A Confederacy of Dunces PDF Ë A Confederacy PDF \


A Confederacy of Dunces Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here 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 Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs Meet Ignatius J Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole s tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces Thisyear 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 jobOver the next several hundred pages, our hero stumbles from one adventure to the next His stint as a hotdog vendor is less than successful, and he soon turns his employers at the Levy Pants Company on their heads Ignatius s path through the working world is populated by marvelous secondary characters the stripper Darlene and her talented cockatoo the septuagenarian secretary Miss Trixie, whose desperate attempts to retire are constantly, comically thwarted gay blade Dorian Greene sinister Miss Lee, proprietor of the Night of Joy nightclub and Myrna Minkoff, the girl Ignatius loves to hate The many subplots that weave through A Confederacy of Dunces are as complicated as anything you ll find in a Dickens novel, and just as beautifully tied together in the end But it is Ignatius selfish, domineering, and deluded, tragic and comic and larger than life who carries the story He is a modern day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age His fragility cracks the shell of comic bluster, revealing a deep streak of melancholy beneath the antic humor John Kennedy Toole committed suicide inand never saw the publication of his novel Ignatius Reilly is what he left behind, a fitting memorial to a talented and tormented life

  • Paperback
  • 394 pages
  • A Confederacy of Dunces
  • John Kennedy Toole
  • English
  • 21 January 2018
  • 0802130208

About the Author: John Kennedy Toole

John Kennedy Toole was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his novel A Confederacy of Dunces.Toole s novels remained unpublished during his lifetime Some years after his death by suicide, Toole s mother brought the manuscript of A Confederacy of Dunces to the attention of the novelist Walker Percy, who ushered the book into print In 1981 Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.



10 thoughts on “A Confederacy of Dunces

  1. Megha Megha says:

    One fine morning Fortuna spun my wheel of luck and put me on a flight to NYC The person who was sitting next to me, refusing to indulge in modern day perversities like movies, pulled out his book and sat down reading He must have been enjoying it immensely, because he kept laughing out loud every now and then Soon he realized that some people had started turning around to give him weird looks Poor guy didn t have an option but to put the book down But Fortuna being the degenerate wanton tha One fine morning Fortuna spun my wheel of luck and put me on a flight to NYC The person who was sitting next to me, refusing to indulge in modern day perversities like movies, pulled out his book and sat down reading He must have been enjoying it immensely, because he kept laughing out loud every now and then Soon he realized that some people had started turning around to give him weird looks Poor guy didn t have an option but to put the book down But Fortuna being the degenerate wanton that she can sometimes be, was in a mood to play a cruel joke on him Even after he had put the book down, he couldn t help suddenly bursting out into laughter More stares More embarrassment.That was when I noticed that the book he had been reading was A Confederacy of Dunces Having read it only a week earlier, I could understand that he wasn t a nutcase To those who haven t read this book yet WARNING A Confederacy of Dunces is extremely hilarious and is known to have caused uncontrollable laughter in several cases Read it in public at your own risk

  2. Nathan Nathan says:

    I know I m out on my own on this one, but I detest this book I really think it glorifies whining to an extent never before seen in the human condition Everyone I know loves this book, and I know I am in a minority here But Christ That this book is so popular with people in my age bracket and not so popular with people older or younger really makes me wonder if it is part of the problem or a reflection of the boring, whiny apathy of my generation But if this book has any redeemable aspects I know I m out on my own on this one, but I detest this book I really think it glorifies whining to an extent never before seen in the human condition Everyone I know loves this book, and I know I am in a minority here But Christ That this book is so popular with people in my age bracket and not so popular with people older or younger really makes me wonder if it is part of the problem or a reflection of the boring, whiny apathy of my generation But if this book has any redeemable aspects at all, it is that it highlights just how lazy and worthless my generation is It s reflected in the reverence people my age give this book, a book whose central lesson seems to be whining is funny, and doing things is bad For dark, astounding irony about inaction and the parodoxes of a corrupt society, read Catch 22 or some of thecomical writers of astroyphysics tomes Confederacy of Dunces is the Forrest Gump of literature and I d like to never have another conversation about this book as long as I live.NC

