Beth Kleinman's Reviews > Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
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Aug 17, 07

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Read in August, 2007

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 why would I give "Breakfast of Champions" only three stars (and even vacillate between two and three)? I'm not really sure...but the book just didn't flow for me. Perhaps my views are colored by the final Harry Potter, which I read right before "Breakfast of Champions." When I picked up Vonnegut, I really wanted a *story* and Vonnegut's plots are, well, not the point. His characters are paper-thin - intentionally so, but I wanted to get pulled into another world, not poke fun at the one I currently live in (or, at least, a 1970s version of it). I still recommend this book for Vonnegut lovers everywhere - just make sure you're not really in the mood for a fictional escape. In many ways, "Breakfast of Champions" is as much a clever and humorous essay as it is a fictional narrative.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Edmund Davis-Quinn I find Breakfast of Champions an immature book in many ways, try Cats Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five.

Beth Kleinman "Slaughterhouse Five" is one of my favorite books by any author. Brilliant!

Scalene I was thinking why, why and why I couldn't give this a straight 5/5 like I did to the other works of Vonnegut, and you really pinned this down for me. THANK YOU. It's a relief. BOC sure requires a certain mental state: I was looking for a SH5 kind of narrative after reading so many plays. I also was trying to escape the infinite labyrinth experience of Borges - dead serious, choke full of deep ideas. So. BOC annoyed me to some extent when the story was interrupted with 8-yr-old explanations and drawings. I too needed a flow.

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