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A Confederacy of Dunces (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 30 Mar 2000

4.2 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (30 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141182865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141182865
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

It's been hailed as a masterpiece and reviled as trash, but A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole has never been lightly dismissed. By creating Ignatius J. Reilly, a bigger-than-life bag of wind stuffed with some of the most comically outrageous and disturbingly insightful opinions ever put to paper, Toole made an indelible mark on the landscape of American literature--a feat recognized with the posthumous publication of this novel, followed by a Pulitzer Prize. Forced to wade the lower depths of New Orleans society, the gargantuan Ignatius, his poor mother in tow, takes us on a tour de force through the back alleys and juke joints of the French Quarter of New Orleans as he implores the gods, railing against the hypocrisy of contemporary politics and the crushing weight of late capitalism. "The luminous years ... dimmed into dross; Fortuna's wheel had turned ... Having once been so high, humanity fell so low. What had once been dedicated to the soul was now dedicated to the sale." Toole's suicide at 32 silenced a uniquely promising literary voice, denying his critics and fans the opportunity to determine whether his talent was a flash in the pan or a first spark of genius. Read A Confederacy of Dunces and you'll no doubt have formed your own inflexible opinion, which you'll defend tenaciously against all reason. --George Laney, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"What a delight, what a roaring, rollicking, footstomping wonder this book is. I laughed until my sides ached, and then I laughed on."

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is one of the funniest books I have ever read but it is only a hair's breadth away from being over the top and it might not be to everyone's taste.

If you were to describe the "hero" of this book, people would probably find him hopelessly exaggerated - a grotesquely fat guy from New Orleans called Ignatius Riley with a bushy moustache who wears a hunting cap, plaid shirt, baggy trousers and fouton.

He's a southern version of Seinfeld's slobbish neighbor, Newman, or should we say "Nooman!".

At least Newman had a job as a postman whereas Riley regards work as beneath his dignity. His attempts at earning a living as a hot dog salesman come to nothing as he eats most of his stock.

Riley lives in poverty with his long-suffering mother and regards himself as intellectually superior to everyone else.

There are a host of other over-the-top characters, including the world's most incompetent policeman, all of whom live in similar fantasy worlds to Riley. Much of the dialogue is in New Orleans dialect which adds to the mayhem.

Highly recommended.
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This is the single funniest book I have ever read, and I think about it every day. I can read it over and over, again and again, and laugh anew like a fool every time. Sickeningly good. Truly, truly brilliant.
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I started this book and gave up because I hated the main character so much. Then I tried again, and he is really so gross it doesn't matter. Once I got going thoroughly enjoyed it. Funny. Ridiculous. All the characters are cartoon, in the sense that they are exaggerated to the nth degree and totally unbelievable. Once you get in the groove with this, it's a great read. A book that does polarize people, so you do have to get over this barrier, otherwise you will hate it. If you can't cope with despising most of the characters look elsewhere. If you can and have a dark sense of humour you'll love it.
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I know many consider this one of the funniest books ever written but I found the protagonist so loathsome that I wanted to wash my hands after reading.
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I love this book- a bit un-nerving that I saw much of myself in the heinous main character!
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Bought as a Christmas present - nephew very pleased!
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Brilliant look on life so different from any other book I have read
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a bizarre melange of characters and pity he couldn't have done more
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