This is one of the most unique books I have ever read. When I finished it, I was honestly speechless. And once I finally overcame that initial shock, my first thought was: what the heck did I just read?
I feel like Vonnegut wrote down and incorporated every single idea—no matter how small or irrelevant—that popped into his head as he crafted the adventures of Kilgore Trout and Dwayne Hoover, the two protagonists who were as relatable as they were outrageous. The story was narrated erratically, with frequent explanations of minute details that would interrupt the action but develop the context. Despite the chaos, the plot somehow managed to maintain a sense of flow, which I found extremely impressive given the style. While this book may initially only seem like a jumbled collection of storylines and random facts, it’s actually an artistic commentary on many serious topics: American society, greed, the stigma surrounding mental illness, creation, and the purpose of life. It takes a very talented writer to pull off a book this eccentric, and Vonnegut definitely makes the cut.
It’s not a beach read, in the sense that it’s neither light-hearted nor carefree. The language is pretty easy to follow, but the ideas require moderate thinking. Without giving away too much of the plot, I will reveal: this book is extremely meta. There are some crude and inappropriate parts, but the drawings—yes, there are pictures—aren’t, so you don’t have to worry about your great-aunt opening to a random page and seeing a cartoon phallus (though there is mention of them in the text itself, so be wary).
“Breakfast of Champions” is very different. I didn’t necessarily like it, but I definitely appreciated it. If you’re looking for something new, I can assure you: it’s far from ordinary.