Customer Review

94 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It didn't make me laugh..., April 16, 2000
This review is from: A Confederacy of Dunces (Paperback)
I actually liked the book. It's so life-like. I know far too many people that are just as awful and obnoxious as the charecters in it. Very vivid, very depressing. The only character I would really want to spend time with was the cloud of smoke that is Jones. The book was worth it just for Jones.
My main problem with the book was that it failed to make me laugh. This wouldn't be a problem normally. I don't expect books to be laughfests as a rule, but everyone said "Oh, it's soo hilarious! I was cracking up the whole time I read it!" So I had to read it for a literature class. My teacher said it is a masterpeice. It won the Pulitzer Prize! So I was expecting to laugh this time. But I couldn't. It was just too depressing. I told my teacher I didn't think it was funny. He asked my classmates if they thought it was funny and they all said yes. My teacher quoted Jonathon Winters, who said that the scariest person in the world is someone without a sense of humor.
So maybe I don't have a sense of humor, but I find it difficult to see the point of laughing at miserable people who make each other more miserable. There are also a lot of sex jokes and a lot of jokes about passing gas, but I can get that from Beavis and Butthead.
My teacher also said the whole book was about scorn. It is supposed to make you feel beter about yourself because you're not as horrible as the people in the book, but I think my ego was okay without having read this book.
But I liked Toole's style. The dialogues and descriptions are wonderful. The book is great as a description of the burgeoning chaos of the early sixties. It just didn't make me laugh.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 8, 2010 9:07:03 AM PDT
I think your teacher was very wrong in suggesting that you did not have a sense of humor, just because you did not find the book funny. The teacher should have explored your thoughts, impressions, and opinions, and engaged in a dialogue about what constitutes humor. That was a very good teaching moment that was lost.

Posted on Aug 23, 2010 2:46:55 PM PDT
J. Sayer says:
I guess if the definition of having a sense of humor is to laugh at this book, then I don't have a sense of humor either. I'm 1/3 of the way through and I'm about to walk away from it without having laughed once. The characters are so absurd that I find it hard to suspend my disbelief, they have no redeeming qualities, and I guess I just can't relate to any of them. I'm not sure if the book just hasn't stood the test of time or if I just don't get it, but I read and enjoy a lot of other "masterpieces" (as your teacher put it) and just can't get into this one.

Posted on Mar 2, 2011 7:36:10 PM PST
S. Li says:
I absolutely agree with you. I did get a chuckle here and there, but I'm certainly not getting the humor to the extent others are.

Posted on May 10, 2011 7:45:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2011 7:49:22 AM PDT
Aurora, I doubt you lack humor. Read it after you treat yourself to a few days in The Quarter. You will laugh. I promise.

I agree with the response above. Your teacher was out of line. I'm no fan of the Three Stooges, but I think they made some happy trips to the bank.

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 7:47:51 PM PDT
Me says:
I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't fast paced enough for it to be considered funny. I would call it.. amusing.

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 6:06:00 PM PST
Honey, please go the Quarter. You will then come away with a sense of culture that you've obviously never experienced. New Orleans cannot be explained to anyone. He/she must soak it up themselves. Seriously? You didn't think it was funny? I don't know.....I just don't know.

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 9:48:50 AM PDT
P. Sawyer says:
We get it! It didn't make you laugh. ...did you ever read the The Satyricon?... it's full of funny, but it doesn't make you laugh.

Posted on Mar 21, 2013 9:13:06 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 21, 2013 9:14:57 PM PDT]

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 10:55:21 AM PDT
I felt the same way. I didnt laugh, and felt rather sad all the time, while reading that book. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with your sense of humor. We just dont like to laugh at other people's misfortunes and shortcomings :)

Posted on Mar 6, 2014 3:45:02 PM PST
Jennifer says:
I agree the book was wonderfully written, and I loved how all the characters interacted but I also didn't think it was hilarious. I suppose in the 1960's he was considered eccentric, especially in New Orleans but I saw him as a fellow with a mental illness for which he could get no help.
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