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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Kennedy Toole's masterpiece "A Confederacy of Dunces"
In 'A Confederacy..' Toole created a masterpiece of contemporary writing.Set in the the tense air of 60's New Orleans ,the storyline weaves to and fro among Toole's motley cru cast of pornographers, bureacrats and "communiss" with a cold,honest yet human eye."A Confederacy Of Dunces" stole my undivided attention for all 400 pages;I could'nt stop from...
Published on 23 Jan 2002 by A Customer

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A cast of grotesques make a compulsive tale
This is a brilliant novel, but one I found it difficult to enjoy. The author has assembled such a cast of grotesques, that you keep reading just to see what horrors will come out of their mouths, or what stupid things they'll do next. This is humour of the blackest kind, with scarcely anyone except the black guy Jones to have any sympathy for whatsoever.

But...
Published on 14 Oct 2008 by Annabel Gaskell


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Kennedy Toole's masterpiece "A Confederacy of Dunces", 23 Jan 2002
By 
A Customer (Galway, Ireland) - See all my reviews
In 'A Confederacy..' Toole created a masterpiece of contemporary writing.Set in the the tense air of 60's New Orleans ,the storyline weaves to and fro among Toole's motley cru cast of pornographers, bureacrats and "communiss" with a cold,honest yet human eye."A Confederacy Of Dunces" stole my undivided attention for all 400 pages;I could'nt stop from giggling at the unfathomable situations in which Ignatius J. Reilly found himself and yet I sighed with delight on reading the climax, one which does total justice to the excellence of the novel.But the book's greatest achievement is Reilly himself.A marvellous orator with a repulsive appearance, a slob and a shameless social critic, Reilly's presence in the novel is simply immense, literally and metaphorically. He shall go down as one of the great characters of 20th century literature."A Confederacy Of Dunces" stands tall above all the rest.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Literary Equivalent of Marmite, 15 April 2004
By 
jacr100 "jacr100" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
If anyone is confused by that title, I’d better explain: I’ve been pondering why the majority of previous reviewers have either loved or hated this book. I think one reason is that you have to really engage with the character of Ignatius J. Reilly in order to expose the funny side of the novel. Admittedly his lofty sense of self-importance and heedless misanthropy won’t make this easy, not forgetting his predilection for hot dogs, burping, etc; but if you bear with him, the scorn he pours forth on virtually everyone he comes into contact with does start to make you chuckle, particularly since his anachronistic language and imaginative insults sound positively alien amidst the casual slang of his New Orleans acquaintances.
There are some genuinely funny moments, and the storyline is structured along the lines of classical farce drama, with the unfortunate Ignatius spiralling downwards into an ever more precarious position, both socially and financially. Not that he cares, mind you – he has only entered the world of work temporarily and under coercive pressure from his mother, biding his time until his great social commentary modelled on the philosophy of Boethius propels him to prominence. I agree with one other reviewer that it is this latter project that makes the book a little turgid at times, when Ignatius casts down pages of vitriolic invective in his diary. These sections aren’t boring, but neither are they that funny, and the reader might be forgiven for skipping them to get back to Ignatius loudly criticising the latest film, or condescendingly mocking whomever he encounters that day.
Anyone who is looking for a deep social satire, portrait of New Orleans, or critical insight into the reality of the American Dream probably won’t be too enamoured with this book, since it achieves these very subtly, against a backdrop of farce and characters who in many cases are exaggerated or one-dimensional. But if you approach this book not expecting – or even wanting – to discover the psychologies or ‘truths’ of human existence, and instead begin with an open mind just large to accommodate a near-obese, pompous buffoon with aims to change the society he despises for its ignorance and avarice, you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perspiring, 7 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Ignatius Reilly is a character never before encountered in literature. The abonamal giant disgusts, humours and challenges the reader at every turn.His repulsion of modern society is frightfully understandable and I was horrified to find myself agreeing with him on many points. Reilly is support by a fantastic medley of well drawn out, scene stealing characters of 1960's New Orleans. John Kennedy Toole has produced with out a doubt, in my mind, one of the finest books ever written. How I wish I could be there in New Orleans and witness the carnage Ignatius leaves in his wake at first hand.
Disturbingly insightful, frantically funny and easily believable. Confederancy of Dunces deserves far more prominent place at the grand table of literature. Igantius Reilly is the ultimate anti hero. Loved it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute ripper..., 11 Aug 2000
One of the most humorous books you will ever read - spent all day at work wanting to get back to the book. Characters sublime, setting brilliant and the plot rolls along like a bus driving through a cardboard box factory.
Look out for Jones - Ooooeee, he ain't no vagran cawmniss. Just buy it, you won't go wrong.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 Mar 2001
John Kennedy Toole created a masterpiece with Confederacy of Dunces and indeed a master, of sorts, in Ignatius J.Reilly. It is indeed a pity that we cannot indulge in more of his books.
Ignatius is a unique hero. He is overweight, superbly rude and self involved and treats his mother despicably - however, I still found myself liking this uncouth character. His high intelligence and fluent eloquence create an amusing sharp wit that everyone wishes for and few people possess. Not only did I find the character rather 'charming' (in his own absurd and bizarre way) I found myself wishing he could emerge real and thus I could 'meet him'.
Ah, truly a book to recommend. Surpasses most, and makes reading a true pleasure!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choose Your Reading Times Carefully, 10 Jun 2009
It's true, many of the reviews on amazon are rated too highly, like anything we've come to like for whatever reason is by default given 5 stars. From a technical standpoint this novel deserves 4 stars, but the reason I have to give it 5 is because ever since I first read it about 10 years ago, when I go into bookshops now with the intent of finding a book that will make me laugh, I walk in with my shoulders slumped and my feet scuffling along the foor in full knowledge that I'll never find anything as funny as The Confederacy of Dunces.

