book-reviews

Breakfast of Champions

by Kurt Vonnegut

Rating:★★★

I don't know. Maybe I'm in a fiction funk or something. I can sit outside myself reading this and go "Hah, that was a good line," or "that was pretty clearly heartfelt," or "oh, I see what he's doing, that's kind of clever". And all those things are true. But when I finish the novel and I sit there and ask myself whether it was good, my gut response is, well, meh. Sort of? I guess? It wasn't bad. I didn't feel my time was wasted. It was sort of funny (but a few bits seemed a little crude). It was somewhat poignant (but also a bit indulgent). It was fairly witty (but then, the tone did start to sound more patronising than ironic, and it became a bit predictable). I didn't really get anything out of the pictures, and I somewhat wonder why they were important to include, but then it's not like they were intrusive or annoying.

I sort of like Vonnegut, or at least the persona that comes through his novels. He's a scientific humanist, an author who writes about conflicts without bad guys. His style puts me in mind of Pratchett and Adams (though to be fair it would be better to say I see his influence in them). So I want to like these books more than I seem to. Maybe if I keep reading, I'll find another that impresses me like Mother Night or Player Piano or Sirens of Titan did. Maybe I need a break first, though, to come at him fresh.