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A Confederacy of Dunces
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Monthly Book Reads > Confederacy Of Dunces, A - August 2018

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Darren (dazburns) | 704 comments Mod
In August we will be reading A Confederacy of Dunces in our Comedy category - who's in?

This is one of my all-time fave books full-stop.
At several points I laughed so hard that my family thought I had gone mad!


Leslie | 825 comments Darren, having read this I ask your opinion about listening to it in audiobook (which I have access to through Hoopla). Is this the kind of book that is better to actually read or will I be able to enjoy it in audio format?


Jackie | 88 comments I am in, I could do with a good laugh. The book is making it's way to me via eBay!


Darren (dazburns) | 704 comments Mod
Leslie - I am probably not the best person to ask about audiobooks as I have never listened to one in my life!
having said that, I imagine that this could be excellent, so long as the narrator could manage all the wildly different colourful characters!


Leslie | 825 comments OK - I will give it a try. If it doesn't work for me, I'll look into finding a print/ebook copy somewhere.


message 6: by Fay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fay Roberts | 363 comments I only read this a couple of months ago so I’m out. I loved it though 😊 it’s superbly absurd whilst keeping just within the boundaries of reality. This one definitely deserves its place on the list IMO


Phil (lanark) | 446 comments I have a copy, but feel I might start with Gorky Park. Reading the first few pages, I see a Flann O'Brien influence.


Leslie | 825 comments I finished this today -- I liked it a lot but for me it was more often a case of making me smile than making me laugh aloud. There were definitely some guffaws but it didn't tickle my funny-bone the way that Wodehouse does.

Barrett Whitener did a great narration & I ended up being glad that I listened to the audiobook.


Jackie | 88 comments Just arrived. I will be starting soon.


Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 565 comments I'm still hoping to get to this before August ends


message 11: by ALLEN (last edited Aug 22, 2018 09:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

ALLEN | 25 comments Some N.O. (New Orleans) background for those who have not yet had the pleasure of a visit to the "Big Easy" --


1) D.H. Holmes: founded in 1842, by the early 1960s it had become New Orleans' classiest downtown department store. It has now become a luxury hotel, a Hyatt, under control of the Pritzker family of Chicago. Over the years the iconic clock where Ignatius waited for Momma has disappeared and, it is said, a statue of Ignatius that reigned in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties has been removed.


2) Streetcars. There are still several lines left in New Orleans, with cars that date back nearly 100 years. Some have protected status. One line was built from scratch in 1988 and runs along the riverfront, using vintage equipment; another new line is planned but has no specific construction date. By the way, the streetcar named (for the destination) "Desire" (Street) barely outlasted Tennessee William's famed 1947 drama -- the trolley tracks were removed and service shifted over to a diesel bus line in 1948.


3) Dr. Nut: During the Depression the sweet, almond-flavored soda pop was one of New Orleans' favorites. By the time Ignatius nagged his mother into buying more, the beverage was already in decline but still widely available. The brand fell under new ownership ca. 1970 and now no longer exists. However, the old returnable glass bottles with a signature squirrel painted on them to signify "nut" now fetch a pretty price on eBay if in good condition.


4) Local accents: Author John Kennedy Toole was right on the money in singling out white-ethnic accents as a mixture of Deep South, specifically Louisianan or Cajun, and what the rest of the country would have called "Brooklynese." Thus, pronunciations like "chirren" (children) and "potatis (potato) salad" still coexisted and ruled among working-class whites ca. 1960. This accent has not disappeared completely, but in much the same way that Brooklynese moved out to Long Island in the 1950s and 1960s, one has to go to blue-collar (working class) suburbs of New Orleans to hear them.


5) The "Night of Joy" nightclub: Said to be based on two nightclubs, one of which is indeed around the corner on a side street from the old D.H. Holmes location, the other farther into the French Quarter.


--With fewer than ten days left in this month's schedule, are people still reading A Confederacy of Dunces ?


Jackie | 88 comments What a wonderful book! I haven't finished yet, but am absolutely loving it. Truly alive and individual. The author's voice is clear and authentic, and it is still completely relevant.


message 13: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil (lanark) | 446 comments I'm on chapter three and reading this in September instead (as I've already read Midnight's Children) so barely started it. I'm finding it intriguing and wondering where it's going to go.


ALLEN | 25 comments Well, I don't want to spoil the plot, but I can say one of Ignatius' escapades has him extolling 'Twelve Inches of Ecstasy' while totally unaware of any blue connotations that phrase might have.


message 15: by Phil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil (lanark) | 446 comments I'm past page 250 now and this isn't really grabbing me so much. Ignatius J Reilly is such a horrible person that I find it hard to even find him amusing and the constant slapstick and wacky dialogue is a touch wearying, especially from such a large group of characters.

I'll finish it in a few days and post a proper review then, but I don't think I'll be keeping the paper copy on my shelf.


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