Ok, some people will not find it funny no matter how hard they try - I mean, I just don't get how something like the comedy show, Little Britian, could ever become so popular. But I do think the majority of readers out there who want more than the latest Ben Elton novel or have already read Catch 22, won't just laugh at the way Ignatius J Reilly sees and interacts with the world, but will laugh so hard that you'll have to keep closing the book for a few seconds just to gain back your senses.

I've lent out and given away a lot of books to friends over the years, but none have done the rounds as much as this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I laughed out loud so often!, 4 July 2007
By 
J. Moore "early reader" (Bedford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a book that I immediately wanted to re-read I would love to see an illustrated version to see how some of the other characters are portrayed. John Kennedy Toole was a genius why did he need to die before it was recognised?
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant, 18 July 1999
By A Customer
This is one of the funniest novels I have ever read. In my opinion it ranks alongside Catch-22, Breakfast of Champions and A Frolic of His Own in terms of both laughs and the sheer class of its writing. Ignatius J. Reilly is of course a mammoth fictional character, in every sense of the word, but he is only part of a brilliantly etched cast, whose words and actions spring forth from the page. In terms of sheer destructive farce only Don Quixote comes close (but even that classic doesn't feature it's hero selling unhygienic hot-dogs in a ridiculous pirate costume; attracting tourists and homosexual admirers). For years this brilliant book remained unpublished and ignored by that ever-so-sharp rabble that we call agents and publishing houses (yes, the same ones who ignored Catch-22 for over 2 years). Due in part to this ignorance the author committed suicide. And it is this tragedy that, in part, colours Reilly's adventures with a certain sense of sadness. Along with the realization that, as you laugh at this book, the author would never write another. However, before things get too maudlin, let me just say this: buy it, read it, love it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic bafoonery!, 19 April 2001
By A Customer
Without a doubt this book, much like Toole's other work 'Neon Bible', has not had the press and success deserved.
It should be revered as a modern classic.
Following the misunderstood outlandish genius of Ignatius J Reilly as he stirs and shakes The Big Easy the book paints a wonderfully clear comic picture.
I started reading this whilst in New Orleans and whilst on the jubilee line back in London continued reading it, reliving my own experiences of the French Quarter through the excellent descriptive style.
I would recommend this to all, but would also recommend a trip to Louisianna too to help understand just who and what we are reading about
10/10 and more
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book written in the 20th Century, 9 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Ignatius J. Reilly is a character you will never forget. Brilliantly written, this book will make you laugh out loud in public places!
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A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Classics)
A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Classics) by John Kennedy Toole (Paperback - 26 Jan 2006)
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