Root Beer for Breakfast Or Something Like That

I read a page of Breakfast of Champions while waiting for some water to boil. Somehow, the novel had gone from third-person (for the most part) to first-person since I read it during lunch. (I know that the book is, in some demented fashion, a first-person novel, but at this stage in the book it was primarily third-person. Just roll with it.) I flipped back to the previous chapter to remind myself where the story had made its narrative perspective change. The last chapter was in first-person as well, and further, it was putting a suspicious amount of detail on the stretching habits of a twelve-year-old girl. I found myself more disturbed than usual by Mr. Vonnegut.

Somehow still not cluing in, I read a full page further before remembering that Breakfast of Champions was the novel I read at work. Lolita was the novel I read at home.

They are different books.

Breakfast of Champions is a postmodern somethingorother involving “two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which [is] dying fast.” It is written by Kurt Vonnegut. It looks like this:


Lolita is about a witty pedophile’s obsessive love for a girl-child. It is written by Vladimir Nabokov. I don’t feel like drawing it.

What I read of Breakfast of Lolita wasn’t bad. It was just wrong. Wrong in a different way than Lolita conventionally is.

It was like taking a sip of root beer when you think you’re drinking Coke.

– H.

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