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Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.") But Ignatius's quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso--who mistakes him for a vagrant--and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.
Over the next several hundred pages, our hero stumbles from one adventure to the next. His stint as a hotdog vendor is less than successful, and he soon turns his employers at the Levy Pants Company on their heads. Ignatius's path through the working world is populated by marvelous secondary characters: the stripper Darlene and her talented cockatoo; the septuagenarian secretary Miss Trixie, whose desperate attempts to retire are constantly, comically thwarted; gay blade Dorian Greene; sinister Miss Lee, proprietor of the Night of Joy nightclub; and Myrna Minkoff, the girl Ignatius loves to hate. The many subplots that weave through A Confederacy of Dunces are as complicated as anything you'll find in a Dickens novel, and just as beautifully tied together in the end. But it is Ignatius--selfish, domineering, and deluded, tragic and comic and larger than life--who carries the story. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. His fragility cracks the shell of comic bluster, revealing a deep streak of melancholy beneath the antic humor. John Kennedy Toole committed suicide in 1969 and never saw the publication of his novel. Ignatius Reilly is what he left behind, a fitting memorial to a talented and tormented life. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is, hands down, my favorite book ever. Being from Louisiana, and having lived in New Orleans, I can assure you that every single character in the book could easily have been... Read morePublished 8 hours ago by congokaren
I always meant to read John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," and now I've finally got around to it. Read morePublished 2 days ago by don jeffries
The reader of this outstanding work is most masterful. Accents, inflections and characterizations are so true to the setting - New Orleans - that it made me homesick for the time I... Read morePublished 3 days ago by CURMUDGEON
This book was strange and not in a good way. It was a book with no plot. All the characters were crazy and kind of dumb.Published 8 days ago by Rachel
Some very interesting dialogue, but I did not care for the characters or the story very much.Published 8 days ago by L.C.
Pulitzer prize winner who committed suicide after this, his first nove. His mother sent it to Walker Percy who, after reading it, took it upon himself to bring it to the attention... Read morePublished 14 days ago by F. norris