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Plot summary: ‘Breakfast of Champions’ by Kurt Vonnegut

June 4th, 2009 No comments

Breakfast of Champions, by... Bruce Willis?Breakfast of champions is about a young farm boy named Yigg who has one eye on a stalk. He is also green — sometimes purple. When the hay harvest is ready, Yigg decides he no longer likes eating hay puffs and goes on a quest for better cereals. Tragically his eye stalk is severed. Blind, disoriented, still without cereal, Yigg comes upon a wise woman. The wise woman tells him that he can actually see. Heartened, Yigg presses on and falls into a well. It turns out he couldn’t see after all; the woman was a charlatan. Yigg dies a lonely death. Someone else gets cereal, but not him. When his spirit comes before Saint Peter, the whole narrative self-implodes in a wild burst of illogic (as this is a Vonnegut novel; Saint Peter simply has no place here). A tornado sweeps through heaven, casting Yigg down to his home planet, which, if you had not yet guessed, turns out to be Mars. The wells are running dry; the canals are barren. There is still no cereal. Yigg becomes a bull fighter. Since he is still blind, this ends poorly. Finally a bird arrives with news of a verdant land. Yigg, reconciled to his blindness, makes his way there with aid of a hurley stick and a seeing eye creature named Bono (no relation). A musical song & dance number ensues, but is interrupted by Martian bears. Not one of the dancers survives. Their gory remains fertilize the land. Wheat germinates. Yigg, regenerated (Martians can regenerate), harvests it and threshes it on a flat blue rock. The remaining seeds are added to a milky substance exuded by the local foliage. Yigg, having persevered, enjoys his breakfast. FIN.

In the spirit of misattributing texts on the intertr0nz to Kurt Vonnegut, I wrote this completely inaccurate plot summary of Breakfast of Champions this morning for a co-worker who made the mistake of asking me what the book was about.