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Breakfast of Champions

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  241,094 ratings  ·  8,188 reviews
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

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
Paperback, 303 pages
Published May 1999 by Dell Publishing (first published July 12th 1973)
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Cj My favorite Vonnegut book is 'Bluebeard.' While not as humorous as his other books, though still funny, it is an excellent read. It tugs at the heart …moreMy favorite Vonnegut book is 'Bluebeard.' While not as humorous as his other books, though still funny, it is an excellent read. It tugs at the heart strings a bit in it's sentimentality. (less)
Connie Harper Yes - I didn't love Slaughterhouse Five, but I thought Breakfast of Champions was mind-blowing genius. …moreYes - I didn't love Slaughterhouse Five, but I thought Breakfast of Champions was mind-blowing genius. (less)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  241,094 ratings  ·  8,188 reviews

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Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Barry Pierce
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Manic depressives and Drāno enthusiasts
A novel is a dead tree with words on it. Breakfast of Champions is a great dead tree with words on it.
Emily May
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, classics
I have a little inner book snob that desperately wants to like Vonnegut. In the very unlikely event that I should find myself at a convention of bookish intellectuals, I feel like I'd fit right in if I sipped my champagne and said "Oh yes, indeed, I simply adore what Vonnegut has to say about the absence of free will..."

This is the kind of bollocks that runs through my mind on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, I just don't find him that funny most of the time. Perhaps jokes about open beavers are fu
Ahmad Sharabiani
Breakfast of Champions = Goodbye Blue Monday, Kurt Vonnegut

Breakfast of Champions, is a 1973 novel by the American author Kurt Vonnegut.

His seventh novel, it is set predominantly in the fictional town of Midland City, Ohio and focuses on two characters: Dwayne Hoover, a Midland resident, Pontiac dealer and affluent figure in the city and Kilgore Trout, a widely published but mostly unknown science fiction author.

Breakfast of Champions has themes of free will, suicide, and race relations among
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-nou, 1001, us
“Like most science-fiction writers, he knew almost nothing about science.”

Breakfast of Champions is not my favorite Kurt Vonnegut novel and I have a bit of difficulty to understand why. Maybe because it was crazier than the others that I’ve read, with long passages without any sense. There weren’t one or two deeper themes that I had to dig between the irony and the absurd. It was more of a collection of crazy talk (or talk by crazy men) mingled with the author’s ideas about the world. I enjoyed
Julie G (time traveling for a week)
This past December I was flung to the earth by the force of gravity, which never relaxed for a second.

This resulted in an bad ankle injury which has required an ortho boot, limited activity, and physical therapy.

(I couldn't help wondering if that was what God put me on Earth for—to find out how much a [person] could take without breaking).

Two weeks ago, I received a shoulder shrug from the doctor and his advice: “You need an MRI if this doesn't improve soon.”

Almost all the messages which were se
The Emperor’s New Clothes,

As retold by Kurt Vonnegut, taking a leak (view spoiler) in front of Humanity to mirror their fictionalized realities!

(Vonnegut was apparently capable of prophetically foreshadowing what would happen to America in the 21st century, when leaks are indeed mirrors of the country's general condition! America is really taking the piss, and he KNEW it would happen.)

Once upon a time, there was
Vit Babenco
Apr 20, 2013 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.

Under the close scrutiny of Kurt Vonnegut our quotidian life turns into the most prepo
Tim P
Jul 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤
"As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen."

Me too, Mr. Vonnegut. Me too. I'm not quite approaching my fiftieth, but yeh, me too.

In Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut writes as an author writing an author and their hapless creations. He uses satire to poke fun at things like:

"The chief weapon of the sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
You’ll have to forgive me for saying this, but having spent a violent youth under somewhat violent circumstances, this innocent bystander’s bird’s eye view of a total fracas hit the Golden Buzzer for Vonnegut in my young eyes.

He could henceforth do no wrong for my jejune and confused self because he Was that innocent bystander.

Vonnegut’s Nom de Guerre, in case you missed his point, is Kilgore Trout.

Yes, Trout is Kurt’s alter ego.

