08 October 2006

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Fiction: Contemporary. Unabridged Audio from Blackstone Audio. Published in 1980, recorded 1997. 13 hours and 32 minutes. Read by Barrett Whitener. Purchased at Audible.com.

While I had heard the title before, I really had no idea what this book was about when my Mom recommended it. Since she indicated that both she and my brother had enjoyed it, I decided to bypass concerns about the bizarre title and give it a read. Turns out a strange title was a good fit for this book. The main character makes you waver between laughing outloud and shaking your head in disbelief. It was a very entertaining listen. I spent a fair portion of it anticipating with dread what on earth he would do next, yet sometimes agreeing with his assessment of things. (It's not a rated G listen - probably R.)

Publisher's summary:
"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once." So enters one of the most memorable characters in recent American fiction.

The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic is one Ignatius J. Reilly, "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter". His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.

Online book shopping:
Powell's: A Confederacy of Dunces
amazon.co.uk: A Confederacy of Dunces
amazon.com: A Confederacy of Dunces
Audible.com: A Confederacy of Dunces

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