- Publisher: Harperaudio
- ISBN: 9780062314345
- Binding: Compact Disc
- Published: 10/15/2013
- Language: English
- Edition: Unabridged
- Author: Kurt Vonnegut
- Narrator: Stanley Tucci
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut is a strange story. It is almost not a story. Most of it is Kurt describing the universe he is creating for the story rather than progressing the story. His universe is pretty much the universe of the USA in the mid-20th century. It is much like our universe, but not exactly. He breaks the fourth wall repeatedly and joins the story himself. His characters move and think and exist as he creates them. It is a different type of story and a different type of style.
I listened to an older version of the audio-book that may not be available most places anymore.
The story, as much as it exists, is about a struggling science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout, making his way across country to attend an art festival in a small Midwestern town. A rich man in town is slipping into insanity and will come in contact with the author (and with the author) and others. It weaves in and out of the different characters’ lives and stories and does a lot of just describing. In one sense, not a lot happens through most of the book. At first, I was not sure if I liked this. It seemed somewhat arbitrary and unnecessary, but as the book wound on, I found myself thinking about thinking. I found myself thinking about the universe, my universe and Vonnegut’s universe and how they may be similar and how they may be different.
It is dark at times and funny at times with characters who are racist at times and egalitarian at times and classist at times. He holds up a critical mirror (a leak?) to the world and to our society, especially as it was about 50 years ago when this was written, but still too much as it is today. Read it with an open mind and let it take you where it leads. You may still not know where you’ve been, but you are likely to spend some time thinking about the trip.
I am also a struggling science fiction writer. You can find my first novel here: Plastivore: F*ck Around and Find Out