Breakfast of Champions Breakfast of Champions discussion


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Vonnegut

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message 1: by Meg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new)

Meg Egitto That Kurt Vonnegut is so smug. He thinks he's so clever.


message 2: by Idin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idin Oh, oh!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

When my dad didn't have much money--supporting two kids, a wife, a mortgage ... working full-time as a lineman in the day, going to UCLA law school at night--he spent his hard-earned money to buy this in hardback when it came out. He was pissed off. It's a tossed-together collection, and he swore off Vonnegut for years because it was half-assed, in his opinion.

Thus, I have a sort of inherited anger toward Vonnegut's half-assed stuff, like I do with some fo Stephen King's work. Some is so fun, and other stuff is flat like a squashed dog turd.


message 4: by Meg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new)

Meg Egitto Now I feel bad about my post because he just died. I just didn't care for the book that much. He seems to have led an interesting life, however. And he probably was a nice man.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I am convinced that Mr. Vonnegut would enjoy people humorously mocking his lesser works. He himself wasn't too full of himself when it came to his writing.


message 6: by Jessie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessie how do you even use kurt vonnegut and stephen king in the same sentence, let alone compare the two. and i must agree with the last statement, he'd probably laugh his ass off. he's probably laughing right now, wherever he is. probably doing whiskey shots with hunter s thompson and they are both laughing at us poor suckers.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I love the fact that readers can feel liberated to mock the artists who didn't take themselves too seriously. Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and, yeah, Thompson. These guys' attitudes rocked. What the heck did they care WHAT we had to say? When he lived OR died, he didn't care. Sweet!


Feliks lol wtf? What goes on here. Its widely considered one of his best works.

Just because someone's pop didn't like it, how does that factor in? Geez Louize


Cheryl Feliks wrote: "lol wtf? What goes on here. Its widely considered one of his best works.

Just because someone's pop didn't like it, how does that factor in? Geez Louize"


Lawl, agreed.
Anyway, I loved the humor, and I found myself super into Breakfast of Champions right away. This differs from Slaughterhouse Five, which I think I liked better but do feel it had a slower start. The ending was just a little abrupt for me- I really enjoyed it, but felt a little like I had been involved in a hit and run. What did the rest of you that liked the book think?


Robbert This book made me laugh and cry. That's all.


Zofia I loved it. It's very different from Slaughterhouse Five, but just as great.

I loved the humor and of course the way he described humans behavior as if he was trying to explain it to aliens. This way he showed the irrationality of the individuals and society without sounding judgmental.

I love those moments when I read what seems to be blabbering and all of the sudden I realize that he said something really smart and insightful.

I regret a bit that I read it in Polish, I intend to read it in English someday.


Michael Sussman I love many of Vonnegut's novels and short stories, but I recently reread Breakfast of Champions and was disappointed. To me it feels like he wasn't trying very hard and that he was tired of writing fiction.


message 13: by Liam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liam It's been a while since I read this book, but if I remember correctly, he said in the first chapter that this book was his fiftieth birthday present to himself. I've loved practically everything Vonnegut did, and I also think this was a great book even if it wasn't one of my favorites. In my opinion his best works were Slaughterhouse Five, Mother Night, and Cat's Cradle. He has several others that were great as well. But everyone who criticizes this book should know that this was him just having some fun. Also, I agree that Vonnegut would be laughing his ass off right now at everyone criticizing his work. He probably would also find it funny of my attempt to defend him.


Kressel Housman Anyone who likes Vonnegut might also like his son's 1960's/madness memoir, The Eden Express.


message 15: by Molly (new)

Molly Selman I'm reading Breakfast of Champions right now and I get the same feeling I got when reading supposed "classics" in high school, where I'm sitting there thinking what the hell am I missing because I hate this book. I'm not a moron and I understand what the book is supposed to be about, but I just can't stand it. I probably won't even finish it honestly.. This is my second Kurt Vonnegut book I've started reading and then didn't finish because I just don't like his writing style. I'm going to try Cat's Cradle next so hopefully that will redeem him for me. Fingers crossed..


message 16: by Feliks (last edited Aug 01, 2014 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks John wrote: "My publisher compares me to Kurt Vonnegut. ..."