  3. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    Read for the group On the Southern Literary TrailBounceBOUnceBOUNCEOh man ughh ooohhhhh.BOUNCE BOUNCE ahhhhhhhhhhhhhOh thank goodness my pyloric valve finally opened I didn t know I even had a pyloric valve until I met Ignatius J Reilly I had no idea that little valve could be so pesky I can only hope it stays open long enough for me to write this review When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.Jonathan SwiftIgnatius is Read for the group On the Southern Literary TrailBounceBOUnceBOUNCEOh man ughh ooohhhhh.BOUNCE BOUNCE ahhhhhhhhhhhhhOh thank goodness my pyloric valve finally opened I didn t know I even had a pyloric valve until I met Ignatius J Reilly I had no idea that little valve could be so pesky I can only hope it stays open long enough for me to write this review When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.Jonathan SwiftIgnatius is trapped in the delusions of his own grandeur Ignatius embraces the philosophy of Boethius, a Roman philosopher that was roughly walking the planet around 525ADBoethius will show you that striving is ultimately meaningless, that we must learn to acceptHe likes Boethius because he validates Ignatius s natural slothful inclination to do as little as possible Boethius woodcut attributed to Holbein the Younger 1537.In a short lived relationship with some black workers from a pants factory he discovered that they were striving for the wrong thingsIn a sense I have always felt something of a kinship with the colored race because its position is the same as mine we both exist outside the inner realm of American society Of course, my exile is voluntary However, it is apparent that many of the Negroes wish to become active members of the American middle class I can not imagine why I must admit that this desire on their part leads me to question their value judgments However, if they wish to join the bourgeoisie, it is really none of my business They may seal their own doomIgnatius is a guy that you don t want to work with You don t want to live next to him You certainly don t want to be related to him He is bombastically opinionated, gaseous, arrogant, and looks at the world through a Ignatius kaleidoscope that has little resemblance to real life For example after attempting to capture a stray cat on the street he is asked by his mother about some wounds on his handsI had a rather apocalyptic battle with a starving prostitute Had it not been for my superior brawn, she would have sacked my wagon Finally she limped away from the fray, her glad rags askewOh and did I mention that Ignatius is a compulsive liar Every experience in his life is elevated to epic proportions Speaking of epic proportions There is a life size bronze statue of Ignatius on Canal Street in New Orleans He is supported by his mother, with some supplementary income from his half hearted attempts to find employment, and keep employment himself He explains his failure to stay employed to his motherEmployers sense in me a denial of their values They fear me I suspect that they can see that I am forced to function in a century which I loatheHis mother paid for him to stay in college for 10 years living in poverty the whole time She didn t see the changes in Ignatius that she expected for all that money spentYou learned everything, Ignatius, except how to be a human being The first time I read this book I absolutely loved it The second time the joy was similar, but every reading experience of a book is different I rememberedthan I thought from the first reading, a tribute to Toole s ability to tell a memorable story or at least create a monolithic character, but there were things that I feel I missed the first time around or certainly did not pay proper attention to This book is funny I snorted out loud I found myself shaking my head, smiling, giggling, widening my eyes at the audacity of one Ignatius J Reilly John Kennedy TooleJohn Kennedy Toole had an unhappy life and took his own life, unfortunately, before Ignatius was ever realized by the reading public He had no idea that his character would become a descriptive term that even people who have never read the book will use in conversation, in some cases, without knowing the origin The book is a bit fluffier than I remember, not a literary megalith, but certainly entertaining If you decide to spend an afternoon with Ignatius you will laugh even if you don t want to, and as you turn the final pages you will wish that Toole had written just onechapter or two f you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  4. sarah sarah says:

    There are a lot of ways to judge people, but I find that opinion of this book is one of the most accurate and efficient With very few exceptions, I ve found that how much I like someone is strongly correlated with how much they enjoy the book Is it their favorite book ever, omg Well, they re probably either a best friend, a comrade whom I hold in worship approximating esteem, or my cool cousin or uncle or something like that Do they not get it or find it boring You aren t my type, sorry There are a lot of ways to judge people, but I find that opinion of this book is one of the most accurate and efficient With very few exceptions, I ve found that how much I like someone is strongly correlated with how much they enjoy the book Is it their favorite book ever, omg Well, they re probably either a best friend, a comrade whom I hold in worship approximating esteem, or my cool cousin or uncle or something like that Do they not get it or find it boring You aren t my type, sorry To me, this book is like the little yellow canary that you send down a mine shaft to know whether to run the other way or not I re read Confederacy piecemeal on my grinding morning commutes last fall If you ve ever ridden the DC metro at 7 30am you know that the cars are full of serious, silent business people So, when I couldn t keep myself from cracking up, I was very obviously that weird possibly schizophrenic girl that every user of public transportation dreads I tried to be professional, but Christ, this book is FUNNY, and I can t help myself And really, who cares what those people think anyway I m sure Ignatius would find their mere existence is an affront to theology and geometry

