1973 1st edition, 3rd printing; Delacorte Press publishers, New York; hardbound in red cloth boards with gilt stamp signature on cover and gilt lettering on spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket good with minor dings on edges - see pics.
Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday is a 1973 novel and the seventh novel by the American author Kurt Vonnegut. Set predominantly in the fictional town of Midland City, Ohio. It focuses on two characters: Dwayne Hoover, a Midland resident, Pontiac dealer and affluent figure in the city and Kilgore Trout, a widely published but mostly unknown science fiction author. Breakfast of Champions has themes of free will, suicide, and race relations among others.
Kilgore Trout is a widely published, but otherwise unsung and virtually invisible writer who is invited to deliver a keynote address at a local arts festival in distant Midland City. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy businessman who owns much of Midland City, but is becoming increasing mentally unstable. The novel is achronological and frequently shifts focus between Hoover and Trout, as well as supporting characters like Hoover's son, Bunny, Wayne Hoobler, a man who wants to work under Hoover, and Kurt Vonnegut himself, who appears as the author of the book, having power over the will and actions over his characters. "The novel's structure is a simple one", as Jerome Klinkowitz has written, "yet it employs simultaneously evolving plots from different times and spaces." Early on, Vonnegut as narrator/creator says he's going to purge himself of mental clutter, and, throughout the novel, can be found examining and refuting disparate concepts, from the 'discovery' of the new world in 1492 to euphemisms for genitalia.
When Trout arrives in Midland City, he piques the interest of Dwayne. A confused Dwayne demands a message from Trout, who hands over a copy of a novel he brought for the festival. Dwayne reads the novel, which depicts a message from the Creator of the Universe explaining that the reader – in this case Dwayne – is the only individual in the universe with [[free will] and that everyone else is a machine. Dwayne believes the novel to be factual and immediately goes on a violent rampage, severely beating his son, his lover, and nine other people before being taken into custody. While Trout is walking to the now cancelled festival (he is not aware of this fact) after Dwayne's rampage, the Vonnegut approaches Trout. The narrator tells Trout of his existence and lets Trout be free and under his own will. Trout begs to be made young again, a request which Vonnegut ignores as he leaves his book's setting, only leaving behind a full page of a caricature of himself crying.