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4,5 von 5 Sternen66
4,5 von 5 Sternen
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am 21. Juli 1999
What makes Vonnegut a true and marvelous master of the human condition and life and everything is his acceptance of the unexplainable. Rather than trying to give reasons and solutions, he simply lays it all out in a vastly entertaining style, and challenges his readers to make something of the mess. Here, with a unspectacular cast of characters whirling around in a lot of nothing, it's really rather amazing how deeply touching and brilliant the story is. Although this has a lot to do with Vonnegut's uncanny ability to poke your mind with subtle points in an obvious fashion, it also has to do with the fact that not everything is glamorous and suspenseful and neat. In fact, very little is. The meeting of Vonnegut and Trout at the end is absolutely classic, I could not stop grinning through the entire encounter, and the book itself is genius. Dare to be cynical with the master.
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am 1. Mai 2000
indeed this is the best anything ever (hence best book ever, man). i choose my close friends with this book. i give it to chums and if they like it, they are in, and if they don't, they are decidedly robots full of bad chemicals.
vonnegut tells you to listen: we are all robots. face it. you are a robot! you may say (and i can hear you now) that vonnegut is cynical for suggesting such a thing. but he is just being honest about our preposterous existence, and if you think that facing up to the truth is cynical, then it is you who is looking at reality in a bad light.
vonnegut is probably laughing and laughing about something silly right now. he is a beautiful robot. i wish he was my friend. i don't know if i've mentionned it already, but this is the best anything ever (even better than the anteater's snout). i kid ye not. word.
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am 19. Mai 2000
American narcissism can be very blinding. Only a few critics see that Andy Warhol's art deals with something more than American consumerism and pop-culture. Kurt Vonnegut's book is only in part an anathema to American provincial life.
If you want to experience Zen stripped of it's Oriental trappings do not miss Breakfast for Champions.
Just like Andy Warhol, Rusin by birth, Vonnegut is an outsider to the American culture. He takes the items of everyday life, choosing these with the maximum layers of idiosyncrasy - used car yards, KFC joints, Holiday Inns - and regals them with the extraterrestrial's stare.
We are born and raised with a certain mental molding, we see the things as they are supposed to be seen. Then something happens. You see hundreds of Marilyn Monroe's faces in Warhol's painting and the pop icon becomes a weird combination of dots, lines and shades. You read Vonnegut and see his drawings of the most familiar objects - and they become as unearthly as Nasca reliefs.
When I had my satori I rode a bus and suddenly became aware of the weird flesh formations on the sides of a fellow passenger's head. Only a part of my brain was storing the name for that phenomenon - "ears". The rest of me was just looking.
All the happenings in the book are just an excuse for showing you that stare. It is an American province, but could be Nairobi slums or Danish boyscout camp. The prose is detached, laconical. If you are looking for "funny" parts you'll find them. But that would be entirely your fault.
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am 4. April 2000
Dig it. I do anyways. Maybe you won't. It's entirely up to taste and whatnot. Vonnegut's story is lovely, and so is Vonnegut's storytelling. Vonnegut tells his tale in a condescending manner. He talks to the world as if we're all a bunch of kids, having to show us little pictures of everything. This storytelling is often hilarious, though it can get annoying to some people. The book is about our rotten, lowly existence. Vonnegut condescends because people are (apparently in Vonnegut's eyes) generally idiots, and Vonnegut is god of this story. He even steps into the story (love it of hate it) and chills out in his own creation. All powerful and completely omniscient, he tells you about everyone and everything in the city. Making for wonderful characterization. By the end, Midway City seems to breathe. Some will love this. Others will be completely annoyed by Vonnegut laughing in their face and his madcap style.
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am 19. Januar 2000
I have read every work Vonnegut has written, and this is by far one of his best works. The characters are all very real, and allow the readers to get to know them. Illustrated by Vonnegut himself, this book is definately easy to read, yet hard to put down. The main character, Kilgore Trout, a Vonnegut favorite (perhaps Vonnegut himslef?) appears in yet another tale. As an aside, some of the books Vonnegut describes that Trout wrote, would make excellent sci-fi books. I'm surprised Vonnegut (or some literary plagarist or hack) hasn't expounded on any of the themes. The book is great, and if any reader has never read Vonnegut, this is a great one to start with. You'll be hooked!
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am 6. Januar 2000
Is it possible to say anything new about a book that has been in print for ~30 years, that has been read by millions, and which is widely studied in schools and universities?
No... but I do want to say that I loved every word (and illustration). You can pick up this old novel and get a very fresh outlook both on the human condition and on how novels ought to be written.
Vonnegut writes like he is explaining life on Earth to alien children. It is a tool that produces incredibly poignant satire, which he uses effectively to give commentary on conditions of life that the vast majority of us accept without even noticing. The language used is very simple but wonderfully lyrical, less-than-average readers will fly right through it.
Although clearly sadenned by his life, and by his observations of the planet, Vonnegut wrote a masterpiece that remains hopeful in its despair.
Kurt Vonnegut is a genius, and will no doubt be recognized as one of the 20th Century's greatest.
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am 9. Juni 1999
I really meant one star, but I didn't want to be immediately labeled as one of those idiots who gives great books a 1 merely because everyone else threw 5's. Breakfast of Champions, though, was self-indulgent, insubtle, rambling drivel that does not deserve any of the applause which people have so eagerly and richly supplied it with. The attempted irony in the book is distorted and monstrously misapplied. I groaned at each new meaningless illustration or transparent and overwrought attempt at novel, unorthodox narration. The whole book is directed at the lowest common denominator. Style over substance. I admire Vonnegut, and have enjoyed his other works, but Breakfast of Champions belongs in the same trash bin with A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving's only garbage novel, yet it is tremendously loved).
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am 15. Juni 1999
Vonnegut, master of the cynical, has written far, far better books than the largely overrated Breakfast of Champions. While the premise is a fantastic one, the actual execution is bad, paling when compared to better novels based on shoddier premises.
The tale builds towards a climatic, gruesome finale...but that finale never comes. Maybe Vonnegut intended to mock readers who *wanted* to see a horrific ending? Possibly...all he suceeded in doing was ruining what could have been a great story. Toss in a wealth of useless drawings - a joke that grows stale after 30 pages or so - and you have a book that could have (and should have) been so much more.
Much of Vonneguts beloved cynicism and wit is still there, the only reason for three stars, but in the end it falls short of what it could have been.
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am 23. Mai 1999
I hadn't read Vonnegut for several years until I picked BOC up recently. It didn't take long to remind me why I used to read him so often years ago: His books personify the type of books I love to read. They are constantly entertaining, while at the same time philosophical and thought-provoking. One of Vonneguts many talents is the ability to write in language that is simple enough to be accessible to the masses, but never "dumbed-down". Vonnegut's anthropoligical approach to this book, that of a detached observer, make for fascinating and powerful examinations of the way humans live and think and behave. This novel was extremely funny, yet always with an undercurrent of immense sadness at how our world has turned out.
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am 19. Januar 1999
Vonnegut is just amazing with his almost naive humor and storytelling. For me, Breakfast was thoroughly stimulating and thought provoking but not to the point of where I was lost (the book renders an intellectual but very comical voice). Vonnegut's amazing style made me a fan with Slaugherhouse-five which completely changed my perspective on the world with the novel's exploration of...well everything that is human and not. But back to the Breakfast... Vonnegut is very creative with writing himself into the story. He takes such a real voice when dealing with his characters and their lives which are really representative of our own. For anyone looking to break the confinds of conventional life, Vonnegut is the way to go.
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