on 28 July 2013
I have been waiting since 1981 to find out more about John Kennedy Toole - and this well-balanced, very fair and well-researched account is superb. It's true that Maclauchlin has to fill in obvious gaps with descriptions of, say, New York in the autumn, and it does feel like filler at times. Nevertheless, he provides a gripping picture of Toole's growing obsession with his masterpiece, Confederacy, and it's hard not to feel sympathy with a young author in the grip of desperation. Maclauchlin is covers the book's publication and reception in fascinating detail. Toole left very little behind. It's to Maclauchlin's credit that readers will now have the chance to know as much about John Kennedy Toole as they are ever likely to.