Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.
– Kilgore Trout
Kurt Vonnegut always writes books that are extremely weird, sarcastic, hilarious, and delightful, that are chock full of humanity. Breakfast of Champions follows two main characters; a pulp science fiction writer called Kilgore Trout, whose works frequently appear in pornographic magazines, who embarks on a journey from his basement on an invitation from Dr. Eliot Rosewater to attend the Midland City Arts Festival. Already living in Midland City as a successful businessman and Pontiac dealer is Dwayne Hoover, who suffers regularly from the interaction of bad chemicals in his brain, whose destiny is to read Trout’s ridiculous novels and take it as a one hundred percent truth, setting him off on a rampage.
The novel deals with themes of depression, insanity, free will, predestination, social and economic unfairness and cruelty, and race, all dealt with by Vonnegut’s humour and incisive observations. The novel is simple and complex at the time, and it is the second Vonnegut novel that I’ve read and loved, the first being Slaughterhouse Five. I very much look forward to reading some of his other works, like Cat’s Cradle, in the future.