Breakfast of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday

Version: Unabridged
Author: Kurt Jr. Vonnegut
Narrator: Stanley Tucci
Genres: Literature
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published In: October 2013
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 6 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
Tell Your Friends:

Overview

Kurt Vonnegut was a master of contemporary American literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America's attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as "a true artist"* with Cat's Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene has declared, "one of the best living American writers."

Breakfast of Champions is vintage Vonnegut. One of his favorite characters, aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. The result is murderously funny satire as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.

*The New York Times

Reviews (15)

Breakfast of Champions

Written by Flow1959 from MacOmb, IL on January 13th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great book. I was disappointed by the quality of the discs I was sent. I could not listen to them on my car cd players because they kept skipping, even though I cleaned the discs thoroughly. But I thoroughly enjoyed the book and reading.

Breakfast of Champions

Written by reed on February 28th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Is there anything lower than a 1? This is really a stupid book. I listened to the first 2 CDs before I packaged it up and sent it back.

Breakfast of Champions

Written by BKB from Adelanto, CA on June 4th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This was my first venture in to a Kurt Vonnegut book. His use of language is often course and even perversely ironic at times. While it seems the story is just shuffling along, everything has meaning. As a writer myself, I found this book to be liberating. Mr. Vonnegut obviously has little regard for literary rules and this book makes for a wonderfully rebellious romp into Fairy Land. I don't see this as a magnificent commentary on society, he had his political and social ideas I'm sure, but most in this book are presented so as to shock. I'm reminded of Allen Ginsberg. Be warned, words that make fine folks cringe and run for the cover of their comfy political and religious organizations are used throughout and etc...

Breakfast of Champions

Written by Anonymous on March 15th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I read many of Vonnegut's books over 30 years ago. It was a delight to revisit his style. This book was every thing I remembered from his books. Funny, entertaining, quick moving. A fun book to listen to. I listened to it twice - back to back.

Not his best work

Written by Mary Richards from Janesville, WI on February 5th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I am a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut's. I have read many of his other books. I hadn't yet read this one because the 1999 film was so atrocious. I won't say this was a BAD book. I am still giving it 3 out of 5 stars. I did really enjoy parts of it. But his excessive use of the word "nigger" really put me off. I can't really see any artistic reason for it. And it wasn't as though he was painting certain characters as racists by their use of the word. He as the narrator used it quite often. If it was meant as satire, it failed, in my opinion. From what I know of Kurt Vonnegut, he was not a racist. So I don't get it. If someone else can explain that to me, I would appreciate it.

Kilgore Trout...a better name for the book

Written by Barbara from York, PA on October 17th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I was told this probably wasn't the best Vonnegut book to start off with, even though I have always heard such great things about his writing. It was okay if you can keep up with the satire. I wouldn't say it was murderously funny.

Breakfast

Written by ML from Carrollton, TX on August 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I've had several weeks to let this book settle in my mind, and yet, I still have a hard time coming up with a review for it. It is off-the-wall humor, social satire, and confusing, yet something I couldn't put down. For your first foray into Vonnegut I would suggest something else, but for those Vonnegut fans out there this is definitely one to add to the bookshelf!

Martini, anyone?

Written by Anonymous on August 8th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

After reading Slaughterhouse 5 for college, I was looking forward to my next Vonnegut read. I have mixed feelings now that I finished Breakfast of Champions. Definitely Vonnegut's sense of humor is unique- and not for every reader! Overall I enjoyed the subtle (and not so subtle) irony and humor in the novel. A few places were a bit slow (not good when driving), and others seemed as though they'd been edited (just seemed like something got left out). And so it goes. Have to love Trout though- he's the literary version of a Medieval jester!

Breakfast of Champions

Written by Anonymous on August 23rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I chose my titles carefully and try and sample a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. This is the first time I've ever mailed the CD back after listening to only one disk. What unmitigated pomposity stains Vonnegut's book. This shallow book cannot hide under the rubric of "irony". UGH!

One of the best books i've ever read

Written by ctchrinthry from Oak Park, IL on January 23rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

From the outset, this book challenges the reader, which obviously isn't to everyone's taste. The entire books drips with irony, and the main character/author is known to be sarcastic at times, and it's made clear the main character is the author. There's so much happening every minute of the book that you'll want to listen to this again.

Author Details

Author Details

Vonnegut, Kurt

Writer, novelist. Born on November 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kurt Vonnegut is considered one of the most influential American novelists of the twentieth century. He blended literature with science fiction and humor, the absurd with pointed social commentary. Vonnegut created his own unique world in each of his novels and filled them with unusual characters, such as the alien race known as the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).


After studying at Cornell University from 1940 to 1942, Kurt Vonnegut enlisted the U.S. Army. He was sent by the army to what is now Carnegie Mellon University to study engineering in 1943. The next year, he served in Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After this battle, Vonnegut was captured and became a prisoner of war. He was in Dresden, Germany, during the Allied firebombing of the city, and saw the complete devastation caused by it. Vonnegut himself only escaped harm because he, along with other POWs, was working in an underground meat locker making vitamins.


Soon after his return from the war, Kurt Vonnegut married his high school girlfriend, Jane Marie Cox. The couple had three children. He worked several jobs before his writing career took off, including newspaper reporter, teacher, and public relations employee for General Electric. The Vonneguts also adopted his sister’s three children after her death in 1958.

Showing his talent for satire, his first novel, Player Piano, took on corporate culture and was published in 1952. More novels followed, including The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), and Cat’s Cradle (1963). War remained a recurring element in his work and one of his best-known works, Slaughterhouse-Five, draws some of its dramatic power from his own experiences. The narrator, Billy Pilgrim, is a young soldier who becomes a prisoner of war and works in an underground meat locker, not unlike Vonnegut, but with a notable exception. Pilgrim begins to experience his life out of sequence and revisits different times repeatedly. He also has encounters with the Tralfamadorians. This exploration of the human condition mixed with the fantastical struck a cord with readers, giving Vonnegut his first best-selling novel.


Emerging a new literary voice, Kurt Vonnegut became known for his unusual writing style—long sentences and little punctuation—as well as his humanist point of view. He continued writing short stories and novels, including Breakfast of Champions (1973), Jailbird (1979), and Deadeye Dick (1982). Vonnegut even made himself the subject of Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage (1981).
Despite his success, Kurt Vonnegut wrestled with his own personal demons. Having struggled with depression on and off for years, he attempted to take his own life in 1984. Whatever challenges he faced personally, Vonnegut became a literary icon with a devoted following. He counted writers such as Joseph Heller, another WWII veteran, as his friends.

His last novel was Timequake (1997), which became a best seller despite receiving mixed reviews. Kurt Vonnegut chose to spend his later years working on nonfiction. His last book was A Man Without a Country, a collection of biographical essays. In it, he expressed his views on politics and art as well as shed more light on his own life.


Kurt Vonnegut died on April 12, 2007, at the age of 84 as a result of head injuries sustained in a fall at his home in New York a few weeks earlier. He is survived by his second wife, photographer Jill Krementz, and their adopted daughter Lily as well as his six children from his first marriage.

Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.

Kurt Vonnegut was a master of contemporary American Literature. His black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America's attention in "The Siren's of Titan" in 1959 and established him as "a true artist" with "Cat's Cradle" in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene has declared, "one of the best living American writers."