Customer Reviews for

A Confederacy of Dunces

Average Rating 4
( 375 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

What can I say? It's the best.

Ignatius J. Reilly, Toole's main character in this hilarious tour de force, stands alone atop the heap of modern anti-heroes. After reading Confederacy, one never encounters the wackiness of life without asking, "What would Ignatius do?" This book, testimony to Toole'...
Ignatius J. Reilly, Toole's main character in this hilarious tour de force, stands alone atop the heap of modern anti-heroes. After reading Confederacy, one never encounters the wackiness of life without asking, "What would Ignatius do?" This book, testimony to Toole's brave genius, takes aim at the twin inanities of multiculturalism and political correctness, years before they fouled our national consciousness. Don't get me wrong. Toole is absolutely fair and even-handed: everybody gets theirs in this fearless and funny book. The plot is tight. The action is fast-paced. The characters are memorable. The ending is madly happy. And along the way, every page is crammed with humor, insight and deeply appreciative humanity. Long live JK Toole! Long live Ignatius!

posted by bossbaggs on October 18, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

A Big Letdown

I find it very difficult to dislike books but this one has achieved a rare distinction. It's probably the first book I've read that didn't have a single positive. I failed to relate to the characters and the plot was mundane, writing banal.

I love authors like Wodeh...
I find it very difficult to dislike books but this one has achieved a rare distinction. It's probably the first book I've read that didn't have a single positive. I failed to relate to the characters and the plot was mundane, writing banal.

I love authors like Wodehouse and Vonnegut. Catch-22 and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are the kind of books that make me laugh every time I read them. In contrast, Confederacy of Dunces was torturous and mind numbing.

Think of the cheapest slapstick you've seen and imagine a prosaic literary version of the same or think of time when a joke that was funny in your head fell flat when you said it and imagine stretching it into a book.

I guess many people appreciate this book so there must be something in it that I've missed. My advice is - Check out the reviews in detail before spending some hard earned cash on this one.

posted by 3600798 on May 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    This one must be for the critics

    While the premise is quite humerous, I tired of Ignatius pretty quickly. He is so unlikeable that, for me at least, the book became tiresome. He is such a ridiculous character, I had trouble taking him seriously or seeing the humor in his actions. Those observations don't necessarily make this a bad book, but I have trouble believing that there wasn't a better candidate for the Pulitzer Prize that year.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    Absolutely pointless.....

    Some of the internal dialogue is funny and his rants are amusing but the journey wasn't worth the effort....

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    Book Review

    'The Confederacy of Dunces is known as one of the funniest books ever written.'(The new republic) After reading the book ,I would have to disagree. The main character in this novel is a man named Ignatious,who is very annoying and was my least favortite character. This book was funny and interesting in the first few chapters , but then I lost interest completely. The novel is based on a forty year old man named Ignatious who still lives with his mother. Ignatious is oblivious to life itself but thinks he's better then everyone. Throughout the novel he does many inapprpriate things that eventually tick people off. This novel has a unique message that relates to life which you may find comforting or you may end up being fustrated with the characters in the novel. The title of this novel is perfect because it relates to all the characters because they are fools. This book should be recommended for the reader wth lots of patience and time. Other readers may find humor in this novel, but I was unable to.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    Alternatingly tedious and repulsive

    I had a hard time getting through this book given the completely unsympathetic main character and the flat development of the supporting cast -- perhaps it is a 'classic' in it's own way, but I seriously had less trouble getting through 'Satanic Verses' than this requeim to self-indulgence.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2003

    Almost Entertaining

    A Confederacy of Dunces written by John Kennedy Toole is a unique novel. The many different types of characters introduced throughout the book make it incomparable to any other book. While their reactions are often predictable the situations they get themselves into are not. Most of the predicaments they find themselves in, especially the main character Ignatius, are often hard to swallow. The conclusion of the book is no exception and is disappointingly unbelievable. During the first few pages the reader is given an idea of how annoying the Reilly family is. Ignatius is a grown man who although well educated has extremely damaged views and opinions on just about everything. He feels he is soupier than most people in his life are, and as a result often shares his arrogant opinions with them. He realizes he is rejected by society and identifies with colored people stating, ¿I have always felt a kinship with the colored race¿Of course, my exile is voluntary.¿ (p. 122) His mother, who worries about him non-stop, isn¿t much better. She often feels under appreciated and powerless as a result of her son shutting her out and either arguing or disagreeing with everything she has to say. In the club Ignatius and his mother enter in the beginning of the book many other different types of characters are introduced and followed through out the novel. First is the club¿s owner Lana Lee, all she wants is money and will stop at nothing to obtain it. She runs illegal pornography rings, waters down her spirits, and refuses to serve customers that don¿t meet her standards. To save expenses she has hired a colored man to sweep the floors. Jones¿s is an African American who must work to stay out of jail. He¿s underpaid and plans to sabotage the club. The book is one that celebrates individuality. These characters and more provide for an interesting development of events. Each character and their story resemble one stereotype or another, and resemble someone the reader might actually know. For example working at the Night of Joy nightclub for Lana Lee is Darlene. Her job is to push drinks to customers but aspires to be an exotic dancer one-day. Then there¿s Dorian Greene, the stereotypical homosexual who has huge fetish parties. The style of the book is also very unique. Toole tells many stories that are seemingly unrelated but brings them together in a way that could never be imagined. The majority of the characters mentioned show up at least twice throughout the story. Claude Robichaux is a man who is introduced in the first few pages of the book and is then forgotten. Yet rest assured his role is not over, for over 200 pages later he is brought back into the story as Mrs. Reilly¿s love interest. This is the same for a number of other characters, giving the book it¿s unique, yet sometimes unrealistic, theme of coincidence and ¿it¿s a small world.¿ Toole unfortunately killed himself before the book was ever published and was unable to see its success and the impact it had on people. This book is a great read for anyone willing to accept far out coincidences and sometimes-lengthy arrogant tangents from the main character. Readers looking for realistic characters will also be pleased, but only if they¿re willing to settle for an unrealistic plot. People looking for a believable plot and less of a ¿fantasy¿ novel should look elsewhere for A Confederacy of Dunces is not for them.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2003

    a confederacy of embarrassment

    i really wanted to enjoy this book, after reading the great reviews and learning of the author's unfortunate life, but i really thought it was depressing and humiliating. there wasn't a character in the book that i didn't find repulsive or felt sorry for. it wasn't funny to me at all.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    Not the full Shilling

    I heard alot about this book while in the states on holiday and went and bought the book out of interest. It is not a not a funny easy going type book that every one lets on. If you want to laugh this is not the book for you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2000

    Can Someone Hand Me A Diaper?

    I must say that this book is exceptionally well written, but how someone can find a 35 year-old, whiny, disguisting child hilarious is beyond me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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