Benji's Reviews > A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
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Normally, I dislike entertainment that consists of little other than weak, bickering characters with fatal personality problems. This, judging by the title, seemed to be the epitome of that, so for a long time this sat on my desk, not wanting to be picked up. Maybe its the mood I'm in now, or just there's something different about this than the other THE OFFICE -wanna-be's. What I think it is, truth be told few characters are dunces in this book. They certainly call each other that in the book. But it's more about differing value judgements and people's inability to listen to each other rather than their own personal intelligence that creates the problems for these characters, and that I can relate to. Similarly, many of them I liked a whole lot, even when I became embarassed for them for putting their foot in their mouth again and again.

The great thing with this book is that Toole was able to bring out the lunacy of the inhabitants without ever it ever being straight caricature. They remain 3D, and their motivations are reasonable -ish. I loved Jones, I loved the Levy's dynamic, it felt serious and real even if chaotic and twisted.

The only issue, and its not bad and only came from my own experience, is the fact that I read this simultaneously with two books to the point that I couldn't remember which was which: they were THE RECOGNITIONS, with so much crazy dialogue from parties, and a book of TN Williams plays, set in New Orleans. But that did as much good as bad, I feel like. Take care! Give this one a shot if you see it.
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Reading Progress

08/15/2011 page 100
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly that book by Gaddis gave me a headache too!


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