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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy…
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A Confederacy of Dunces (1980)

by John Kennedy Toole

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,910310131 (4)1 / 473
  1. 183
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (InvisiblerMan)
  2. 50
    The Dog of the South by Charles Portis (framberg)
    framberg: less well known but similar type of humor
  3. 40
    The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor (ainsleytewce)
  4. 62
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (citygirl, 2810michael)
  5. 40
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  6. 40
    Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans by Jerry Strahan (lilithcat)
    lilithcat: The true craziness behind Toole's fiction.
  7. 41
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  8. 30
    Handling Sin by Michael Malone (caseydurfee)
  9. 30
    The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin by Vladimir Vojnovitsj (rabornj)
    rabornj: same type of character humor
  10. 41
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  11. 30
    Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow (ShelfMonkey)
  12. 31
    Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Flashman is a selfish coward; Toole's Ignatius is lazy, judgmental, and has delusions of grandeur. Yet through their hilarious narration of their misadventures, we come to sympathize with them and cheer for them in their bizarre quests.
  13. 20
    Stars and Bars by William Boyd (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Satirical in the American South
  14. 20
    A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (helio_)
  15. 20
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb, mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Amusing Rogue protagonists
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  16. 42
    Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart (BeckyJG)
  17. 20
    Firmin by Sam Savage (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Both books take a quirky viewpoint on the world. They are also both about loneliness and isolation, yet really good reads.
  18. 42
    Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Cornbelt by Tristan Egolf (askthedust)
  19. 20
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
  20. 20
    Beyond the Great Indoors by Ingvar Ambjørnsen (erlend2)

(see all 38 recommendations)

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English (291)  French (8)  Spanish (5)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (310)
Showing 1-5 of 291 (next | show all)
Pietosamente abbandonato a metà. Non sono riuscita ad andare oltre
  Veggiemanu | Jul 29, 2015 |
Ooo-wee! A delightful read if you're looking for a trope of idiocracy.

This book definitely has some laugh out loud moments. If you're more like me, you'll be laughing quietly to yourself, and maybe making some "Oh geese" eye-rolls as you read about the adventures of our main character Ignatius, and the lovely band of other characters that surround him. The book is the only one by John Kennedy Toole, and it's quite sad that we'll never know another novel of his. I think I would have gladly accepted another novel by Toole. Regardless, I think the literary world is fortunate that this book was published nonetheless. It really is quiet an entertaining read.

The characters in the story are all somewhat caricatures. At points, they seem so eccentric that they are almost unbelievable. I can't really believe that a character like this exists. But then I think of all the crazy characters I have seen in real life, and many of these characters really do exist out there. It's an incredible look at how horrible a relationship can be, but how much we all put up with each other because, in the end, family is family. Friends are friends. And work family is work family.

The misadventures never end. The events in this book did have somewhat of a conclusion, but that doesn't mean that the story was tied up at the end. In fact, it could be just the beginning of a series of unfortunate misadventures for our friend, Ignatius J. Reilly. Who know what he might get himself into when he reaches his mid-life crisis.

It's a bit of a long book, but worth reading. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
Wow...folks weren't kidding about how good this book is.

Ignatius is an anti-anti hero. This is a guy who by all accounts should be hung by his thumbs and yet, still finds his way out of trouble as easily as he gets into trouble.

The cast of characters are as colorful as a Mardi Gras floating, which is fitting since this tome takes place in New Orleans. I enjoyed seeing various local locales used in the novel and of course, the Lucky Dog cart has to be mentioned.

And pity half the characters that deal with Ignatius. One wonders why his mother and a few others don't just slap him upside the head. He deserves it, but in a twisted way, you can't help but root for him. ( )
2 vote robfucious | Apr 16, 2015 |
Ignatius J. Reilly is an unforgettable character, and I laughed out loud more than once. I was amused by it, although it's not a page-turner and it did take me awhile to get through. It's not the kind of humor that everyone will appreciate, but I did. ( )
  Joe24 | Apr 4, 2015 |
This book had been kicking around my house for years and I never seemed to be able to get through it. I finally took it with me on a long train ride and did enjoy it and objectively admire it, although I definitely continued to be able to put it down--I have to be desperate to read it, I'm not sure why. Wonderful dialogue, witty commentary, really funny situations...I think part of the problem is I am appalled by the main character (which is of course part of the point)--it is as if J.K.Chesterton was transported to New Orleans ca. 1960--with most of his outrageous characteristics and none of his truly good common sense. ( )
  LizHD | Mar 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 291 (next | show all)
A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities - yet flawed in places by its very virtues.
 
