characters in his novel) as he delivers what amounts to a searing meta-critique of American culture. "The big show is inside my head," he tells a waitress as he watches his main protagonists, and decides what they will do next. After his brief appearance in Slaughterhouse-Five, it was fun to see Kilgore Trout, the failed science f ...more
میلاد کامیابیان

رباتهای ملول و موادِ شیمیاییِ مضر

میلاد کامیابیان


این حکایتِ دیدارِ دو مرد است، دو سفیدپوستِ تنها و بیکس، لاغر و نسبتاً پیر، بر سیارهای که شتابان به سوی مرگ میرفت. و این عینِ جملهی اولِ رمانِ صبحانهی قهرمانان است، خودِ خودش. آقای نویسنده رمانش طوری را آغاز کرده که انگاری دارد، به جای نوشتنِ آن، یادداشتی «درباره»اش مینویسد. گویی خواسته، عوضِ داستان، خلاصهپیرنگش را صاف کفِ دستمان بگذارد که فکرمان جای دوری نرود و درگیرِ جزئیات نشود. در مقابلِ این درسِ معروفِ داستاننویسی که «نگو، نشان بده»، اتفاقاً از
...more
Ivan Lutz
Jan 25, 2016 Ivan Lutz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Napisat ću osvrt poput Vonneguta u Doručku Šampiona:
Doručak šampiona je genijalna knjiga koju je napisao genijalac sam sebi za pedeseti rođendan. Rođendani su dani kada ljudi slave približavanje smrti svakih godinu dana. U knjizi se govori o Americi, pljuje se po stereotipima, kažnjava se neljudskost i predstavljaju se ljudi kao slučajni prolaznici na planetu koji baš ništa ne znače i tu su samo da kvare dojam prirodi, itd...
Način pisanje je maestralan - ta je riječ valjda dobila ime po maestr
...more
Anushree Rastogi
Sep 24, 2011 Anushree Rastogi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you strip your writing of all the meaningless verbiage and lay down the bare facts? What happens when you stop thinking about putting things gently and simply write down facts, as they are, and maintain a straight face through all of that?
This book is what happens.

Breakfast of Champions is not your conventional novel on the state of the world. It's something that'll make you laugh at the sheer absurdity of people, and its not the characters i'm talking about, they have their ec
...more
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Vonnegut 31 261 Feb 26, 2016 03:12AM  
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Kurt Vonnegut, Junior was an American novelist, satirist, and most recently, graphic artist. He was recognized as New York State Author for 2001-2003.

He was born in Indianapolis, later the setting for many of his novels. He attended Cornell University from 1941 to 1943, where he wrote a column for the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. Vonnegut trained as a chemist and worked as a journali
...more
More about Kurt Vonnegut...

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“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” 327 likes
“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.” 277 likes
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