A Confederacy of Dunces
"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at ...more
But because everyone was equally stereotyped and lampooned it didn't come off as offensive.(less)
One fine morning Fortuna spun my wheel of luck and put me on a flight to NYC. The person who was sitting next to me, refusing to indulge in modern day perversities like movies, pulled out his book and sat down reading. He must have been enjoying it immensely, because he kept laughing out loud every now and then. Soon he realized that some people had started turning around to give him weird looks. Poor guy didn't have an option but to put the book down. But Fortuna being the degenerate wanton ...more
Oh man ughh ooohhhhh.
Oh thank goodness my pyloric valve finally opened. I didn't know I even had a pyloric valve until I met Ignatius J. Reilly. I had no idea that little valve could be so pesky. I can only hope it stays open long enough for me to write this review.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.
Ignatius is ...more
The only thing that might have saved this for me was if the main character Ignatius faced a long, slow, painful death. There was absolutely nothing about him that I found redeeming or appealing. Has there ever been a more annoying, obnoxious character in literature? If so, I don't want to know.
I had heard that this was supposed to be an ...more
David Foster Wallace : Oh my God - look at that dreadful biography of me... and it's selling too... it's like they're murdering me all over again ... oh if I could only commit suicide all over again - but up here, you can't!
John Kennedy Toole : Oh shut up you preening self-regarding self-annotating depressing pedant, what about ME?? My God, if I'd only persevered for another year or so, I'd have ...more
John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is as famous for its back-story as it is for its content. It was published posthumously in 1980, over a decade after Toole ended his own life by carbon monoxide poisoning. Despite having been earlier rejected by publishers, the book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.
A Confederacy of Dunces is a rambling, aimless, comedic novel centered on Ignatius J. Reilly, a buffoonish overweight man-child with poor ...more
It is funny, sometimes uproariously so, and I smiled and chuckled throughout. Toole’s depression and loss was not just of himself and his family, but also of us all, a genius who can create this comedic virtuosity might have written a folio of great work, and perhaps Confederacy was not even his greatest. Or perhaps, the spark that drove him to so bitingly observe our culture and ...more
A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which reached publication in 1980, eleven years after Toole's suicide. Published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a foreword) and Toole's mother, the book became first a cult classic, then a mainstream success; it earned Toole a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, and is now considered a canonical work of modern literature of ...more
Fortuna evidently was smiling upon my being when I endeavored to undertake the consumption of this philosophical masterpiece. How amusing to stumble upon a comic homage to Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, an homage that not only mirrors its source of inspiration in both content and structure, but moreover employs said source as a plot device of the most humorous kind. Certainly it was no mere accident; indeed it must have been a result of afflatus imparted by the goddess herself ...more
The Big Easy's Mensa Motley Fool, its Baissière Barbare
oh boy oh boy oh boy...
When I first picked this up, it seemed too odd. Hell, the cover illustration shows this to be grotesque humour. I put it down not to pick back up for more than a year at which point I decided to read up to page 75.
What followed was not at all grotesque or surreal humor, but instead the funniest literary novel I've ever read. I LOVED IT. The 2016 Man ...more
Well, I finished and I'm glad I persisted.
You know how dogs sometimes sniff each other for ages before deciding to hump?
I was like that for a few years before I read the book, but more importantly I sniffed around ineffectually for the first 100 pages and could easily have blamed the book for my lack of engagement.
I read the last 300 pages in a couple of sittings.
I had to get on a roll.
But once you commit, the book pulls you, rather than you having to push the ...more
Everyone seems to love this piece of writing, and I was highly motivated when I saw the Jonathan Swift quote in the beginning, giving the novel its name:
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."
However, all I could discover in the story were the dunces, engaged in never-ending dull dialogues, showing off their vulgarity and stupidity without an ounce of fun. Slapstick, not irony or ...more
A Confederacy of Dunces was chosen as the first group read of On the Southern Literary Trail in March, 2012. Now, a few months after "The Trail's" FIFTH Anniversary, the readers have chosen this novel as one of it's group reads for July, 2017. Come join us!
"Miniver cursed the commonplace...more
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediæval grace
Of iron clothing.
Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
A laugh-out-loud picaresque, a story chock-full of satire and unforgettable humorous detail as we follow the adventures of our larger-than-life rascal-hero, Ignatius J. Reilly, floundering and farting his way through New Orleans in the 1960s.
If you think of a novel-length R. Crumb cartoon you ...more
I've read the novel at least ten times and this edition (which a friend rightfully noted displays an uglyass cover) became my glove compartment book through a few years of waiting-in-the-carpool-lane-after-school stretches. I re-read the novel late this past May and it still holds up. Genius structure, brilliant dialogue, dark as hell, and funny over and over. Mr. Toole,I don't know what demons haunted you, but when you exhaled this novel ...more
I don't know why I was so reluctant to pick this up. It was on my TBR for far too long, god I've been missing out on so much by not reading this novel. This is a brilliant book. Ugh god I loved it so much that I'm actually finding it hard to write anything coherent because all I can think of is superlatives and hyperbole. Eh, superlatives and hyperboles never hurt anyone. This is amazing and you ...more
John Kennedy Toole had committed suicide over a decade before this book had eventually been published, and thereafter won a posthumous Pulitzer. This book is one of the rare ones that made me laugh at every turn of a page. The dark comedy and the constant ridicule of American consumerism make it equally thought-provoking and hilarious. There were so many times I
What made this book work so well was the lack of perfection. Though Ignatius was a total prick he was in a world of people just as bad (just better at hiding it) and though they all ...more
Historically "Dunces" ...more
This novel, much like Swift’s, is a scathing satire. Ignatius Reilly is both a truly sad main character and probably a partial analog of the author, whose even sadder demise undercut my casual reading of this brilliantly humorous book.
I read this in my childhood and it stuck with me. I enjoyed many of the scenes immensely and ...more
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Toole's novels remained unpublished during his lifetime. Some years after his death by suicide, Toole's mother brought the manuscript of A Confederacy of Dunces to the attention of the novelist Walker Percy, who ushered the book into print. In 1981 Toole was posthumously ...more