A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

Audiobook CD - 1997
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Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole's tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. ("Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.") But Ignatius's quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso--who mistakes him for a vagrant--and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job
Publisher: [Ashland, OR] : Blackstone Audio, Inc., p1997
Edition: Unabridged read by Barrett Whitener
ISBN: 9780786182466
Branch Call Number: CD FIC Tool
Characteristics: 11 sound discs (ca. 13 hr., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Whitener, Barrett 1960-- Proofreader


From Library Staff

Pete M. writes "I was questioned about being on drugs at 17 when I couldn't stop laughing and fell off the sofa, tears streaming down my face. Whoo, Night of Joy!"

From the critics

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Jun 06, 2020

A tender bit of melancholia.

May 22, 2020

I just did not like this book.

Mar 05, 2020

This book is hilarious!

🌭 A near masterpiece. Ignatius J. Reilly believes in theology and geometry, and has a sort of a job selling foot-long hot dogs from a cart. He detests Doris Day, and has problems with his valve. In real life, there's a statue of him in New Orleans, where he's much beloved, on Canal Street. His adventures are best found out about by reading the book, which is devastatingly accurate in its portrait of New Orleans in those days.


One way of looking at the character, is to see him as the first Internet troll, enormously sensitive to perceived slights and errors, writing long scornful screeds in reply (see quote from kokosowe). Odds are you've interacted with an Ignatius on the net, possibly even on this website. I know I have.

Sep 18, 2019

I first read this book in the 1980s sitting on the sofa next to someone from New York. I would laugh out loud, doubling over. He said he didn't remember the book being at all funny. He had lived nowhere near the south, I guess.

This is one of my all-time favorite books and one of the funniest I've ever read. I still vividly recall the characters.

Sep 18, 2019

This book is not for everyone; the humor is very specific. While I appreciate a little self-deprecating humor here and there, the plot is lacking and it was much to my own relief to have finally finished this book.
The main character is very dislikable. While some anti-heroes have their moments, this one does not. The ending is almost infuriating, because he doesn't get his comeuppance.
I kept reading and reading wondering why this book is a must-read. The vocabulary is exquisite and the scenarios interesting, but the characters weren't great enough for me, and that brought down the storyline. There's character development with pretty much everyone else except for the MC.

I think people who enjoy some fun vocabulary, dated storyline, and teachers trying to philosophize the hell out of this book will enjoy reading this. Otherwise, best to stay away for your own sake.

Jul 05, 2019

The audio book is excellent. The narrator captures the different dialects and accents with impressive precision. The story is amazing in that I didn't care for the main character yet wanted to know what was going to happen next. Definitely worth a listen.

Nov 10, 2018

I could read this book much faster if only I could stop laughing out loud and stop losing my place on almost every page!

Jul 08, 2018

This book is hilarious. I’d been wanting to read it and finally had the chance. I gave it a 4-Star rating only because i can’t recommend it to certain groups of people (church friends, my in-laws, etc.), due to various crudeness, vulgarities, etc., (one scene in particular, regarding masturbation. I’ll spare you the details).

At any rate, I would say this book easily falls into one of my top 10. I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud so much while reading. And because it’s such a fun and enjoyable read, it’s an easy read. It took me 3 days.

The protagonist (or antihero) has to be one of the most unlikable characters you will meet. A brilliant moron, or a moronic genius, whichever you prefer. There are a few slapsticky/campy moments, reminiscent of what was popular during that era.

As an aside, I think I’ve actually met a real-life incarnation of Ignatius J. Reilly, and if I ever see that man again, I’ll be forced to call the police.

May 29, 2018

Have to agree with Bisqit and Sonoraanne; could not get into the characters; had no desire to know what would happen next to any of them, even though I listened to about 2 of the 12 hours. Not recommended, not funny.

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Sep 18, 2019

melissupercool thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Brown_Dog_365 May 19, 2012

Brown_Dog_365 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Jul 16, 2008

Your total ignorance of that which you profess to teach merits the death penalty. I doubt whether you would know that St. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli. His death, a martyr's honorable one, made him a patron saint of teachers.
Pray to him, you deluded fool, you "anyone for tennis?" golf-playing, cocktail-quaffing, pseudo-pedant, for you do indeed need a heavenly patron.
Although your days are numbered, you will not die as a martyr–for you further no holy cause–but as the total ass which you really are.


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