For his 50th birthday American author Kurt Vonnegut wrote himself a book. Breakfast of Champions is a strange work of fiction, complete with raggedy sketches and repetitive lines such as “Goodbye Blue Mondays!” The story is anchored by one Kilgore Trout, who is inherently suspicious of everything and everyone. Hard to like, Trout stubbornly charts his own path.

You laugh out loud at the book’s brilliance, but you also almost cry at its brutally honest take on reality. Vonnegut’s present to himself ended up being a gift to the world (or, at least, to this reader)...

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