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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
33
Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans
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on April 5, 2015
This book made me laugh out loud. It is a wonderful read, period. But, if you grew up or live in New Orleans and saw a Lucky Dog vendor on just about every corner, you will love it. The title refers to the character in the book "Confederacy of Dunces"; a true classic. If you read this, you need to read the other, as well. They really tie-in together. Some people will read it and find it fantasy. For those of us lucky enough to grow up in that wonderful city on the Muddy Mississippi, you will read it and identify thoroughly. Many thanks for sending it to me intact and in a timely manner. ENJOY! It is a must!
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on September 22, 2016
This is a fun read about the people who man the Lucky Dogs carts in New Orleans. The cast of characters that populate the book sound like works of fiction but are not. Pity the poor manager!
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on October 21, 2005
Lucky Dogs hold a Zen quintessence that can only be approximated by the sobriquet "Bourbon Street Steak," and are oddly more satisfying than Café du Monde beignets and chicory coffee in invoking memories of New Orleans and her pleasures.

Are Lucky Dogs, therefore, our petite Madeleine dipped in tea? Proust's ghost will not say, for now is discretion, and these are our memories, after all.

Historian Jerry Strahan has had a very American career. He is a respected and indeed famous and authoritative scholar of military history, but like many a family man needed to provide for his brood with a higher cash flow than itinerant academic leavings would provide, and fell into managing the Lucky Dog operation through those twin hands, fate and opportunity surrounded by less appealing alternatives. Over the decades he grew into the job, and even expanded the operation to Washington, D.C., where I was a happy customer.

Strahan's academic career is only a leitmotif in "Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans" for he places the characters of the vendors he deals with and his colorful memories front and center. For those not in the know, the "Ignatius" of the title is the immortal character of John Kennedy Toole's "Confederacy of Dunces" who has a comic scene selling weenies from a push wagon that is possibly one of the greatest memorable pieces of character and action reinforcing each other in American literature. To describe this scene as classic damns it with faint praise, for it simultaneously captures the character, the city, the soul, comedy, and tragedy in a single sustained breath. It should be a tattoo, and no American high school student should be unfamiliar with it.

And the primary emphasis of "Managing Ignatius" story is that Strahan works with many who are at the margins of employability, yet have personalities that draw you. "Managing Ignatius" therefore should serve as a management science alternative textbook, for indeed Strahan's goal is to sell weenies with a volatile cast and crew. He makes many bricks with very little straw.

Yet, there is a very tender side to his memoir, for Strahan never deprecates nor condemns even the most fricative people he must motivate. Indeed, he often observes that some of his most prickly characters end up being the best and most enduring vendors, and acknowledges that in an odd way many of them have found their calling in life, just as Strahan has found his.

This is an excellent, amusing, informative book that commands attention on multiple levels, and is not simply for tourists of New Orleans or Toole fans. For the story Strahan tells here is like our own as even the soul has a journey in life. In "Managing Ignatius" Strahan tells that story and "...the result of all our travels will be to arrive back where we started, and know it for the very first time." (T.S. Eliot)
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on June 19, 2015
A classic tale of life in New Orleans.
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on March 7, 2013
Living in New Orleans for the last 20 years has given me the background for appreciating this book. It's a entertaining view of one of our iconic businesses. The stars of the book are the people that worked there over the years and just like New Orleans, they are unique.
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on February 22, 2016
Yeah you Right!
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on March 8, 2015
Very satisfied with book the book and the book seller.
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on October 13, 2015
Loved it
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on December 23, 2011
A funny and heartwarming memoir of managing the Lucky Dog Hot dog business in New Orleans. Close up views of memorable characters that make up the street scene in the French Quarter.
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on February 5, 2016
The endless stream of zany characters, felons and their misdemeanor counterparts - all with talents and hearts of gold - gets old pretty quickly.
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