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Breakfast of Champions

I just finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's - Breakfast of Champions this morning, and I was left feeling a little short-changed. I thoroughly enjoyed Cat's Cradle and liked Slaughter House Five, but this book just didn't satisfy my appetite for a whacky and thought-provoking tale.

I think this book may have been geared more towards writers, as the main character is a science-fiction writer and towards the end of the book the author even inserts himself in the story. Many artists or pieces of art have been described as being for other artists, and so are best appreciated by them. James Joyce, Miguel de Cervantes and Paul Auster are writers I put in that category, creating novels that explore writing itself. Kurt Vonnegut I don't put in that category, but this book does seem to explore the relationship between the author, the story and its characters. There are other aspects to the story that tie into that, but I believe that is the most significant experiment of the book, creating a fictional story that explores the reality between writers and their creations.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
I last read Vonnegut a very, very long time ago, but from what I remember, you've hit the nail on the head with the "geared towards writers" part of it -- I think every author of a certain mindset writes at least one book that nobody will understand but a writer. :)

Have you read Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus trilogy? That might fit the whacky and thought-provoking category...
Feb. 1st, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)
I haven't read either of those authors, thanks for the recommendation.
Feb. 1st, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I wonder about that phenomenon of writers writing about writing and other writers. I don't mind it so much since I want to be a writer, but sometimes it gets too self-reflective and self-indulgent. But, if you're supposed to write what you know, and all you've ever done is write...

That's why I like my writers to have lived some life outside their grad school creative writing program. Or at least be good at pretending they have.
Feb. 1st, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
I think the difference sometimes is that there are writers who wants to be artists, and there are writers who want to entertain or engage an audience. The former tend to be elitist, want recognition only from their peers and don't necessarily need a lot of worldly experience. While the latter require worldy experience or insight to connect with a large and diverse audience.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )