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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)

  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)
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    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
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    rabornj: same type of character humor
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    mcenroeucsb: Books with Delusional/Enlightened Outcast protagonists
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    pgmcc: Both books take a quirky viewpoint on the world. They are also both about loneliness and isolation, yet really good reads.
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    A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (helio_)
  14. 20
    Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (mcenroeucsb, mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Books with Amusing Rogue protagonists
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  15. 42
    Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Cornbelt by Tristan Egolf (askthedust)
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  17. 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.
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(see all 35 recommendations)

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English (290)  French (8)  Spanish (5)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (309)
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
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 |
This is a re-read; actually the first was an audio book. I see that this is slated to be a movie. Ignatius J. Reilly is one of the great comic characters in literature. His size and dress, utter self-absorption and outlandishly wacky pseudo-scholarly "world view" are really a stitch to read. The book is filled with other remarkable characters and a down and dirty perspective on New Orleans.

The tragic ending of the author who died by his own hand before the book was published is a sad note. The introduction by Walker Percy is a fascinating look at how publishing decisions are made -- from repeated rejection to ultimately a Pulitzer prize. ( )
1 vote stevesmits | Mar 20, 2015 |
I heard A lot about this novel. maybe great comments and reviews were why I expected too much.
but there was one thing about this book that you can't ignore. in one little sentence: Well written. ( )
  payam-tommy | Mar 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (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)
 

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toole, John Kennedyprimary authorall 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:16 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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