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Why is this book so highly praised? Do most people relate with Ignatius?

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Newly Wardell This book is so vivid that you can practically smell New Orleans. Toole's Ignatius is intellectualism gone wrong. When I pontificate about the virtue of science fiction or feverishly debate the merits of one quarterback over another during fantasy football season, I see Ignatius in me. It is usually at this time that I step off the soapbox.
Luciana Few books will make you literally LOL. I have read it 3times, in 2 different languages and was entertained each time.
Stacey I absolutely love this book, and I absolutely hate Ignatius. No other book has made me want to punch the main character in the face as much as this book - and I think that's partly why I like it. Just because he's the main character doesn't mean he is a "hero" or even likable. This book is about New Orleans during the mid-20th century, it's about intellectualism, alcoholism, elitism, mental illness, and a ton of other things. A lot of people find this book "funny" and there are indeed many "funny" scenes, but I always felt any humor was almost unintentional.
Axolotl Aspects of his character and his basic blindness, yes. Or, a better answer might be: if people are honest, they would relate to him by seeing aspects of his personality in themselves.
Gerry I listened to an audiotape of this book and it was hysterically funny, all the voices and characters, I cant help but think it was better by listening than reading. I think Toole was a genius for the characters he created.
Antonia I still have no idea why is this book so highly praised, but I liked it very much. To be fair, it took me about two years to get into the book and finnish it (yes, really), so I would never call it "catchy".
However, I think there is one aspect about Ignatius Jaques Reilly that is completely relatable to anyone, which is drama. Have you ever had a rough day when all you want to do is look up to the sky and scream: "WHY ME, FORTUNA?!" ;)
Poly Either you know an Ignatius or you are Ignatius ahaha
Amanda Himes I'm reading it now, not sure if I like it or not. However, when I tried to summarize it for my husband the other night, I couldn't stop laughing. Try it: try to talk about Ignatius or his mother or Patrolman Mancuso and see if you can do it with a straight face.
Edi For me, it was fantastic, how the author build the character of Ignatius. He slowly peels layer after layer off of Ignatius and the more you know him the more you want to punch him in the face. I think he did a great job of letting you in to the mind of Ignatius, who is not a hero, but, I would say, a troubled common person.
Ryan Because it's hysterical. And no, there is no inner-Ignatius within me, my valve is just fine, thank you.
Wm. A. Beats me. I stopped reading it because generally, I don't like books where the author seems to have no sympathy for their characters.
Maxine I'm with you. I can't understand why this book is so highly rated. I found the humor sophomoric, on the level of the Three Stooges--which, I guess, some people do find funny. I'm not one of them. Far from being able to identify with Ignatius, I found him revolting. His total inability to relate to or empathize with any other person, his prudishness and judgmentalism, his sense of superiority are all very off-putting. As if that weren't enough, his constant complaints about his "valve", and the physical descriptions of him are literally nauseating. I've never read about another character who literally sickened me. Baffled by this book's popularity.
Grace This book is so hilarious and engrossing I felt that I knew all the characters, what they looked like, what their homes looked like, etc. A brilliant satire; a book I can read again and again. I think we can relate to Ignatius in that we would love to sometimes just do what we want without regard to consequences, of course that is just a fun fantasy to entertain.
Paige I really hope people don't relate to him. Or any character in this book, really. The reason people tend to like it is that it is hilarious in a way all its own. The humor is in no small part because everyone in the book is cartoonishly flawed.
Cristina Sacarea This book was recommended to me by a friend who used to be Ignatius, and as most people hated him for his insufferable ways I couldn't love him more for having rescued me from a bad situation at a time when he needed rescuing as much as I did. It's a shame when you see that a person is obviously intelligent but loses themselves in self hatred and booze. Time passed, my Ignatius gave up alcohol but is still reminiscing about how he used to be, what is still left of that, and laughs heartily at the idiocy that surrounds us. Of course not just the main character matters in praising this book but the sheer music of New Orleans comes out of all the characters' voices. Brilliant piece of writing.
Zane People who don't relate with Ignatius on some level or don't get this book probably take themselves too seriously. They must only relate to slick, suave alphabro protagonists who they would want to be or be with. I like flawed, humorous characters. I've never seen a more comical figure or laughed out loud at a book. No, I don't aspire to be him, but I can see the foolish side in myself and laugh at it.
Andy Reads I loved him. One of only a few really comedic characters that felt real to me.
Linda I found it ridiculous and hilarious. I have never laughed so much while reading a book. Ignatius is so socially incorrect. If I knew a person like that I would merely cringe, not laugh. But since he is fictional, I am free to recognize and laugh at the absurdity of his behavior.
Garrett McMahon Because it’s funny
Danny Hunt you don't need to relate to a protagonist to enjoy a story
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