134 of 143 people found the following review helpful
Quixote, Bergerac, Schweik, REILLY...,
This review is from: A Confederacy of Dunces (Paperback)
When I first saw the cover of this paperback in a Georgetown, DC, bookshop a few years ago, I was hesitant to buy it. Simply put, the cover is goofy, and does not do this masterpiece any justice. I am so grateful that I ignored my initial instinct, as I don't remember ever reading a funnier book in the English language than the late John Kennedy Toole's life achievement, nor is there a more memorable character in American literature than I. J. Reilly. The work deserves a 6 star rating! "A Confederacy of Dunces" is more than just incredibly funny, however. It is unusually poignant, gut-wrenchingly sad, and an admirable observation piece on a rather decadent and seemingly lost segment of our society sitting at the mouth of the Mississippi River. I have visited New Orleans three times since 1994 for varied reasons, and the city apparently has not changed in the least since Mr. Toole's late 1960s rendition. His characters continue to stroll and struggle along Bourbon Street and Canal Street, and their troubled spirits infuse every alley and cave of the French Quarter. Just like the district surrounding St. Peter's Square in the city of jazz, Ignatius J. Reilly is out of step with the rest of America. In spite of his repulsive and grossly comical physical presence, he believes in aesthetics and real meaning, in what he perceives to be the truth. For this reason, he is a true literary hero, like Don Quixote, Cyrano de Bergerac and the Good Soldier Schweik before him. One final note: before you buy this book, think about cancelling all your appointments and engagements for the two or three days that follow. They, along with eating and sleeping, undoubtedly will be totally neglected until you finish this 400 page tour de farce.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 21, 2011 1:52:18 PM PDT
By far, the best book ever written. I wish I had written it. Ignatius is the tragic hero of this story, and his continued mishaps and adventures will make you laugh out loud, with tears running down your face. An american classic in my opinion. I have 6 copies. BUY IT!!!!
Posted on Jan 21, 2014 12:04:17 PM PST
Guillermo Maynez says:
Tour de farce: accurate description!!!
Posted on May 4, 2014 7:34:12 PM PDT
Excellent review. One of the best on here.
In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2014 10:49:21 PM PDT
Walter V. Cicha says:
Thank you very much... I can't believe it has been 14 years since I wrote it - where did the time go?
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2014 2:05:02 PM PDT
Steven M. Anthony says:
"By far, the best book ever written." Really??? Read much?
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