The story is set in a retro future with land lines, phone books, and specialized cocaine. I loved the silliness and the satire, but it never reached beyond it's genre of noir. It would be fun if this was a series, but its not. It goes to show Lethem's ability to make you feel like there are many other stories to tell in this world, and he paints the picture quickly enough that you can step into it within the first hour.
My favorite aspect of the world were the science experiments the government or powers that be were enacting on the population and how they were almost not vital to the story. Letham is able to use walking talking animals in place of Dick Tracy villains but describes each wrinkle the same way the comic strip did with lots of tiny lines.
The narrator's performance is slow and simple for my taste and often had strange inflection. I think the story would have suited a subtle performance rather than the gum shoe cartoon voice that's used. As with many of noir titles in first person, the narrator's often have gruff voices that make their children and women character voices conjure images of men in drag with fake high pitched voices.
All in all, good fun.
I love the way this book describes the world like a tour book for the planet.
Champions is a very Vonnegutty book. Its got all of the character depth with the coincidence and great dialogue.
My favorite scene in the book is when Killgore Trout is traveling with the truck driver and the truck driver is asking him questions about house siding. Its small and paced, but it really shows Trout in ways the other books haven't. He is more of a character and less of a caricature.
This is a silly question, but Vonnegut himself is the best character in the book. He portrays himself as a sloppy god figure. Who wouldn't want to get Italian food with a Godlike Vonnegut?
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