So does mine. It's no big deal, kiddo.


Feliks Molly wrote: "I just don't like his writing style.."

A lot of women don't. Nothing to worry about.


Jennifer My primary MFA advisor, Dan Wakefield, was friends with Kurt Vonnegut. Both of them are great writers. I have a certain amount of extra respect for Kurt because of Dan Wakefield. Thank you, Dan Wakefield, "Breakfast of Champions", and Converse College. The book is good too.


Mitchell McInnis Vonnegut is like jazz... a true American treasure.

"Breakfast of Champions" & "A Man without a Country" are secular bibles.

This quote always makes me giggle in that way only Vonnegut can:

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country


Stephen Seager Kurt Vonnegut is an iconic writer, truly one of a kind. I enjoyed Breakfast of Champions immensely, having read it maybe thirty times - there are reasons for that. He is best understood as an American Magical Realist. A Borges with funny pictures of an anal sphincter thrown into the text, if you know what I mean...


message 21: by Mare (last edited Sep 05, 2014 05:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mare Kinley I always feel bad for Vonnegut when I imagine what it must have been like to wake up every morning and be him.

To me, it seems he had such a great love of mankind and such a hatred of humans. Every day he saw the potential for good, for brilliance, for altruism, for actual advancement in science, health, humanitarianism, what-have-you.

And every day, the human race persisted in being the human race.

And just for the record, my all-time fave is Cat's Cradle. Brilliant.


Petergiaquinta Dan Wakefield edited Vonnegut's Letters that came out a year or so ago. It's a must-read for fans of Vonnegut. Many of these letters are extremely personal, but he rarely sounds angry. He's more wearied and bemused than angry.

I think it would have been a lot harder waking up every day as Samuel Johnson or Jonathan Swift!


message 23: by Mare (last edited Sep 07, 2014 09:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mare Kinley Petergiaquinta wrote: He's more wearied and bemused than angry.

That's exactly what I meant: "weary". Johnson and Swift would have had the power of their vitriol to keep them going. They were, if not straight-out misanthropes, at least a ways down that path.

Vonnegut, on the other hand, seems as if he just couldn't figure out why a species with so much potential was so adamant in not fulfilling it. I often feel this way, and it makes me--above all--tired.



Petergiaquinta Me, too...

Vonnegut's Man without a Country is the angriest I think I've ever seen him in print.


message 25: by Mare (last edited Sep 07, 2014 09:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mare Kinley Agree with you on Man without a Country. Haven't gotten around to Letters yet.


message 26: by Brad (new) - rated it 3 stars

Brad Lyerla In the late 60s and early 70s, Vonnegut was so clever and subversive. I loved reading him and felt like I was part of something big and important because I "got it" and my parents didn't. I thought that the early novels God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Sirens of Titan, Cats Cradle were brilliant and the collections of short stories Welcome to the Monkey House and Player Piano even more so. I read them all while an undergrad and they seemed profound.

Then came Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions. My parents read them and liked them (or at least my mom did, she was always a little hipper than my dad). And that was the end. It that was demoralizing. Vonnegut had become mainstream. The 60s were officially over. I have not enjoyed reading Vonnegut since though I have very pleasant memories of his early stuff.


Kevin horrendous novel, i love vonnegut but this book was so atrocious, first few pages r fine and it shouldve been a very very short story


message 28: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Stevens Feliks wrote: "John wrote: "My publisher compares me to Kurt Vonnegut. ..."

So does mine. It's no big deal, kiddo."


My publisher said I was the greatest writer of all time and it is a big deal, Kiddo.


Yefim He's graded his own books. Breakfast of Champions got a C. I still like it. Vonnegut's "C" is another writer's "A"

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CAO4YJgUk...


message 30: by Sean (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sean O Yefim wrote: "He's graded his own books. Breakfast of Champions got a C. I still like it. Vonnegut's "C" is another writer's "A"

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CAO4YJgUk..."


Thanks for that. Looks like I have two more "A" books to read. :-D


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