breakfast of champions

Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions is highly regarded as one of, if not the most, popular of his works. Slaughter House Five is still the best book in Vonnegut’s catalog. Breakfast was a great book none the less. It had humor, wit, and all the Vonnegut charm he always brings to his novels.

Breakfast of Champions is the completely strange journey of two lost souls,who both endure a Katabasis, a personal descent into a real or metaphorical underworld. Lost soul one is Kilgore Trout, a not so famous author who has appeared in other Vonnegut novels.The other lost soul is Dwayne Hoover, formally Dwayne Hobler, changed to avoid the shame of the commonly used black last name in the town of Midland City.  

Dwayne is a Pontiac salesman, Burger Chef franchisee, widower, and a schizophrenic. Trout is an aged man who is perfectly sane compared to Dwayne Hoover. He is wildly published yet, he has more of a cult following.Trout is on his way to Midland to give a speech and is destined to meet up with Dwayne Hoover to completely and utterly destroy his whole view of reality. 

Dwayne ends up crazier and crazier as the story goes on. Trout is hilarious and my favorite part of the book. He has a cynical view of life and certain aspects of life. Kilgore and Dwayne finally meet up, and Dwayne is at his wits end and demands the answer. Trout, fed up with everything at this point, gives him a book about one man who is the only real man alive, the rest of earth’s population being robots and Dwayne is convinced he is this man and goes on a rampage. 

I give Vonnegut’s cynical story of two old men a 3.5 /5. The pictures, which are hand drawn by Vonnegut himself, are a great addition to the novel and one of my favorite parts of the book. Breakfast of Champions just fell off towards the end and was a bit too cynical and seemed to try too hard at what it was doing. I loved the characters and what Vonnegut was trying to do, everything just did not mash up well for me though. Overall, it was a good book and was fun to read. I can recommend it to fans of other Vonnegut works.

A movie rendition of Breakfast of Champions exists that stars Bruce Willis as Dwayne Hoover and Albert Finney as Trout. I hear bad reviews for the film, but I still would enjoy watching it as I always try and watch adaptations of books that I have read.



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