🇺🇸 Learn English the Hard Way with “Breakfast of Champions”

Chances are you are looking for improving your English language comprehension through reading books.

I know the drill. Take me right to the sentences.

Feel like upping your game and start catching the slightest subtleties of English?

Look no further.

However, there is a catch.


Who is this article intended for?

For English language learners, as they, all too often, tend to skip a lot of subtleties while reading books / reading stories / reading comics / watching movies /watching game movies, thus slowing down and negating their language progress. I

The catch has to do with the “THE HARD WAY” of learning English, right?

I can’t promise improving your English through this article will be easy, but I promise it will be worth it, provided you work through ALL THE SENTENCES down below. And by the way, to make it even more challenging for you, no answers are given and you are to find them on your own. There’s a reason this article is called “Learn English the Hard Way”, don’t you think?

Still no clue what I’m supposed to do…

If you’re still not really sure what’s going on here, I highly recommend you read the description of “Learn English the Hard Way” challenge.

russia-flag Для чего эта статья и что нужно здесь делать?

По своему опыту могу сказать, что когда в освоении английского приходишь на всё готовенькое, то интеллектуально расслабляешься и не особо вникаешь в детали и тонкости языка.

А вот когда, мы “пропускаем язык через себя”…

  1. внимательное чтение книг, просмотр фильмов, т.д… не знаем, что то или то означает, почему так написано, вообще не догоняем, что происходит, значит отмечаем находку
  2. анализ “любопытных” предложений, конструкций, выражений (грамматика и прагматика наши лучшие друзья)
  3. прогонка проработанного материала через правое полушарие
  4. задействование “освоенных” предложений, конструкций, выражений на письме, в устной речи (идеально, с носителями языка)
    …то результаты будут совершенно иными, нежели чем “со всем готовеньким”.

А именно, выработка силы воли, языковой интуиции, внимательности, любопытства и реальное улучшение навыка английского языка.

Ниже представлены предложения, которые заинтриговали меня при прочтении книги / прочтении рассказа / прочтении комикса / просмотре фильма / просмотре игрофильма. То есть, я сделал первый пункт из четырех выше и поделился результатами с Вами. За Вами остаются остальные три.


If you feel like up to the challenge, then below is my list of the cherry-picked sentences with curious grammar and vocabulary findings from the book “Breakfast of Champions”.

Study hard!

and they wished to show off their useless education, which consisted of the study of hocus-pocus from ancient times.

They had sold everything that was any good

Hey—guess what: You’re the only creature with free will. How does that make you feel?

And, after Dwayne was carted off to a lunatic asylum in a canvas camisole

…. about the end of the world. “Any time now,” he would say. “And high time, too.

There was no immunity to cuckoo ideas on Earth.

since it had behaved so cruelly and wastefully on a planet so sweet.

And Trout would reply waggishly, “Where I come from, that means you’re about to steal a mirror.”

Dwayne Hoover had oodles of charm.

The space travelers weren’t able to offer much in the way of material assistance

Kago did not know that human beings could be as easily felled by a single idea as by cholera or the bubonic plague

Ideas might as well be badges as anything.

And then Earthlings discovered tools. Suddenly agreeing with friends could be a form of suicide or worse.

Get a load of this.” And then he read the letter.

He beseeched him to be one of several distinguished out-of-town participants in the Festival

When illuminated inside at night, it resembled a rising harvest moon.

Fred T. Barry didn’t even look like a white man anymore, even though he was of pure English stock.

Fred T. Barry explained that this was for travel expenses and an honorarium

If I owned what he owns, I’d sing, too,

and Dwayne has changed. You ask Vernon Garr.

Harry LeSabre was entitled to talk about combat. He had been in actual combat in a war.

he felt that you were man enough and friend enough to put up with him on one of his few bad days

And you dress and act like this was a mortuary!

has just announced that it is no longer a crime to smile during working hours

When Dwayne razzed him about the clothes he wore to work

policemen would point their guns at criminals and say, “Stop” or whatever the situation called for

But Dwayne elected to shoot up one of his tiled bathrooms instead

After a while, the actors couldn’t eat any more. They were so stuffed that they were goggle-eyed.

But there were thousands upon thousands of other people in the city who bought bad chemicals and ate them

In one of New York City’s many ghettos for dark-skinned people

Dwayne pulled open his floor-to-ceiling draperies for a moment

Up your ass with Mobil gas

Trout watched him shovel waffles and pork sausage into his mouth, watched him guzzle orange juice and milk.

Dwayne fiddled with his lapel for a moment, felt a badge pinned there

he wasn’t merely polishing the car—he was burnishing it.

