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A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
Book Description: — Released by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon. Rejected by countless publishers and submitted by the author?s mother years after his suicide, the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today, there are almost two million copies in print worldwid...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780394179698
ISBN-10: 0394179692
Publication Date: 1982
Pages: 405
Edition: 1st rev. Black Cat e
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 62 ratings
Publisher: Grove Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
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: 10
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: 9
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: 9
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.
VeganFreak avatar 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.
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reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 7 more book reviews
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!
FamFatale avatar reviewed A Confederacy of Dunces on + 369 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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