Breakfast of Champions
By Kurt Vonnegut
(Dial Press Trade Paperback, Paperback, 9780385334204, 1999, 320pp.)
The Short of It:
A wildly confusing romp through silliness.
The Rest of It:
Vonnegut fans will chew me up and spit me out over this one, but man oh man… what a crazy book!
Dwayne Hoover is a business man who happens to be losing his mind. Kilgore Trout is a struggling science fiction writer who ends up winning the Nobel Prize. On his way to the Midland City arts festival, Kilgore encounters Dwayne in the cocktail lounge of a Holiday Inn. After being introduced to Kilgore’s work, Dwayne believes that the message within Kilgore’s book is one directed toward him personally and he completely comes undone. A lot happens, but after injuring dozens of people and biting off Kilgore’s finger, Dwayne ends up in a mental hospital.
Clearly, I missed the message with this one and I am always searching for a message when I read. But this one was just way, way out there. Too much for my over-addled brain to compute at the time. If I rated this one on entertainment factor alone, I’d rate it pretty highly but what was with all the penis talk? Penis size is apparently a big deal to Vonnegut as it was mentioned often. Say, every few pages or at least it felt like it. For me though, entertainment factor alone wasn’t enough.
That said, this would be a great book for a book club to pick apart. I’ve talked to some other readers and they all say that this is not his best work. I’ll definitely read something else by him, but this one I can’t recommend unless you want to experience an acid trip without actually dropping acid.
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