Book Reviews of A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
ISBN-13: 9780394178004
ISBN-10: 0394178009
Publication Date: 1981
Pages: 415
Edition: 1st black cat ed
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 25

3.6 stars, based on 25 ratings
Publisher: Distributed by Random House
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

84 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
One of the funniest, most inventive, outrageous, creative books I've ever read. This novel has the unique distinction of having a character that is despicable and loveable at the same time. If you don't believe that's possible, read this book and you'll know what I mean.

Now everytime I want to get out of doing work, I jokingly complain about a "valve" in my heart. But only a character as visionary and charismatic as Ignatius could actually pull that one off.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
An outlandish, hilarious novel made more bittersweet knowing the author committed suicide. After his death, his mother found this ms. and Toole's one and only gift to the world was published.

Set in New Orleans, our unlikely hero is an overweight, spoiled brat, living at home with mom - in his 30s. He imagines himself superior to everyone in the known universe, therefore, cannot besmirch his integrity by getting a mere job. He spends his days eating and thinking and eating until his mother gets fed up. "Get a job!"

He travels through a cosmos of vivid characters, garish drag queens, and hot dog vendors, in a bumbling and half-hearted job search.

This book is damned funny. Every time I read it, I laugh out loud. And I grieve that a such a gifted writer was filled with so much sorrow that before he found acclaim, his sadness spilled over.

You won't find this book on my shelf. Im'a keepin' it and gonna read it again.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I read and re-read this book every few months and I always discover somthing new to laugh about. The most wonderfully eccentric characters I have ever come across. It pains me that the author took his own life and has deprived us of more of his brilliant work.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 459 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This wildly inventive and amusing novel features one of the most unforgettable characters in modern fiction: Ignatius Reilly. He's a mammoth misfit Medievalist hilariously at odds with the world of the twentieth century, and his adventures take him to 'way down, to New Orleans' lower depths.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The only criterion I can think of that would let this book qualify for a Pulitzer is "so obscurely written that it must be good" This is an Emperor's New Clothes kind of book. There's nothing good it in, it's hard to read, and it doesn't seem to have a point. The main character is disgusting, lazy, and pathetic (and not in a good way!) There are very few books I don't enjoy, but this is one of the worst I've ever read. The only thing I liked was the clever turn of phrase for the title.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The first part of this book was a tough read - Ignatius J Reilly is probably the most unlikeable protagonist I've ever read, and the cast of supporting characters aren't much more likeable either. The ending that pulls everything together is fantastic though.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Helpful Score: 4
Funny and smart. The protagonist is hard to like at first, but he grew on me.
He is a character that is hard to forget ("My valve!").

Overall it is a good story with quirky characters.

The book was published posthumously by the author's mother. Toole never got anything published during his life and committed suicide. It's unfortunate. I would like to have seen what other stories he would have written. Sorry to bum you out with my depressive, fun-fact.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is one of the top 100 books you have to read in your lifetime. Being from New Orleans, I can say without a doubt that the places and descriptions are exceedingly accurate for the time and place. Never has there been a more hilarious book ever written, and the ONLY book I've ever bought and read multiple times! Mere words can't describe the twisted and zany world that Ignatius J. Reily lives within.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I wasn't sure what to expect based on the variety of reviews but I really enjoyed this book. It was kind of hard to identify with or sympathize for the protagonist however once I got past that I just enjoyed the absurdity of many of the situations and laughed out loud on many occasions at the ridiculous comments and situations he, his mother and the extra characters got themselves into. I definitely want to revist this book at a later date because I think it's a repeater that you will continue to find new things every time you read it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read this book years ago after I lived in New Orleans. The quirky characters and the excellent writing make this one of my all time favorite books.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Helpful Score: 2
Once in a blue moon I encounter a man sufficiently large and self-absorbed to remind me of Ignatius Reilly. Usually I'm in the presence of others and, for ease and speed, I blame my out-of-place laughter on last night's Family Guy episode or a fictional passerby's unsuccessfully stealthy flatulence. My most recent encounter with such a man was during an introduction to my company's sweaty database administrator. In addition to his general, rotund astuteness, he possessed certain quirks which were instantly identifiable as Ignatius-esque. Most notable was his tendency to produce a fountain pen, temporarily discarding a typical ball-point pen already in use, to sign various corporate documents. The connection was instantaneous and I giggled with delight. Without having known Ignatuis, this guy would simply be a douche bag with a fancy pen. Thank you, John Toole, for giving me the gift of Ignatius.

That been said - I couldn't finish the book. The story line seemed to meander aimlessly and I lost the will to continue. But read this book so you can know Ignatius. It is definitely worth anyone's time.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Funny. A little slow and heavy on repitition, but hysterical.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Helpful Score: 2
I didn't particularly enjoy this book, but somehow I was compelled to keep reading it. I only really liked the ending, and NOT because it was over at last.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
phenomenal ... different ... hilariously funny and sad at the same time ... a must-read!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Someone lent me this book to read. It is completely out of my genre, but I read it anyway. It wasn't until I finished it that I realized how great a story it is. Absurd and heartfelt, that is all I can say.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A remarkable book all 'round, different, new and fresh, though imitated since its recognition. Turn off your miserable cell phone and plan to laugh and sink back into another world. Sadly, part of the enchantment is the setting in a New Orleans destroyed by "developers" tourists, corrupt politians (genus Washingtonia and Louisianaense) and natural elements. This book is as delicious and peculiar as Baked Alaska with mango ice cream. Savor it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Three words: READ. THIS. BOOK! I guffawed on nearly every single page; so much so that my husband, who was reading a considerably duller novel, remarked "I am about to steal that from you like a bully!"

Ignatius T. Reilly is a fat, gaseous, pompous, lazy, over-educated windbag who lives with his mother. After his mother gets into a drunk driving accident (which he more or less caused), she demands that he finally get a job in order to help with the expenses. Hilarity, as they say, ensues. Enter a senile bookkeeper, an apathetic CEO, a porn-peddling club owner, a dim-witted stripper with a trained cockatoo, a would-be saboteur, an inept cop and his peculiar auntie, and a disgruntled fork-wielding weenie salesman.

It's absurd in the way that Christopher Moore's writing is absurd, only much, much better written and crafted. I'm not amazed that there are no copies posted currently - who would get rid of it!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
1981 Pulitzer Prize for fiction! Good funny book.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have two friends who just loved this one. I read the whole thing and never felt the need to see what was next. Characters were completely unbelievable, disgusting of course, in a kind of junior high way. Can't believe it won a Pulitzer. Waste of time.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great quirky novel. Pulitzer winning.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very original ,Zany
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I think this is my favorite book of all time!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Helpful Score: 1
Highly original and incredibly funny novel.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love a book with eccentric characters and they were plentiful here.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An epic comedy - winner of the Pulitzer prize. Original characters about New Orleans lower depths
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorites of all time. From the Night of Joy to the Crusade for Moorish dignity, this book opens my valve! Do not miss this gem.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"I suspect that I am the result of a particularity weak conception on the part of my farther" muses Ignatius J. Rielly, the hero of this tale. He is pompous, self absorbed, sexually repressed, obese and worst of all a Medievalist. A modern, if somewhat twisted, Don Quixote who goes forth to right all manner of social wrong. He battles racial discrimination in the workplace. He fights for gay rights. He attempts to rescue a women from a life of sin. All done for completely wrong reasons, but with disastrously humorous results. Like Don Quixote he dose it all in the name of a women. Unlike Don Quixote it isn't done in the spirit of chivalry, but rather to one up 'that Minkoff minx' and take revenge on the only person in that world who can actually stand him.

Somehow you cannot help but come to root for Ignatius over the course of the book, and despite all of his blundering everything works out in the end and everybody gets what they want. The book was the funniest thing I've read in a long time and as cynical as I usually am the happy ending left me feeling good.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Hated this book. I could get through more than 30 or 40 pages before I gave up. Stupid characters doing stupid things. Not my kind of books even though I had read numerous good reviews on it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Didn't like the main characters, failed to see the humor. Stopped reading after the masturbation with a collie fantasy. Ugh.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow, I was appalled by Ignatius J. Reilly and found myself wanting to puke many times. But the end story and how it's all tied together was magnificent. A character such as Ignatius and the "confederacy of dunces" are so well written and so consistently frustrating and pathetic that this book was definitelt worth a Pulitzer Prize.

