Breakfast of Champions

This is a tale of a meeting of two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.

A novel about a novelist writing a novel in realtime—very meta.

“Mr. Trout,” I said, “I am a novelist, and I created you for use in my books.” “Pardon me?” he said. “I’m your Creator,” I said. “You’re in the middle of a book right now—close to the end of it, actually.” “Um,” he said. “Are there any questions you’d like to ask?” “Pardon me?” he said.

Bonnie limited herself to telling about Dwayne’s dog, Sparky, who couldn’t wag his tail. “So he has to fight all the time,” she said. “Wonderful,” said Karabekian. He turned to Beatrice. “I’m sure you can use that somewhere.” “As a matter of fact, I can,” said Beatrice. “That’s an enchanting detail.” “The more details the better,” said Karabekian. “Thank God for novelists. Thank God there are people willing to write everything down. Otherwise, so much would be forgotten!” He begged Bonnie for more true stories.

Vonnegut is so original, so sharp, funny, and yet deeply dark and existential.

They had grown up in the rural south of the nation, where their ancestors had been used as agricultural machinery. The white farmers down there weren’t using machines made out of meat anymore, though, because machines made out of metal were cheaper and more reliable, and required simpler homes.

Trout asked him what it had felt like to work for an industry whose business was to destroy the countryside, and the old man said he was usually too tired to care.

It even answers the big existential questions:

To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool.

And even gives investing tips:

All of us were stuck to the surface of a ball, incidentally. The planet was ball-shaped. Nobody knew why we didn’t fall off, even though everybody pretended to kind of understand it. The really smart people understood that one of the best ways to get rich was to own a part of the surface people had to stick to.