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Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.") But Ignatius's quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso--who mistakes him for a vagrant--and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.
Over the next several hundred pages, our hero stumbles from one adventure to the next. His stint as a hotdog vendor is less than successful, and he soon turns his employers at the Levy Pants Company on their heads. Ignatius's path through the working world is populated by marvelous secondary characters: the stripper Lana Lee and her talented cockatoo; the septuagenarian secretary Miss Trixie, whose desperate attempts to retire are constantly, comically thwarted; gay blade Dorian Greene; sinister Miss Lee, proprietor of the Night of Joy nightclub; and Myrna Minkoff, the girl Ignatius loves to hate. The many subplots that weave through A Confederacy of Dunces are as complicated as anything you'll find in a Dickens novel, and just as beautifully tied together in the end. But it is Ignatius--selfish, domineering, and deluded, tragic and comic and larger than life--who carries the story. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. His fragility cracks the shell of comic bluster, revealing a deep streak of melancholy beneath the antic humor. John Kennedy Toole committed suicide in 1969 and never saw the publication of his novel. Ignatius Reilly is what he left behind, a fitting memorial to a talented and tormented life. --Alix Wilber
Unforgettable characters, fast moving plot, authentic speech patterns and dialogue make this a splendidly entertaining comic novel. Read morePublished 19 days ago by David B. Ellis
An intricate plot involving marginalized characters that takes the reader on a wild and often hilarious ride. The use of evocative language is spectacular.Published 12 months ago by Lynn Ziegler
Very entertaining and funny literary accomplishment, would recommend for any good read. Wish they could finally decide to make a movie of it.Published 15 months ago by Linda McMullen
maybe it's my sense of humor (or lack thereof). Gave up after about 30 pages.
My daughter recommended this book - she thought it was the funniest thing ever. Read more
I consider myself widely read and enjoy a diverse selection of styles. Westerns, thrillers, horrors, biographies, you name it I read them. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Paul R. Bolton
The item was due to arrive February 18th. I have not received it yet. Hopefully it's here soon so I can read it for February book club still!Published on Feb. 20 2013 by Waiting on item
Was as promised. A few dog eared pagese broken spine but all in all a good quality book. It was what I expected from a used book depository.Published on Dec 10 2011 by Joanna
Like I said, its the funniest book I ever read.
Complete depression when the book ended.
An instant classic that will have you in stitches. In all his misery Ignatius becomes someone we can all relate to and rally around.Published on May 8 2010 by Pantelis Tsinalis