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Breakfast of Champions de Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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Breakfast of Champions (1973 original; edició 2000)

de Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
15,002146301 (3.99)262
The author questions the condition of modern man in this novel depicting a science fiction writer's struggle to find peace and sanity in the world.
Membre:divrom
Títol:Breakfast of Champions
Autors:Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Informació:Vintage, Paperback, 296 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Esmorzar de campions de Kurt Vonnegut (1973)

  1. 50
    El món segons Garp de John Irving (soffitta1)
    soffitta1: Both are left-field, with overlap in themes.
  2. 40
    The Hotel New Hampshire de John Irving (readandride)
  3. 30
    Escorxador-5 de Kurt Vonnegut (esswedl)
    esswedl: Both of these Vonnegut novels involve the question of free will (and both are great).
  4. 10
    Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe de Bill Bryson (sombrio)
  5. 00
    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest de Ken Kesey (sturlington)
  6. 00
    Mist de Miguel de Unamuno (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Books in which the author appears as himself and interacts with the characters while manipulating their fates.
  7. 01
    Something Happened de Joseph Heller (ateolf)
  8. 01
    Kurt Vonnegut's crusade; or, How a postmodern harlequin preached a new kind of humanism de Todd F. Davis (pyrocow)
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The story Vonnegut tells in Breakfast of Champions isn’t the most compelling, but his commentary on America is blistering, and just as dead-on in 2022 as it was in 1973.

First and foremost, he is upfront about the two monstrous sins in America’s past, genocide and slavery, and the hypocrisy of the country never fully owning up them, yet passing itself off as a virtuous beacon of freedom. How fantastic is it that nearly 50 years ago he was casting the “discovery” of America in 1492 in a very different light, calling it “the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them [other human beings].” “Color was everything,” in America, he says, meaning including the present day, and “The chief weapon of the sea pirates was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was much too late, how heartless and greedy they were.”

Vonnegut also comments on capitalistic greed and the country’s “every man for himself” attitude, resulting in extreme cruelty to other people and a destruction of the environment. There is a fossil fuel company called Rosewater in the book that strips the land and treats workers like animals, which reminded me of the real-world Duke Power. He points out the unfairness in the distribution of wealth, including those like Nelson Rockefeller who “owned or controlled more of the planet than many nations…his destiny since infancy.” On these points and others (racism, the patriarchy, commercialism) the book is still incredibly relevant today, which is as depressing as it is impressive.

Vonnegut also reveals a fair amount of pessimism about humanity as a whole, through his character Kilgore Trout believing that “humanity deserved to die horribly, since it had behaved so cruelly and wastefully on a planet so sweet.” He points out mankind’s inherent and dangerous tribalism when he says “Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, on order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with friends, in order to express enmity.” He was 51 when he wrote the book, in the period of life when it does get difficult to remain sanguine about the human race.

The book starts incredibly strong, but it meanders as it plays out, and Vonnegut inserting his own illustrations often didn’t add much. However, the references to his personal life, including his mother’s suicide and his own struggles with mental health, were touching though. All in all, definitely a good read.

Just one more quote, on America:
“The undippable [American] flag was a beauty, and the anthem and the vacant motto [E pluribus unum] might not have mattered much, if it weren’t for this: a lot of citizens were so ignored and cheated and insulted that they thought they might be in the wrong country, or even on the wrong planet, that some terrible mistake had been made. It might have comforted them some if their anthem and their motto had mentioned fairness or brotherhood or hope or happiness, had somehow welcomed them to the society and its real estate.” ( )
1 vota gbill | May 1, 2022 |
Wonderfully inventive and never less than fascinating. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
As a "gift to himself on his 50th birthday" it seemed that he ran out of steam rather than take time to finish properly. But perhaps that was part of the gift; just let it happen how it did and not worry about it. ( )
  mjduigou | Feb 27, 2022 |
I’d read Slaughter House 5 decades ago and recall really enjoying it. I was really looking forward to reading Vonnegut again but I found Breakfast of Champions…tedious. This would’ve been a DNF, except…it was Vonnegut.

Heading into this, I anticipated John Malkovich’s voice to be perfect for Vonnegut…but now am not so sure; I can’t decide if Malkovich was perfect for this…or if his voice amplified the tedium.

The best part of this work when when the narrator revealed to Kilgore Trout that he was a character in a book; maybe if the book had spent more time on this.

And I know humor is subjective; I didn’t find Vonnegut’s attempted humor humorous. ( )
  jimgosailing | Nov 18, 2021 |
I always forget how much I enjoy Vonnegut's writing (I'm sure that I've stated that before), even if his stories themselves are totally all over the place. As with the rest of his books, this story was really just a structure for his rambling, crazy, ideas; most of them are still hold up well even now, 40 years after publication (i.e. "West Point is a school that turns young men into homicidal maniacs"), while others haven't aged quite as well (i.e. All of the references to Black people using a certain slur.)

Audiobook notes - This is the first audiobook that I've listened to that was narrated by John Malkovich, and while his narration was excellent in itself, the production was a little rough in the earlier parts - his in-breathing was very loud, as was the turning of the pages. ( )
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Vonnegut, Kurtautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Malkovich, JohnNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zanon, CássiaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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When he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
-JOB
Dedicatòria
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In Memory of Phoebe Hurty,
who comforted me in Indianapolis--
during the Great Depression
.
Primeres paraules
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This is the tale of a meeting of two lonely, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.
Citacions
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Roses are red and ready for plucking; you’re sixteen and ready for high school.
Here is a picture of a wide open beaver.
Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe.
The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
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The author questions the condition of modern man in this novel depicting a science fiction writer's struggle to find peace and sanity in the world.

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