Still, Ignatious is gross and I want to vomit when I think about him, my valve can barely handle him.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 83 more book reviews
this is one book I'll never post, because I love it so. I never read books again, but this I will.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
this is an all time favorite that i read every couple of years. my literature professor recommended it 30 years ago and i introduced it to my daughter last year. it still holds up.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 813 more book reviews
What if you take two parts Tom Robbins, one part Ken Kesey, one part Joseph Heller, and one part J. K. Bangs, then purée; what would you get? You might just end up with J. K. Toole. This book has all the fantasy, cynicism, sarcasm, and wit that anyone could want or handle. His protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a real gem. Reading his description and seeing the artist's conception on the book jacket makes him the personification and forebear of "Super Mario." Did the game panderer plagiarize the dust jacket, or what? Ignatius is the muse of pedantic mockery. And you have to love Jones, the down-and-almost-out vagrant, the bumbling patrolman, and the misfit denizens of the shady B-joint, and the judicious use of the vernacular throughout. Although the pieces of the plot seem loosely strewn throughout the book, they all fit nicely at the end. Read this at your own risk, but read it!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Tsk tsk Ignatius! What a mess you were. I read this book based on a recommendation of a colleague and I wasn't disappointed. For the era this was written in I think it was outstanding satire. In fact, one of my status updates was that if I were Ignatius' mother, I think I'd hang myself.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 19 more book reviews
I absolutely loved this book! There is so much great detail both about the characters and the setting. A colorful cast of characters.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 18 more book reviews
This book is so weird but you simply can't stop reading because the author was brilliant. Also, when you look up the author's tragic story, it becomes even more interesting.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Without a doubt the best book I have ever read. One of those that everyone should read; works well between males and females alike. The most hilarious book anyone will ever read; a must for everyone's library!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 4 more book reviews
Great character development!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 19 more book reviews
An interesting read. I first read an article in a magazine quoting his mother. I wonder how much of this book is autobiographic? At times I felt like it was a train wreck waiting to happen, because the article mentioned his young demise. It won a Pulitzer Prize and the only other thing he ever wrote was "The Neon Bible" when he was just 16.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
I read about 150 pages and gave up. I can't see this story about some lazy fat slob getting any better. Really a Pulitzer Prize Winner?
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 76 more book reviews
I first read this book many years ago, and for me, it took a little while to truly capture my attention. Once I had read several chapters, I was hooked, totally. It is a book that has stayed with me for years, like any really good book does.

The story revolves around the darkly comic adventures of Ignatius Reilly, a total misfit adult overweight man living with his elderly mother in a lower class neighborhood of New Orleans. It immerses the readers into the dialogue, characters and life of New Orleans and the French Quarter, in the era of the early sixties. Ignatius is as peculiar and bazaar as the City of New Orleans, itself.

This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, twelve years after the author committed suicide at the age of thirty-two. It was due to the persistence of the late author's mother that the novel even got published. The mother hounded the then professor at Loyola University, Walter Percy, who finally read the manuscript, fell in love with it and the tragic story behind it, and eventually got it published. Percy, a great writer in his own right, never won the prodigious Pulitzer Prize but is credited with that honor going to this author, instead.

