Breakfast of Champions
I picked up a public library card just over a month ago and it’s been a fabulous thing to have. I’ve gotten the chance to read three novels that have long been on my “must-read” list (Chabon’s Wonder Boys, Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides, and Merullo’s A Little Love Story) and just yesterday I picked up a fourth novel, one that I’d read the first few pages of a few years back, and one that I hadn’t really thought about again until yesterday morning: Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions.
It was during the late spring or early summer of 2003 that I first picked up Breakfast of Champions. Stephanie and I were up in Maine, visiting her family, and her brother Alex had the book laying around somewhere. I read through the first few pages, laughed my ass off (if I’m recalling correctly) and then had to put it down for one reason or another. But it turned out that I’d read enough of it for Vonnegut’s unique way with words to have an impact on what I was writing at the time. I turned out that one of the two stories I was working on for my upcoming first semester in the Lesley MFA program came out more than a little bit Vonnegutian (is that even the proper term?). When I explained in workshop at some point what I’d been reading at the time of this particular story’s genesis, something seemed to click for my classmates.
So, it’s nice that I’ll finally have the chance to read the rest of the book. I was in the mood for something a bit different, and so Vonnegut’s where I went. The lovely thing about the library is that, in the end, if I hate it, it didn’t cost me anything. And if, in the end, I like it, it didn’t cost me anything there either. Not costing me anything is the primary quality I look for in a piece of entertainment lately.