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Breakfast of Champions | [Kurt Vonnegut]

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions is vintage Vonnegut. One of his favorite characters, aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. The result 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Breakfast of Champions is vintage Vonnegut. One of his favorite characters, aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. The result 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.

©1973 Kurt Vonnegut; (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"It's marvelous...he wheels out all the complaints about America and makes them seem fresh, funny, outrageous, hateful, and lovable." (The New York Times)
"Vonnegut is George Orwell, Dr. Caligari, and Flash Gordon compounded into one writer....A zany but moral mad scientist." (Time)
"Free-wheeling, wild, and great....Uniquely Vonnegut." (Publishers Weekly)
"Stanley Tucci delivers a superbly sly interpretation of this fare. He affects a laid-back, melancholy style, using his excellent timing and spurts of mischief to bring home the sardonic humor and irony with which the book is larded." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (543 )
5 star
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4.2 (197 )
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Story
4.3 (198 )
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Performance
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  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 09-12-13
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 09-12-13 Member Since 2012

    I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible Writing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Breakfast of Champions to be better than the print version?

    In some respects yes. Comedic elements are sometimes better when told. This book has comedic elements that are so funny that listening to them make them even more side splitting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oh geez...tough one....I would say Kilgore Trout. The name itself, based on Theodore Sturgeon is funny enough but the characterization of a prolific, unread writer is so clever. He appears in several KVJ novels, but this is the one that is the most memorable (to me).


    What about Stanley Tucci’s performance did you like?

    I thought he was great. I honestly am a little put off when I see a famous actor as an Audible Reader (not sure why), but he did a spectacular job. Maybe I think a "name actor" will over act or be too much. He was great.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Movies ruin good books. I hope it is not made into a movie....


    Any additional comments?

    This story arch is where Vonnegut gets his reputation as an innovative writer. I am sure others have done it but not with this style. He deconstructs his characters, until they are not characters at all but self described literary devices for his story. He also uses meta-language to talk about himself and his own work in a way that pulls other novels into this story. This is a post modern approach that supports KVJ's reputation as an innovative, great American writer. It is profound, irreverent, bawdy, provocative and utterly entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DSD Georgia 04-24-13
    DSD Georgia 04-24-13 Listener Since 2009

    Stop listening to other people's opinions and form one of your own. That's sound advice, or not. It all depends on how literal you take it.

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    "Ah...."

    I will say that I do like Kurt Vonnegut's style and more than a handful of his books. His way of writing is like an old friend with sad news that will tell it to you straight. The story itself was Ah... hard to determine.

    I liked certain parts. I liked the writing, but the story feels as though it's missing something. It's interesting, but there is something missing.... I don't know what it is.

    Am I glad I listened to it?
    Of course.
    Will I again sometime in the future.
    Of course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mandy Payne Palm Harbor, Florida 03-31-13
    Mandy Payne Palm Harbor, Florida 03-31-13 Member Since 2008

    Is it just me?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to stay interested"

    Very funny pieces/parts. Some of this made me laugh so hard it hurt. But as much as I wanted to love this book, I found my mind wandering many times. The back and forth of the teller, not the performer, kept losing my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Brooklyn, NY, United States 10-29-12
    Eric Brooklyn, NY, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great subtle performance on a great story."
    What did you love best about Breakfast of Champions?

    I love the way this book describes the world like a tour book for the planet.


    What other book might you compare Breakfast of Champions to and why?

    Champions is a very Vonnegutty book. Its got all of the character depth with the coincidence and great dialogue.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    If you could take any character from Breakfast of Champions out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Rohnert Park, CA, USA 11-02-08
    Alex Rohnert Park, CA, USA 11-02-08
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    "Some things never change"

    Just as wierd, and as relevant, as when I first read it as a teen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-17-04
    07-17-04 Listener Since 2003
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    "You need to be a Vonnegut fan to enjoy"

    On a whim, and based on the high ratings that this book received, I purchased Breakfast of Champions. I have never read or listened to any of Kurt Vonnegut's books. But now, after having listened to this book, I am sure that I never will again. The writing is well written, but the characters are too eccentric and uninteresting to me (I'm sure fans of the author will disagree). I've heard that his fans are loyal (maybe the reason why this book's ratings are high), but listen to the sample first before purchasing.

    14 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Rialto, CA, USA 06-10-07
    Joshua Rialto, CA, USA 06-10-07
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    "No sir - I dont like it"

    I've read other Vonnegut books and have enjoyed them but I had to admit to myself this one wasn't very good. He lightly touched on some of the concepts of earlier books and touched once again on a lot of the things wrong with society as it exists - but those were kept to a minimum. The book was essentially 90% setup and only 10% delivery - the Definition of Anticlimactic.

    And that's why I didn't like it - too much setup....very little delivery.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edmund Lake Worth , FL, USA 08-11-05
    Edmund Lake Worth , FL, USA 08-11-05
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    "Excellent"

    Simply excellent.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Cambridge Springs, PA, United States 12-29-07
    Chad Cambridge Springs, PA, United States 12-29-07 Member Since 2001

    "Programming is an art form that fights back"

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    "Blabber, blabber"

    Im sure Ill be told I just "dont get it", but I dont. I understand what Kurt was saying, but the book was so horribly boring and disconnected. It sounded like the transcript of a heavily sedated crash victim's dream.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
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