A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole


Considered a tragicomedy, Toole’s novel tells Ignatius J. Reilly’s tale. He’s a disillusioned, bombastic 30-year-old who lives with his alcoholic mother in New Orleans. When his drunk mom drives their car into a building, he must find work to pay off the damages rather than following his heat’s desire – to pen his philosophies and tales on Big Chief writing pads. The cast of odd, brazen, and often hilarious characters he encounters throughout his failed adventures as a hotdog vendor and an employee of a pants company is incredible. So too are the twists and turns. If I didn’t have to read this book for book club, I probably wouldn’t have persevered. I’m glad I did. Some parts are super funny. But overall, I felt that I was reading about characters who were emblematic of the author’s life and who were in denial of some serious mental-health issues. And that felt quite grim, especially given Toole’s suicide.

Gwenamon says: Worthwhile

About gwenamon

bookworm, confidante, creative director, cyclist, global wanderer, music lover, shutterbug, shoe shopper, snowboarder, writer, yoga geek. i'm also a very proud mama of a lil mister named james.
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