April 21, 2014

Breakfast of Champions: Vonnegut's book, not a breakfast cereal.

This book stars Dwight Hoover, who is locally rich and famous in an Ohio town. 

This book also stars Kilgore Trout, who before being honored by Eliot Rosewater is nowhere famous. 

Actually, Trout is famous because the writer who created him, Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut is famous, and he wrote this book. Vonnegut is also a character in the book, and he knows that he is writing it.
Vonnegut makes Hoover, Trout, and Rosewater his puppets.  It is a fun breaking of third and fourth walls, almost metafictive, and it doesn’t make you feel like Vonnegut is trying to say “Look how clever I am” because he really is clever.  In an understated way. All the characters come together for a thing that happens.  I won’t spoil it for you. 

I first read this when I was in my early 20s. I lay on full-sized mattress as the springs poked me through the cheap foam pad, and I was deep in Vonnegut’s world.  The time passed too fast.  I read it again this weekend, after a dozen years or so. The only difference is that I sat up for the most part, on a comfortable couch I own. That, and I appreciated the drawings differently (There are a number of drawings). The younger version of me liked them because they were a bit risqué. Older me wanted each new drawing to be a new tattoo.