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Breakfast of Champions

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  154,616 ratings  ·  3,908 reviews
In Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth. ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 23rd 2009 by Dell Publishing (first published 1973)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Honey
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
Tim Paccione
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Anthony Vacca
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
Manny
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
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
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
seak
Feb 15, 2012 seak rated it 4 of 5 stars
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

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
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
Mohnish
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
Daniel Clausen
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
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
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
Jonathan
Mar 20, 2009 Jonathan rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Steve
This was a popular seller back in the days of peace, love, and dope. I recently read a yellowed copy a few paragraphs at a time between sets at the home gym, so the lack of flow I ascribe to it may be due, in part, to that. Actually, with all his inserted drawings and the bullet-point structure, it seemed like Vonnegut was more interested in piecing together Dunkin’ Munchkin-like observations on American society than in any kind of narrative flow. The plot was very much beside the point.

Vonnegut
...more
Stephen Dranger
I was disappointed in this book because the only other Vonnegut I've read was Slaughterhouse-Five. If that book is one where everything works, this is a book where almost nothing does.

I'm certain that this book was a lot better when it was published (1973). Nowadays, however, most of Vonnegut's points seem tired and cliche. The book is generally about a small section in the lives of an author (Kilgore Trout) and a salesman (Dwayne Hoover). Most of the book is comprised of Vonnegut pausing to exp
...more
Matt
This is, maybe with the exception of Slapstick, the worst Vonnegut book I've ever read. People seem to like it because it is very Vonnegut-y, but no one seems to realize that it fails to ever become coherent, or even become coherent in its incoherence like some of his other books. If you like Kurt Vonnegut because you think he is funny, you may like this book. But if you like Kurt Vonnegut because of his keen insight into human nature and the inherent folly of human existence, then this book is ...more
Rajat Ubhaykar
This book is an exercise in calling a spade a spade. I can hazard a guess at what Vonnegut must have been thinking while writing this hilarious satire.

"My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."
-(mistakenly attributed to)George Bernard Shaw
Mike
Jan 09, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I have been a fan of Kurt Vonnegut's writing since I was in the 7th or 8th grade. Vonnegut made the choice to become a writer just as the major market for fiction (the large-circulation weekly magazines) began to go "belly up". So, shorter fiction was in little demand. Instead, he found that he needed to write book-length fiction, something he found very difficult to do.

In "Breakfast of Champions", Vonnegut unleashed his imagination and (most of) his inhibitions. Yes, I know that sounds wrong wh
...more
Anushree Rastogi
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
Marius van Blerck
Read this decades ago, and just read it again. I've never read a bad Vonnegut book, and even though he never gave this one his top rating, I'm giving it my top rating ... so there! It's pointless describing this book in a review - no description could do it justice - and anyway, it's incapable of description. Just put your alternative reality cap on, fire up a glass of red wine, settle back in the comfy chair (not ... the comfy chair!!!? NOBODY expect the ... etc etc) and enjoy!
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
Jamie
I had read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut a while back and liked it well enough, so I thought I'd try something else out. Breakfast of Champions, a story about the fateful meeting between an eccentric science fiction writer and a half (and eventually completely) crazy car salesman, may not have been the best choice.

On the one hand, I like Vonnegut's sense of humor. It's very droll, very piercing, and it often makes you think. He can skewer concepts like patriotism, entertainment, sexuality
...more
michael spencer
A loveable, highly enjoyable and entranced satirical look at western culture (and the United States in particular), this might be rightly termed not as a novel but as one of the best examples of contemporary American parable. Vonnegut is witty, dry, matter-of-fact. His detached perspective gives fresh meaning to the subjects about which he writes, and he plays with words in a way that lets the reader know that, yes, the author is fully aware of the fact that this is fiction, not reality, and som ...more
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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.” 284 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.” 248 likes
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