A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

Book - 2014
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Toole's lunatic and sage novel introduces one of the most memorable characters in American literature, Ignatius Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubs "slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one." Set in New Orleans, A Confederacy of Dunces outswifts Swift, one of whose essays gives the book its title. As its characters burst into life, they leave the region and literature forever changed by their presence-Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones the jivecat in space-age dark glasses.
Publisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2014.
Edition: 35th anniversary edition.
ISBN: 9780807159606
Branch Call Number: FIC TOOLE, JOHN
Characteristics: vii, 348 pages ; 24 cm


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Jul 17, 2017

One of my all-time favorite books.

CMLReads_Kristin Jun 01, 2017

This book is hilarious, but the most fascinating part of this book for me is the tragic life of John Kennedy Toole and the improbable story of how this book came to be published.

Feb 06, 2017

Very funny, well imagined characters set in New Orleans. I laughed out loud reading it in the airport.

Jun 13, 2016

The funniest book I have ever read, my all-time favorite book. If you can't laugh at this then I can't be your friend.

Jun 03, 2016

I found this book surprisingly good! I know a person that is just like Ignatius!

I enjoyed how the book came from different perspectives so you could see what was going on with all of the characters and how they came together in the end.

I would recommend this book :)

Dec 23, 2015

Made it to page 125 and gave up. I just can't maintain any interest in the loutish, know-it-all main character & I find the social concepts dated and offensive.

Nov 11, 2015

I found this book to be satisfying on many levels. I can best signify my meaning by citing the role of the book "The Consolation of Philosophy" by Boethius in this novel. The mere appearance of such a work in a comedic novel would be enough to please any self-styled intellectual reader. But the author's union of high-brow and low-brow elements is ever delightful and unexpected, and the classic book must be used and abused to propel the plot.

The protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly, had lent his expensive hardcover Boethius to an absurdly disguised undercover police officer, with hopes of uplifting his sensibilities. The book gets stolen and used as a weapon before falling into the hands of a local pornographer. The book is used as a prop in a lewd photo which is then sold around New Orleans, the setting of Toole's novel. One of these photos is acquired accidentally by Reilly, and then serves as impetus for his quixotic quest to find and rescue the unfortunate woman pictured. He is certain the nude woman in the photo is a victim of the vagaries of Fortune's Wheel, and that she must be importuned into posing for porn due to doleful circumstances. This unknown woman thus becomes his Dulcinea.

I mention Don Quixote here, for the famous Manchegan is a strong element in the admixture that is Toole's protagonist. We also see shades of Falstaff, W.C. Fields, Nietzsche, and a hypochondriac old aunt from Proust.

Jun 15, 2015

Didn't finish. Humor didn't appeal to me.

Mar 26, 2015

UGH! I had such a difficult time reading this book! while it may be well written and well constructed I struggled with all the awkward situations and incompetence of so many characters.

Feb 28, 2015

The quixotic protagonist Ignatius Riley is a pseudo-intellectual resident of New Orleans, and hosts an assortment of grandiose schemes, all of which are unlikely to work. He's sort of a cross between Ralph Kramden and Diane Chambers. For example his plan for world peace is to staff all the world's armies with gays. His thinking is that if the generals order the soldiers into the fields to fight, they'll set up tents and host wine cooler parties for each other instead. Riley is indeed an endearing character, and his dialogue is very well done. You can't help but to laugh when he speaks his mind. Which is often. I don't concur that this book is a modern day classic. It's good, but not that good. It has the feeling of being incomplete, a draft needing additional editing. All the other characters for example need better development (either that, or omitted) and they all need better dialog. The author feeds all the good stuff to Riley, and the rest is left to literary poverty. It's still a fun story though, and definitely worth a read. I'd advise against the audio version. The audio-reader's over-the-top vocal inflections and attempt at antebellum accents doesn't work and borders on annoying. So skip the audiobook version. You are better off reading this one yourself.

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Brown_Dog_365 May 19, 2012

Brown_Dog_365 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jul 16, 2008

Your total ignorance of that which you profess to teach merits the death penalty. I doubt whether you would know that St. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli. His death, a martyr's honorable one, made him a patron saint of teachers.
Pray to him, you deluded fool, you "anyone for tennis?" golf-playing, cocktail-quaffing, pseudo-pedant, for you do indeed need a heavenly patron.
Although your days are numbered, you will not die as a martyr–for you further no holy cause–but as the total ass which you really are.


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