Ultimately, Ignatius is simply too grotesque and loony to be taken for a genius; the world he howls at seems less awful than he does. Pratfalls can pass beyond slapstick only if they echo, and most of the ones in this novel do not. They are terribly funny, though, and if a book's price is measured against the laughs it provokes, A Confederacy of Dunces is the bargain of the year.
added by Shortride | editTime, Paul Gray (Jun 2, 1980)
 
El protagonista de esta novela es uno de los personajes más memorables de la literatura norteamericana: Ignatus Reilly -una mezcla de Oliver Hardy delirante, Don Quijote adiposo y santo Tomás de Aquino, perverso, reunidos en una persona-, que a los treinta años aún vive con su estrafalaria madre, ocupado en escribir una extensa y demoledora denuncia contra nuestro siglo, tan carente de teología y geometría como de decencia y buen gusto, un alegado desquiciado contra una sociedad desquiciada. Por una inesperada necesidad de dinero, se ve 'catapultado en la fiebre de la existencia contemporánea', embarcándose en empleos y empresas de lo más disparatado.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 



Ruggero Bianchi
Tuttolibri
settembre 1998
Il caso di Una banda di idioti di John Kennedy Toole ricorda sorprendentemente, per molti versi, quello di Il giovane Holden di J.D. Salinger. Opere, entrambe, di autori (quasi) esordienti e comunque alla loro prima esperienza nel campo della narrativa lunga. E scritte, entrambe, da artisti irrequieti e verosimilmente nevrotici, non disposti a campare sulla sinecura del loro primo successo. Conosciamo tutti, di Salinger, la scelta di centellinare i propri scritti e di difendere la sua scelta esistenziale, una sorte di coleridgiana morte-in-vita. Ma pochi sanno della fine di Toole, nato nel 1937 e suicidatosi nel 1969, a soli trentadue anni, lasciando alla madre il compito di trasformare in bestseller e in classico moderno un libro che forse non pensava di poter mai pubblicare e che, negli Stati Uniti, uscì grazie soltanto al parere autorevole (sebbene segretamente perplesso) del celebre critico Walter Percy, che firma anche l’introduzione all’edizione italiana.Ma le analogie non si fermano qui. Sia Il govane Holden che Una banda di idioti pongono, fin dal titolo, grossi problemi alla bravura dei traduttori.
Il primo alludendo, con la dizione originale di The Catcher in the Rye, alle figure del baseball e alle coltivazioni del mais; il secondo chiamando in causa, sotto la formula di A Confederacy of Duncies, la realtà di un Sud "confederato" nella guerra civile e l’indimenticato poema di Alexander Pope, The Dunciad (1728), un capolavoro satirico inglese del primo Settecento che nessuno oggi legge come nessuno oggi legge il Parini e, probabilmente, per le stesse ragioni. Come se non bastasse, ai due romanzi è toccata di fatto la medesima sorte in Italia. The Catcher in the Rye di Salinger, uscito nel 1952 nel nostro Paese con il titolo Vita da uomo (Casini editore, traduzione di Jacopo Darca), divenne un bestseller grazie alla nuova edizione di Einaudi del 1961 (trad. di A. Motti). A Confederacy of Duncies passò inosservato dal pubblico una quindicina d’anni fa, sebbene Luciana Bianciardi vincesse, per la sua traduzione oggi ripubblicata in altra cornice, il Premio Monselice 1983.
added by panbiot | editTuttolibri, Ruggero Bianchi
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toole, John Kennedyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Capus, AlexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Percy, WalkerForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.-- Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects (1706)
There is a New Orleans city accent...associated with downtown New Orleans, particularly with the German and Irish Third Ward, that is hard to distinguish from the accent of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Astoria, Long Island, where the Al Smith inflection, extinct in Manhattan, has taken refuge. The reason, as you might expect, is that the same stocks that brought the accent to Manhattan imposed it on New Orleans.

"You're right on that. We're Mediterranean. I've never been to Greece or Italy, but I'm sure I'd be at home there as soon as I landed."
He would too, I thought. New Orleans resembles Genoa or Marseilles, or Beirut or the Egyptian Alexandria more than it does New York, although all seaports resemble one another more than they can resemble any place in the interior. Like Havana and Port-au-Prince, New Orleans is within the orbit of a Hellenistic world that never touched the North Atlantic. The Mediterranean, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico form a homogeneous, though interuppted, sea.
A. J. Liebling,
THE EARL OF LOUISIANA
Dedication
First words
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 their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs.
Perhaps the best way to introduce this novel-which on my third reading of it astounds me even more than the first-is to tell of my first encounter with it. (Foreword)
Quotations
"The only problem those people have anyway is that they don't like new cars and hair sprays. That's why they are put away. They make the other members of society fearful. Every asylum in this nation is filled with poor souls who simply cannot stand lanolin, cellophane, plastic, television, and subdivisions."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802130208, Paperback)

"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 their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs."

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 Darlene 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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:08 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, --selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life-- is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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