Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Breakfast of Champions” as Want to Read:
Breakfast of Champions
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Breakfast of Champions

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  178,177 Ratings  ·  4,909 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published (first published 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Breakfast of Champions, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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:

[image error]

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
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
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
Jason Koivu
May 10, 2016 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, fiction, humor
Phew, it has been a LOOONG time since I've read Vonnegut. I mean "classic" Vonnegut. It feels good to be back!

I mean no offense to his most recent work, but it just doesn't compare with what he put out from about the '60s through to the '80s. It's all good stuff. I mean, I've read about a dozen books of his and I don't recall a true stinker in the lot. But if I'm going to recommend "a Vonnegut" to the interested and uninitiated, it's going to be something like Breakfast of Champions from 1973.

T
...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
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
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
Apatt
May 14, 2016 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream
Listen:
What the hell was that?
I finished reading Breakfast of Champions, closed the book, went to Goodreads, stared at that big empty review box, ate a cookie, stared at the screen some more, hands hovering over the keyboard, not moving.
And so on.

Now, if you are thinking “what is that stupid paragraph above?” Don’t worry about it.

My Achilles heel as a reader of modern fiction is that I don’t cope well with unconventional narrative styles. Streams of consciousness, omitted quotation marks, massiv
...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 "Marvin" Graye
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.
Vit Babenco
May 30, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is life we live from day to day? What do we eat at breakfast? How do we cope with our problems and what are we doing for fun? What dreams do we dream and what ideas do we have in our heads?
“The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.”
Some obey God, some obey government, some obey voices in their head and some obey no
...more
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
Brian Yahn
Kurt Vonnegut famously graded all of his books. He gave Breakfast of Champions a C, and probably it deserves it.

Although there's plenty to appreciate in terms of wit and humor, and although there's a few genius scenes, as a whole this satire doesn't compare with Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, or The Sirens of Titan. Where those books excel in clarity and being easy to follow, this one fails in a disorganized, meandering mess.

As with everything Vonnegut wrote, reading it feels more like exper
...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
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: novel
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 ...more
Maria (Big City Bookworm)


Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

This was definitely a strange one...but I liked it? It was also my first experience with Kurt Vonnegut! It took a while to get used to the writing style, but I ended up enjoying the witty and quirky style quite a lot. There are little illustrations throughout the book so I'm glad that I had a physical copy to refer to while listening to this as an audiobook. Overall, I quite enjoyed my first experience with Kurt Vonnegut and I look forward to reading more of his work.
Anne Zappa
Sep 07, 2014 Anne Zappa 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
Chris
Jun 29, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: notable-authors
A clever book that combines Vonnegut's unique perspectives on the world we live in (and what it means to be human) with satire, sarcasm, and humor.



A story within a story, Kilgore Trout and other characters of Vonnegut's previous works are brought back by Vonnegut himself who plays the role of the Creator in Breakfast of Champions. Kilgore Trout, the largely unknown sci-fi writer (except for his lone fan who happens to be 'fabulously well to-do'), is destined to cross paths with Dwayne Hoover (a
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Venus on the Half-Shell
  • Ham on Rye
  • Skinny Legs and All
  • Trout Fishing in America / The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster / In Watermelon Sugar
  • Big Sur
  • Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn
  • White Noise
  • Crash
  • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction
  • Sometimes a Great Notion
  • How We Are Hungry
  • Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's
  • Strong Motion
  • Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle (Modern Critical Interpretations)
  • And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • The Hotel New Hampshire
2778055
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...

Share This Book



“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” 371 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.” 304 likes
More quotes…