I loved this book and will return to it, again. Highly recommended; a 5-star rating.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
read twice or more. Ignatius is in the top five character list, ever.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 4 more book reviews
Great read! You would have to have lived it to write it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 21 more book reviews
brilliant
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 2 more book reviews
This is the strangest book I have ever read. I read it for a book club. There were no likeable characters in the book but I think it's worth a read because it is so uniques !
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 66 more book reviews
I started this unabridged audiobook on my 24-hour roundtrip drive to my parent's house (Alabama to Texas) for Thanksgiving this year. I was looking specifically for a humorous novel and selected this one from the Good Reads listopia for Best Humorous Books. I was intrigued by the author's tragic story, the setting of New Orleans and the fact that the book was first published in 1980 by LSU Press (my alma mater). The first 1/3 of the book was laugh out loud funny but as the story progressed, the humor grew stale. As the book came to an end, I wondered whether its Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was a bit misplaced or was based, instead, on the incredible story surrounding the book instead of the book itself. I do, however, agree that the depiction of New Orleans was outstanding and the city truly served as a character in the story itself.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 367 more book reviews
Hysterical - with characters like no others you've ever experienced. Such a shame that this Pulitzer Prize winning book's author never lived to know how great this book is.
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I have honestly never read a book quite like this one, and with that being said, I am not sure that I will ever experience one quite like it again. It is absolutely fantastic. Since I am from the South and live very close to New Orleans, I was able to really visualize the characters and setting. Toole got it quite right when he created the kooky characters in this book. I can really see some of these folks hanging out in the French Quarter!
When I read what the book was about, I wasn't really sure that I could read a whole book about a momma's boy with a flatulence problem, but Toole made this story line work better than most other books I have ever read. It has truly become an instant favorite for me!
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With its cast of maddening oddballs, this book made me laugh, but it was hard to have sympathy for any of the characters. Still, a good read!
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This is my favorite novel of all time!
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Meh. OK, but repetitious and not always engaging. Thought the ending was lame.
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I love this book but some people hate it. depends on taste. either way, i would def say this is a book to read before you die. haven't read anything else like it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 93 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book, and I am sad the author is gone and can write no more. He wrote another book before this one which I haven't read but I heard that it wasn't as good. Based in New Orleans, there are quirky characters and a very interesting plot line.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 30 more book reviews
Wasn't my cup of tea, just couldn't get in to it. But...others have raved about it. You may well enjoy this one.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 902 more book reviews
I have found that readers of this book fall into one of two categories: you love it or you hate it. Most of my book club hated it. I loved it.

The main character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is a haughty, self-centered, self-seeking, self-proclaimed genius who lives with his mother. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character, so don't expect him to stumble across any epiphanies or enlightenment. And yet in spite of everything unlikeable about him, he still makes for very interesting and entertaining reading. Most readers probably won't be able to identify with him. I could not, but that didn't make his story any less appealing.

The story is set in New Orleans and I think that John Kennedy Toole did a really wonderful job of capturing the essence and attitude that is New Orleans.

Once finishing the book, you might ask yourself, "What was the point?" It's not that the book doesn't go anywhere or that the story doesn't progress... I see this book more as a snapshot of a certain time in Ignatus's life and because of that there is no hard and fast conclusion. Perhaps that is why some people are left a little disappointed. The book simply ends, and Ignatius remains Ignatius. But the time you get to spend inside of the fairly off-center mind of Ignatius makes the semi- anticlimactic ending worth it because it's quite the ride in getting there.

In all I found the story to be entertaining and quirky in a way that was refreshing and even a little unique. If you approach this book with the attitude that you won't learn anything useful (and neither do the characters, really) then you shouldn't be disappointed.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 38 more book reviews
I couldn't get into this book. Parts of it were funny, but not funny enough to make up for how obnoxious the characters were.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
I can't really tell you if I liked this book or not. The main character is strange and unappealing yet I had to finish the book.

I think part of my interest was because he is a writer and so is my daughter. So I wanted to support him, yet did not like him very much. I felt sorry for him because I disliked him so much.

Yet, I needed to continue reading it nevertheless. Maybe it is kind of like needing to look at the car wreck; you don't really want to see it, but you stare anyway.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 146 more book reviews
"A corker, an epic comedy, a rumbling, roaring avalanche of a book."--Washington Post
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 151 more book reviews
Ignatius J Reilly is thirty-years-old, considers himself a genius, writes constantly and lives with his mother. He can't live outside of New Orleans â he got deathly ill the one time he left for an overnight trip.

One day while waiting for his widowed mother to finish some shopping, he has an altercation with a local police officer who is sure that he is some sort of communist or other unsavory character. His green hunting cap and flannel shirt and tweed pants didn't do much to make him look savory.

