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View Full Version : A Confederacy of Dunces (book)....a MUST-read funny Pulizter Winner


Arielluria
09-13-2007, 10:40 AM
One of my favorite books is called A Confederacy of Dunces. It is LOL & ROFLMAO good! A hilarious book which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. It was published posthumously by the author's mother.

Amazingly, I've never met anyone who read it before I introduced them to it! Here it is on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Confederacy-Dunces-Evergreen-Book/dp/0802130208/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-1870894-3257724?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189693265&sr=8-2).

I first read this in Portuguese when I was 16. I couldn't put the book down!!!!!!!!! It's insanely clever. Everyone I have recommended it to has read it and loved it. I can't find an English version with cover art which TRULY depicts the lunacy in this book, so here's the Portuguese version. It's what grabbed me to begin with (the American covers just don't do it justice).

Here's how the book starts:
"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.

dagny
09-13-2007, 06:23 PM
I read this book a few years ago. Sad, hilarious, pointed and, well, gross are all words I would use to describe it :eyebrow:

PurlyGyrl
09-14-2007, 08:56 AM
Thanks for the suggestion-I'll have to look that up.

I have to admit though when I saw the title "Confederacy of Dunces" I immediately thought---h-m-m-m -a meeting of the bar association:rofl: Yes, a bad lawyer joke! :teehee:

Arielluria
09-14-2007, 09:43 AM
lawyer.........politician............just fill in the blank eh?:teehee:

Yes, "gross" is one of the adjectives for this book, but it's part of the funniness of it.

Arielluria
09-14-2007, 09:48 AM
P.S.: I don't remember thinking of this as a "sad" story. Yes Ignatius J. Reilly IS a sad figure of a man, but he's soooooo sad as to border on the lunatic, therefore, his antics make you :roflhard:.

dagny
09-14-2007, 02:30 PM
P.S.: I don't remember thinking of this as a "sad" story. Yes Ignatius J. Reilly IS a sad figure of a man, but he's soooooo sad as to border on the lunatic, therefore, his antics make you :roflhard:.

I definitely think part of what made it sad for me was the author's life and the way the book came to be published, which I learned before I read it, and either rightly or wrongly that definitely influenced my perception of it!

Arielluria
09-14-2007, 03:02 PM
Oh, yes, it's sad that he killed himself. I don't know the circumstances, but it just goes to show you, you never know what the future holds........just keep on hangin' on ;)

tootie44
09-14-2007, 05:58 PM
I love that book, though I haven't read it for years. Hilarious! I often find myself saying (to myself) "My nerves is SHOT!" :teehee: