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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 alternate Paperback edition.
The words were crafted well. I was anxious and frustrated with Ignasius. Only a disturbed mind could have come up with the fiascoes the author told us that Ignasius caused himself... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Karen Possley
This is the funniest book I ever read! I wish Toole was still alive to write some more.Published 12 days ago by chas2e61
An uneven work of comic genius. The manuscript needs a little professional editing---and would have had, had O'Toole ever managed to get a publisher---but I have never laughed... Read morePublished 15 days ago by burntumber
Very funny, well written, easy to read. It helped to be familiar with New Orleans and the local dialect. It made the book that much funnier. It left me wanting more.Published 15 days ago
I absolutely loved the book and got quite a few good laughs out of it. I enjoyed the talking format and could picture it happening in New Orleans or maybe even New York. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Sharon A
Great, great book but needed to be read by someone from New Orleans, reader uses a southern accent (WRONG) and mispronounces street names, disappointingPublished 18 days ago by Peter J. Riley
A shame that this is the only novel by John Toole. A witty fun read. A wonderful quirky view of New Orleans.Published 19 days ago by Ian G. Quittner
Normally like satires but this one was over the top. Struggled to finish the book.Published 22 days ago by jeannine s