I’m giving Breakfast of Champions a longer review than I normally do. The story is three-pronged: Dwayne Hoover is going insane, Kilgore Trout seeks an odd revenge, and Kurt Vonnegut intervenes directly in the story. I won’t summarize the plot. You can read it yourself if you want to know what happens.
I’m resisting this book. Part of me likes it. It’s well-written and witty in parts. The characters are interesting and engaging. Ultimately though, it doesn’t come together. The three stories are just that: Three stories. Nothing really connects them, either in plot or theme. Of the three, two seem completely pointless. The only story that seems to go anywhere is the Vonnegut piece. That bit brings up some interesting thoughts on the nature of writing, characters, and the reality of them. That said, it is not enough.
The Hoover and Trout stories, while tenuously linked to the Vonnegut bit, don’t add enough to justify their existence in the book. I feel like Breakfast of Champions is an amazing short story padded out to novel length. There is brilliance there. Just not enough.
- Vonnegut and absurdism (scoopofclarity.wordpress.com)
- Listen, Kurt Vonnegut Changed Your Life (tor.com)
- Kurt Vonnegut on Breakfast of Champions (wnyc.org)