Customer Review

204 of 226 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Till Eulenspiegel, October 10, 2002
This review is from: A Confederacy of Dunces (Paperback)
Reading a highly popular, arguably classic, cult favorite with a fresh eye and without preconceptions is not an easy task. I expected Ignatius J. Reilly to leap off the page at me. I wasn't disappointed. On the first page, outside a staid department store in New Orleans, Ignatius in his usual grotesque costume of green hunting camp and too small flannel shirt is awaiting his mother innocently enough until a policeman decides he is a vagrant and tries to arrest him. A crowd is quickly engaged by his steaming objections and loud protestations. Ignatius is at his best when hollering for help. When his weary mother makes an appearance, "Mother!" he called "Not a moment too soon. I've been seized."
We quickly meet friends and denizens not quite on the underside of New Orleans, but leaning that way. Ignatius is a force of nature that needs to be fed, nurtured, and kept on course not only by his long-suffering mother, but any citizen who happens to cross his path. If Ignatius is left to his own devices, he is like a loose pinball, except a pinball never screams for help.
Ignatius, who is the epitome of pseudo independence and ingratitude, actually is fearful of being left alone. When his mother, for the first time in living memory, decides to have a night out, Ignatius is piteous, "I shall probably be misused by some intruder!" he screamed.
For the first third of the book, I was highly indignant at Ignatius: his selfishness, his arrogance and his ingratitude. Gradually, I became fond of him and then fearful for him. He is underscored with tragedy; he has a vision of a world not of his making and it threatens him. Somehow Mr. Toole gathers up all the threads and the end is not chaos as I feared, but everyone seems to get just what they deserve. I was pleased, and I think you will be too.
-sweetmolly-Amazon Reviewer
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 19, 2009 2:05:53 AM PDT
Review by sweetmolly is one of the most well-constructed, descriptive reviews of a creative work I have found. You have professional chops!

Posted on Mar 27, 2010 1:47:39 PM PDT
Great review! I'm just curious, why the four stars? Why not lower/higher? Everyone seems to have quite a strong opinion of this book, going in both directions! I'd like to know yours a little more.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 8:34:47 AM PDT
Rafi says:
"We quickly meet friends and denizens not quite on the underside of New Orleans, but leaning that way. Ignatius is a force of nature that needs to be fed, nurtured, and kept on course not only by his long-suffering mother, but any citizen who happens to cross his path. If Ignatius is left to his own devices, he is like a loose pinball, except a pinball never screams for help."

Excellent review of the character.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 6:39:40 PM PDT
sunnyflr2 says:
I just finished this book and found it such an emotional roller coaster ride, I was struggling for the words to review this amazing, tragic, comical work. You have nailed it perfectly! Personally I gave the book 5 stars because after the book ended, but I kept thinking about the characters (this is my personal criteria for a 5-star rating.) Your narrative is spot-on!

Posted on Apr 28, 2011 2:01:37 PM PDT
Sweetmolly, your review is dead on. Your final paragraph is especially apt. I was afraid for Ignatius as well, perhaps because I have a real-life friend who is very much like him.
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