His mother manages to get him released without charges, but as she's attempting to take him home, she runs into a building which causes significant damage to the building. Charges will not be brought if the Reillys pay for the damage. Mrs. Reilly decides that Ignatius must get a paying job to cover the cost. Of course, Ignatius feels that his mother should cover the cost â but is opposed to any of her means of getting the money (such as a mortgaged on the home) and she cannot come up with the money on her fixed retirement income.

Ignatius reluctantly gets a job at a pants manufacturer doing clerical work. He feels he is way over-qualified for this job and his boss and the company's owner doesn't pay much attention to him â mostly because he doesn't really want the company and spends most of his time fighting with his wife. His only co-worker is an elderly and pretty-much senile woman who desperately wants to retire, but for some reason, the owner's wife has decided that keeping this woman employed is what is keeping her alive.

Ignatius and his mother's encounters with the other people in the New Orleans area seem completely unrelated but eventually they all come together with absurd and hilarious results.

I really enjoyed this book. It's very different â especially since I found myself actually strongly disliking â I'd even be willing to say hating â the protagonist. I will say, that I tended to skip through the sections that were Ignatius' writings â which are really more like ranting. Finding out where the story was going to go was the most fun.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 117 more book reviews
Worthy of the Pulitzer!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 175 more book reviews
This book would translate well into a comedic film. Its packed with hilarious situations and a well-developed cast of characters. I loved each and every one of the characters and cant decide on a favorite. The book is a lengthy one and the story doesnt really pick up until youre a few chapters in. Its definitely worth sticking with and reading from cover to cover.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
This has been an all time favorite of mine for many years. Each character is eccentric and besides being hilarious, each is well developed. There is no way to predict what is going to happen next. It is astonishing how seemingly unrelated characters impact one another. It is not a matter of all the characters meeting up at the end (they don't), it is that each person's misadventure leads to another persons undoing throughout this wild and wonderful story. I have not read this book in at least ten years, but the people and what happens to them are still vivid in my memory.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
Hated it. Some very funny parts but I just didn't get it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on
This book is sheer GENIUS, easily the best book I have read in YEARS. BRILLIANT. The writing is just so sharp, character development is spot on. Utterly hilarious. Smart. Timeless. Absolutely a keeper for me.

Highly recommended, with the maximum amount of stars possible! If you haven't read this, you absolutely MUST!!!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 404 more book reviews
"This book is quite simply a comic masterpiece, a novel brimming with original characters, absurd situations, and at its heart a blustery, vulnerable mama's boy named Ignatius J. Reilly. He is one of the most startlingly original characters in modern fiction, and his efforts at hitting the job market after his mother smashes their car will leave you in stitches.
A word on the history of the novel is worth mentioning here. The author, John Kennedy Toole, committed suicide in 1969, and his mother found the hand-written manuscript in her son's papers. She brought them to a publisher, who dreaded having to read even a portion of the work and to notify Toole's mother that it stunk.
Instead, he was blown away by Toole's draft, and the rest is history. The novel earned him a posthumous Pulitzer Prize, and it is universally hailed by critics." amazon review
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 5 more book reviews
I didn't actually like this book, although it got wonderful reviews and many people raved about it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 80 more book reviews
A little farce-like for me, but others might enjoy it.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 53 more book reviews
Ahhh.. what an awful book! There was absolutely no feeling or interesting things. I felt like I recieved nothing from this book. I do not reccomend this book even though it did recieve a pulitzer prize..
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 4 more book reviews
funny and bizarre
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 57 more book reviews
I didn't get it. Disappointing.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 78 more book reviews
Ignatius J. Reilly is one of the most annoying fictional characters I've ever encountered.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 11 more book reviews
Ridiculous scenes of New Orleans!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 22 more book reviews
I loved it; wish the movie would come out.
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 80 more book reviews
Woefully long, tedious and ridiculous. I hoped for spontaneous book combustion at page 6!
reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 52 more book reviews
Got this book from a co-worker...not quite interested in reading it but let me know if you are!