“How’s it going, fella?” Governor Rockefeller asked him.

About the same,” said Kilgore Trout.

“Hot enough for you, Alfy?” he would say.

Where you been keeping yourself, Alfy?” he’d say.

From what you’ve seen and heard—the people who get aluminum siding, are they happy with what they get?”

I mean—this thing can go a hundred miles an hour, if it has to.


Trout saw a broken guardrail ahead.

America was jazzed with electricity for a while

Coal had also powered old-fashioned steamboats and choo-choo trains

He supposed that the heartrending cries had fled into outer space

you never get out of ’em—even when you sleep. I dream mines.

Why would anybody in his right mind go to Midland City?

I had some words with the policeman, and he put me in jail.

So I sat there in the calaboose for two days, with nothing to do but read my toilet paper.

“The Festival could give me a brand new viewpoint on life!” he said.

That’s what it’s for,” said Francine.

and Dwayne was reminded of a ditty his father would sing sometimes

So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines

and give them flunking grades and so on whenever they failed to speak like English aristocrats

The Bannister had been turned into a cut-rate furniture store

The machine was idle now, caked with mud

Jimmy Valentine in the other writer’s books sandpapered his fingertips, so they were extrasensitive

Children who wanted to know where babies came from were sometimes told that they were brought by storks.

There was talk of giving them very cheap dope, too—to keep them listless and cheerful, and uninterested in reproduction

Let’s split to a condominium on Maui and live for a change

Kilgore Trout, hitchhiking westward, ever westward, had meanwhile become a passenger in a Ford Galaxie

The man in control of the Galaxie also sold large spools for wire and cable and rope

The driver didn’t hear him, and Trout let it go.

The bear was attempting to get a line on why The Man did what he did.

was proud of its dentistry program. It was such a famous dental program, in fact, that it had been written up in medical journals

The used cars were all locked up tight for the night.

Drivers and passengers got out of their cars—to stretch their legs and find out, if they could, what the trouble was up ahead.

a would-be creator who had failed and failed.

and you will respond so grotesquely that there will be talk of putting you in the booby hatch

Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their made-up tales.

Bonnie detested Karabekian, but she was as sweet as pie to him.

a human being who was so full of arrows that he looked like a porcupine

I no more harbored sacredness than did a Pontiac

He had bats in his bell tower.

He skis like a dream

I have been cleaning the unspeakably filthy toilets for the past fifty years.

It was wishful thinking on his part that the upper crust of Midland City was about to be as ga-ga as he was about the works of Kilgore Trout.

She led a normal female rabbit’s life, despite her ballooning intellect.

His pockets were crammed with mothballs. They bulged like saddlebags.

You have nothing but desolation and desperation here, you say? I bring you more of the same!

family got off a boxcar in Shepherdstown

which had made rainbows forty long years ago.

They can no more feel or reason than grandfather clocks.

With such a higgledy-piggledy cultural smorgasbord before you, what would you, with your free will, choose?

Dwayne was subdued on the median divider by two State Policemen who happened by

He had no intention of climbing up on truck for another swing at Wayne. He was winded, for one thing.

I had him use his new-found sobriety, to explore, among other things, the supposed spiritual and physical benefits of …

Dwayne wanted to give her a beating in public, which his bad chemicals made him think she richly deserved

When he trundled her outside, there was a fairsize crowd

A slip of the lip can sink a ship!

He automatically mooned about his own mortality, as a lot of people did.

Trout had had a full day already, but it wasn’t over yet. Now he saw his Creator leap completely over an automobile.

I was still high as a kite on adrenaline and coagulants and all that.

Wow, it seems you’ve made it to the end of this new-vocabulary-grammar-intensive article… But did you actually work through all the findings?  No shirking? Sweet! That’s what I call being persistent at mastering English!


russia-flag Вы дочитали и проработали статью до конца? Так держать!

Если Вы дочитали до конца эту статью, то я уверен, что Вы узнали много нового про английский язык (при условии, что Вы действительно проработали предложения выше).

Проработать так много материала это совсем не шутки, а вполне серьёзный подход к делу.

Теперь же дело за малым: эффективно всё перенести в речевой актив и начать всласть применять новые знания на практике (пункт 3 и 4, соответсвенно).

Спасибо за то, что уделили время.

Удачи в Вашем языковом путешествии!


I am crazy enough to do the whole nine-yards over again. Please bring me to the beginning of the sentences. Yeah!

Did you know that you are more than encouraged to go ahead and tell me in the comments section below how the whole process went?

With that, thanks for taking your time accepting the challenge, reading and working through the article.

Until next time!


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