Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut [Book Thoughts]

-> Listen: Breakfast of Champions is a harsh tour of mankind. Powerful and depressing and so on. For Vonnegut’s admirers: bitter food for thought, for others: poison to be avoided.
-Imran

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Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

-> Kurt Vonnegut is a writing machine that coverts food and sunlight into literature. He’s not made-up. And he wrote Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five and so on. Before he wrote those he was in the army and didn’t write doodley-squat. The army is a bunch of people that are trained to kill other people. Kurt Vonnegut saw a lot of people killed in Dresden Germany. Then he became a writing machine and converted all of that into books. And so on.

-> Listen: Breakfast of Champions isn’t about breakfast. It’s about Philboyd Studge. Studge tells us about two meat machines named Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover. Kilgore Trout is a writer of some 200+ novels that nobody wants to read. His stories only get published as filler material in pornographic magazines about beavers. A beaver looks like this:

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-> Dwayne Hoover is a fabulously well-to-do business man who owns an auto dealership, a tourist hotspot and an inn amongst other businesses. He started out as an orphan. An orphan is a person with no parents. Dwayne Hoover has some bad chemicals in his brain. And when he reads one of Kilgore Trout’s books it’s going to throw him over the edge into a violent rampage. Trout’s book is letter to the reader that they are the only person with free will on the entire planet and that everyone else is a robot. It was probably a bad idea to write this book. Because someone with bad chemicals might read it. And so on.

-> Listen: Breakfast of Champions is also about other things. It’s about America and global culture. It’s about race, and sex, and violence, and wealth, and poverty, and mental illness, and advertising, and slavery, and consumerism, and cows. A cow is an animal that looks like this:

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-> Breakfast of Champions also has drawings in it too in case you get bored. Hopefully you won’t. The book is pretty good. And so on. It reads like an alien describing Earth and mankind to his fellows. Humanity is related to the reader without any justification or context. It’s fascinating. It’s also about writing. And characters. The line between truth and fiction blurs and then dissolves and then vanishes entirely until truth is fiction and fiction is truth.

-> Eliot Rosewater from God Bless You, Mr Rosewater shows up. Breakfast of Champions feels like the brother of that book. Read them together. But be careful. Both of them are depressing. If you have bad chemicals I wouldn’t recommend them. The book is poisonous like The Picture of Dorian Gray. It’s powerful like much of Vonnegut’s work. It might make you irritable or moody and so on. Read if you have a deep interest in Vonnegut’s writings. It’s great. But otherwise avoid it like the plague.

-> Listen: Breakfast of Champions is a harsh tour of mankind. Powerful and depressing and so on. For Vonnegut’s admirers: bitter food for thought, for others: poison to be avoided.

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