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A Confederacy Of Dunces Hardcover – Import, 14 November 2016
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A stunning clothbound edition of John Kennedy Toole's savagely funny, satirical masterpiece, designed by the acclaimed Coralie-Bickford Smith.
A monument to sloth, rant and contempt, a behemoth of fat, flatulence and furious suspicion of anything modern - this is Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, noble crusader against a world of dunces. The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged. Ignatius ignores them, heaving his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him- Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission - and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with.
'A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities . it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue'
The New York Times
Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Penguin; 1st edition (14 November 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 024128466X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241284667
- Dimensions : 13.8 x 3.3 x 20.4 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 55,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Brilliant book. I have no idea how he could describe someone with MH issues and Aspergers so precise.
Hilarious, funny and worthwhile to listen the audio which is on YouTube free of charge with New Orleans accent. No Audible version yet.
Top reviews from other countries
As comedy, I can at least in part go along with Billy Connolly, who finds this book the funniest he has ever read. There’s funny and funny, I suppose. Billy Connolly himself doesn’t go in for gag-lines; he tells stories. In this Confederacy the first time I laughed was at p175, although from there on some of the chatter was worthy of Chandler. What both Billy Connolly and John Kennedy Toole have in common is that they are memorable – the situations in this book are excruciatingly funny at times. I wonder who provided some kind of a model for the gargantuan Ignatius J. Reilly, so I thought of Rabelais. This got no further as I could remember next to nothing of Rabelais. Ignatius is a monster of obesity but super-articulate, and his funny side does not consist in his wit but in the grotesque situations he gets himself into. The other characters are a parade of oddities. They stick in the memory, and I found that there was not much sense of my pity being aroused. If there is one single character who is at least a partial exception to the generalisation that they are all parodies it must be Gus Levy, I should say, and maybe something of that even rubs off on to his shrewish wife, whose name, I seem to recall, we are never told. Ignatius himself – well, after being a completely impossible monster of selfishness for most of the book he suddenly seems to shed his monster’s skin towards the end.
As for the book not being about anything, it still has to be a product of its time, which is the early 60s. Any reader old enough is bound to catch the amusing references to ‘communiss’, to take a very clear case; but once again the author has a light touch, although I suppose one would find the general tone liberal rather than conservative. There is no reference that I can recall to political personalities, or even to political parties.
It must have been difficult to devise an ending for this particular book. I was surprised by it, but I thought it was carried off convincingly. We all, or most of us, know about the sad ending that John Kennedy Toole brought on himself. I can only suppose that anything there is to say on that topic has been said by now. Where he lives on is in this original and brilliant masterpiece. When pondering how to characterise that I suddenly spotted the anonymous contribution quoted from the New York Times ‘A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities...a grand comic fugue’. (I love that ‘fugue’). There is a thoughtful preface by Walker Percy, but for me it’s Anon who hits the spot.
Possibly better than Salinger in its humour and humanity although Salinger was obviously 15 years or so earlier.