He was a shell-shocked recluse of a great SF writer (Vonnegut’s b
Kevin Ansbro
"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose."
—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Conan Doyle's famous quote came to mind as I was reading this boisterous book: it was as if Vonnegut had decided to empty his cluttered attic of kooky ideas in order to share them with the rest of the world. In many ways, it reminded me of the underground magazines I helped to publish as a student; all printed on stiff sheets of A4 paper a
Jul 05, 2007 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
Sean Barrs
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 5-star-reads
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
Anthony Vacca
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye

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
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
“in nonsense is strength”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions


Sometimes, I think of Breakfast of Champions as top shelf Vonnegut (five stars). Sometimes I think of it as second shelf Vonnegut (four stars). I think it could exist easily on both shelves. Since I own a couple copies, and have read it a couple times, I will forever physically keep it on two shelves (Library of America on one, Laurel Mass-Market Paperback on a lower shelf). The Laurel Mass-Market is also the one I try to bribe and
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
So this guy, Dwayne Hoover, is a rich owner of stuff, primarily a Pontiac dealership, and he has these bad chemicals in his brain. Kilgore Trout is this completely unknown science fiction writer whose stories are printed in adult magazines and such. Anyway, Dwayne reads one of Trout's novels and he thinks it's real which really messes with those bad chemicals in his brain.

The book is this collision course of these two meeting each other with all kinds of distractions and subplots and observatio
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
May 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
So I may have decided to read this because of a passage detailing the penis sizes of various characters. Many of them are white and a few of them are black, and Dwayne Hoover believes they're all robots. I think all books should include such a passage. And if that doesn't peak your interest, perhaps the drawings of an asshole * or of a wide open beaver () will.
I promise that there's more depth and heart to this book than I'm making it sound. It's a strange one--aren't they all?--but a good on
Jason Koivu
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.

May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mainstream
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
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
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi, satire
It's really indecent how much I like this book. It's nearly as indecent as how Vonnegut treated his character Kilgore Trout.

Mind you, he doesn't rob, cheat or abuse the character in the traditional sense. In fact, the author shows up, treats the damn guy to success, wealth and fame, tells him he's gonna win some fancy awards in the future, and he does it only because he can.

What a damn jerk.

I mean, look at all these other SF authors other than Kilgore Trout who spend their lives writing stories
Tom Quinn
In spite of a few funny one-liners and a humdinger of a premise, I don't like this book half as much as Vonnegut's earlier work. It isn't just the fact that it's irritatingly repetitive, which it is, or that it grossly overuses the N-word, which it does. It's this: Vonnegut seems tired, winded. His spirits are flagging. There is wistfulness but little warmth, as though a chill has settled on him. My favorite Vonnegut puts on a brave face and holds out hope, speaks from a place of optimism. This ...more
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
Mar 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by Kurt Vonnegut, the first one was the masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five.

Breakfast of Champions is right up there alongside it, another masterpiece.

This one tells the story of Kilgore Trout, an unpopular science fiction writer who travels to Midland City to speak at a convention. Before the convention, a car salesman named Dwayne Hoover goes insane after reading Trout's book written from the perspective of the Creator of the Universe. Hoover goes on a killing
Riku Sayuj
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
A cheerful & cynical work. It’s the best novel in the English language.
It has its footnotes in the main text.

Here’s a Two-bite Brownie:

“I can’t tell if you’re serious or not,” said the driver.
“I won’t know myself until I find out whether life is serious or not,” said Trout. “It’s dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s serious, too.”

“You know what truth is?” said Karabekian. “It’s some crazy thing my neighbor believes. If I want to make friends with
Brett C
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kurt-vonnegut
This was an interesting book. It was layered with black humor only the way Kurt Vonnegut could write. There really is no plot, but the reading is very unique and paints a picture for the reader. The structuring is simple: simple sentences, simple syntax, and simple dialogue that gives way to big ideas. I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn't reading: in the car on the way to work, in the evening. The illustrations that highlight the narrator's ideas are common sketches found on the c ...more
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1001 könyv, amit ...: Kurt Vonnegut: Bajnokok reggelije (2020. február) 25 30 Feb 04, 2020 11:05AM  
Reading 1001: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 2 24 Dec 27, 2018 03:53AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correction 1 11 Dec 24, 2018 01:53PM  
Lit Chicks Podcast: Breakfast of Champions 1 6 May 28, 2018 06:58AM  
Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 9 Dec 11, 2017 05:17AM  

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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

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