Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Review: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Book: A Confederacy of Dunces

Author: John Kennedy Toole

Pages: 394 pages

Read on: Kindle

Read in: Across a few days

Plot Summary: A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole's hero 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" (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times)

What I Liked: This is an utterly hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny book! That apart, here is the list:
  • The characters in this book are real characters! They are eccentric, kooky and totally nuts! They are all trapped in their own worldview/ way of looking at things and this is what leads to a lot of shenanigans and the aforementioned laugh-out-loud moments. 
  • The setting of New Orleans- the language, the tone (you can hear it in your head as you read) and the spirit of the city are all very well captured! 
  • The shenanigans that Ignatius and the other characters get up to in the book are inanely and insanely funny. I laughed out loud on so many occasions, often in the dead of the night, thereby, startling my family!
  • Ignatius Reilly is utterly ridiculous! He is a total caricature and a self-proclaimed anachronism! He hates everything about the "modern age"- the TV shows, the movies, the morals- and he makes sure everyone around him knows of his disapproval. He also gets into major shenanigans because he is actively trying to get out of doing any work. 
What I Didn't Like: Nothing much, really. The New Orleans style of speaking, which is the voice in which the book is written, took some getting used to. There were multiple accents (in a manner of speaking) in which the characters spoke and it took some getting used to. 

Rating: 5/5
A Confederacy of Dunces is a really, really funny book. If you want to read an intelligently written quasi-satirical work, then this book is a good choice. 

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