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Breakfast Of Champions (Unabridged) Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Feb 11 2004
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"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who's really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity--both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut's pure fantasy, it lacks the shimmering, fact-fueled rage that illuminates Slaughterhouse-Five. At the same time, that makes this book perhaps more enjoyable to read.
Breakfast of Champions is a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973, with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion. The book follows its main character, auto-dealing solid-citizen Dwayne Hoover, down into madness, a condition brought on by the work of the aforementioned Kilgore Trout. As Dwayne cracks, then crumbles, Breakfast of Champions coolly shows the effects his dementia has on the web of characters surrounding him. It's not much of a plot, but it's enough for Vonnegut to air unique opinions on America, sex, war, love, and all of his other pet topics--you know, the only ones that really count. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Vonnegut performs considerable complex magic... Fresh, funny, outrageous...he very nearly levitates" New York Times "A great deal of wit and playfulness...an entire universe of disorder is distilled" Guardian "Outrageous, witty, thought-provoking, unputdownable, scintillating, invigorating, ennobling, enlightening and masterly" Spectator "Brilliant... It seems, at times, as if Voltaire has returned to satirise the horrors of plastic, disposable America" Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There are at least four main themes in this book, and the way Vonnegut weaves them together is both masterful and unorthodox. (In no particular order) the first theme is of madness - Dwayne Hoover has finally fallen victim to the chemicals in his brain, and much of the narrative unfolds around his descent into lunacy and violence. The second theme is that of the alienation of modern-day life, as a despairing Kilgore Trout makes his "Pilgrim's Progress" across small-town USA, and Wayne Hoobler spends the novel waiting pathetically for his dreams to come true while standing by a Holiday Inn dumpster. The third theme is on the meaning of all art, both in Rabo Karabekian's stunning exposition on modern painting, and on Vonnegut's own musings about the point of writing a novel (which occurs within the narrative).
And the final theme, binding it all together, is that of love and connection. As is found in many of Vonnegut's works, he argues that the giving and receiving of love is the only thing that makes our otherwise meaningless lives valuable. Many people miss this point when they read Vonnegut, and hence come away feeling Vonnegut is a very bitter man. If you see this, you'll discover he is actually a deeply compassionate one.
I have read this book many times, and each time come away with a new insight. Read it and treasure it.
Vonnegut inserts himself into the book as God. He also describes the genitals of characters and gave himself the world's widest how do you do. Other types of insanity can be found in this book and it's worth reading just to encounter it. Vonnegut's style is simplistic and lucid, which means that this is a book that one can finish quickly.
There's no need to buy it because it can be found at your library. The one I frequent, for example, has three copies of this book and two shelves dedicated entirely to Vonnegut.
Also, try "Clockwork Orange," "The Bark of the Dogwood," and "Cat's Cradle."
Most recent customer reviews
Vonnegut's unique style and wild imagination makes this story worthwhile reading. It is hilarious, strange, bizarre and curious but always interesting. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Yvan Clermont
I came late to Kurt Vonnegut but Youtube Conferences are responsible for my late arrival in the K.V. continent. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jean-pierre Petits
I am a huge Vonnegut fan, but I have to say that this one didn't do it for me.
Maybe it's because "Cat's Cradle" or "Slaughter house 5" and many others... Read more
Bought this as a gift for a voracious reader....it was on his wish list so I got it for him. He devoured it in a day. Like I mentioned...a voracious reader.Published on April 23 2013 by Marie Lennox
If you like satire, it doesn't get any better. The things Vonnegut comes up with is just unbelievable, he's got to be the most creative writer ever. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2011 by Mektwist
Such a funny, clever book. When I start getting bored with reading, I always pick up a Vonnegut book. If it doesn't spark your interest, nothing will. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2007 by Benjamin Anderson
this was my first vonnegut book, but it certainly won't be the last. this was a wonderful book on free will and how we choose to see the world and our ever eternal fight against... Read morePublished on July 4 2007 by elfdart