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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy…
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A Confederacy of Dunces (original 1980; edition 1987)

by John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,391292140 (4)1 / 447
Member:marcosgrayado
Title:A Confederacy of Dunces
Authors:John Kennedy Toole
Other authors:Walker Percy (Foreword)
Info:Grove Weidenfeld (1987), Edition: 0020-Anniversary, Paperback, 405 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:None

Work details

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)

  1. 173
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (InvisiblerMan)
  2. 40
    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. 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.
  5. 62
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (citygirl, 2810michael)
  6. 40
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  9. 30
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    rabornj: same type of character humor
  10. 41
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  12. 20
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  14. 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.
  15. 20
    A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (helio_)
  16. 42
    Lord of the Barnyard: Killing the Fatted Calf and Arming the Aware in the Cornbelt by Tristan Egolf (askthedust)
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  18. 31
    Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware (2810michael)
  19. 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 33 recommendations)

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English (274)  French (8)  Spanish (4)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (292)
Showing 1-5 of 274 (next | show all)
I found the humor and tone of the book very unique. Unique = Good. The characters were very well developed and you wanted to follow along with them to find out where they end up. Towards the middle of the book I felt a bit lost and it didn't end as strong as it started. Overall the book was a solid, funny and clever read. I would recommend it. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
Equal parts uncomfortable and uproariously funny, A Confederacy of Dunces is a modern classic.
Many of us know someone who exhibits (or, sadly, we exhibit ourselves) some aspects of Ignatius' personality, and I'm of the camp that we should know our enemy, lest we begin to find used tissues, pretension-filled notebooks, and annotated copies of the works of Boethius lying around our homes and workplaces.
One caveat - anyone who has some experience with mental illness, firsthand or otherwise, will find some elements of the characters' lives sadly familiar, so - hey! Potential trigger warning.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I only wish that Mr. Toole had gone on living long enough to enjoy its success. ( )
  zhyatt | Aug 9, 2014 |
Oh my word! Hilarious and grotesque, often at the same time, this was unlike anything I've read before. Listened to, actually, and I don't know if I'd have enjoyed it nearly so much without the wonderful, perfect voices for the various characters provided by the Audible reader. Early on, I was afraid that all the characters would remain unappealing, but I ended up becoming quite fond of some of them. Anyway, this was unique and wonderful, and I now have Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy on my "to read" list.. ( )
1 vote meandmybooks | Aug 6, 2014 |
This is a fun book. Seriously. I figure, any book that gets me to laugh out loud...while I'm in an airport, well, that's funny.

All of the characters in the book were ridiculous. ALL of them. So much so that when I think about it, I think to the title of the book, and it is MOST appropriate.

A good read. :) ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is a fun book. Seriously. I figure, any book that gets me to laugh out loud...while I'm in an airport, well, that's funny.

All of the characters in the book were ridiculous. ALL of them. So much so that when I think about it, I think to the title of the book, and it is MOST appropriate.

A good read. :) ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 274 (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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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Haiku summary

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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Editions: 0141182865, 0141023465, 0141045647, 0241951593

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