  5. Mary Catherine Mary Catherine says:

    I hated this book I almost gave up after the first 20 pages, but I decided to stick with it and give it a chance Wrong My first instinct was correct The only thing that might have saved this for me was if the main character Ignatius faced a long, slow, painful death There was absolutely nothing about him that I found redeeming or appealing Has there ever been aannoying, obnoxious character in literature If so, I don t want to know I had heard that this was supposed to be an hilariou I hated this book I almost gave up after the first 20 pages, but I decided to stick with it and give it a chance Wrong My first instinct was correct The only thing that might have saved this for me was if the main character Ignatius faced a long, slow, painful death There was absolutely nothing about him that I found redeeming or appealing Has there ever been aannoying, obnoxious character in literature If so, I don t want to know I had heard that this was supposed to be an hilarious book I don t think I laughed once I m left to wonder if this book would have this much hype if it wasn t for the story of its author He killed himself his mom found this manuscript and got someone to publish it Then it won the Pulitzer Truly, in the words of the great Dorothy Parker, this is not a book to be tossed aside lightly It should be thrown with great force

  6. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    Authors who commit suicide find their Lovelybones eye view from the afterlife brings them no comfort David Foster Wallace Oh my God look at that dreadful biography of me and it s selling too it s like they re murdering me all over again oh if I could only commit suicide all over again but up here, you can t John Kennedy Toole Oh shut up you preening self regarding self annotating depressing pedant, what about ME My God, if I d only persevered for another year or so, I d have Authors who commit suicide find their Lovelybones eye view from the afterlife brings them no comfort David Foster Wallace Oh my God look at that dreadful biography of me and it s selling too it s like they re murdering me all over again oh if I could only commit suicide all over again but up here, you can t John Kennedy Toole Oh shut up you preening self regarding self annotating depressing pedant, what about ME My God, if I d only persevered for another year or so, I d have been rich Famous Women would have wanted to sleep with me maybe Look at those sales figures I m so miserable If there was only a way to commit suicide again up here again but there isn t.B S Johnson Put a sock in it your situation is, admittedly, redolent of a sublime irony, but the afterlife of a real artist me not you, me a real avant gardist, a true believer is wretched look hardly any of my God damned books are in print anyNo one loves them, just the odd post grad creep scribbling a note in the margins of something unreadable If there was only a way to commit suicide again up here again but there isn t.Sylvia Plath Bloody men Up here Again No escape And look They re giving Ted Hughes a plaque in Westminster Abbey Fuck

  7. Michelle Michelle says:

    I thought the book was ok One of my old boyfriends recommended it to me, and while I was reading it I told him what an asshole I thought Ignatius J Reilly was, and that I was sick of hearing about his valve He got pissed off at me and told me that I didn t get it He said Ignatius was a misunderstood genius stuck in a shitty town with no one who understood him To be honest, my eyes kind of glazed over and I don t remember the rest of his rant, but I finished the book anyway I think the most I thought the book was ok One of my old boyfriends recommended it to me, and while I was reading it I told him what an asshole I thought Ignatius J Reilly was, and that I was sick of hearing about his valve He got pissed off at me and told me that I didn t get it He said Ignatius was a misunderstood genius stuck in a shitty town with no one who understood him To be honest, my eyes kind of glazed over and I don t remember the rest of his rant, but I finished the book anyway I think the most valuable thing I learned was to lie on my left side to fart One of my pet peeves is when someone says, You just don t get it No, I get it, I just don t like it One time I saw this shitty band I don t remember their name open for the White Stripes, and they kept saying, You guys don t get it Some of you get it, but the rest of you just don t get it NO, you guys just SUCK

  8. Matt Matt says:

    This is the book that almost broke my book club John Kennedy Toole s A Confederacy of Dunces is as famous for its back story as it is for its content It was published posthumously in 1980, over a decade after Toole ended his own life by carbon monoxide poisoning Despite having been earlier rejected by publishers, the book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize A Confederacy of Dunces is a rambling, aimless, comedic novel centered on Ignatius J Reilly, a buffoonish overweight man child with poor This is the book that almost broke my book club John Kennedy Toole s A Confederacy of Dunces is as famous for its back story as it is for its content It was published posthumously in 1980, over a decade after Toole ended his own life by carbon monoxide poisoning Despite having been earlier rejected by publishers, the book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize A Confederacy of Dunces is a rambling, aimless, comedic novel centered on Ignatius J Reilly, a buffoonish overweight man child with poor fashion sense, worse social skills, and deplorable hygiene Through 400 pages which is relatively long for a book in which nothing happens we follow Ignatius through various minor misadventures Ignatius goes to a bar Ignatius gets a job at Levy Pants and attempts to unionize the factory Ignatius sells hotdogs Ignatius in what passes for a large set piece attempts to use a gay soiree as a political rally Comedy is all about personal, subjective reactions Thus, any artistic medium that relies heavily on comedy is likely to engender varied responses For my book club, at least, those responses were all passionate It was my buddy Colin who picked the book He d loved it as an eighteen year old now, fourteen years later, he thought it a propitious time to revisit it Rule 1 of Book Club at least our book club is that the person picking the book has to have read it before He is then forced to defend the book at our bimonthly meeting In his opening statement, Colin declared his undying love A hilarious romp with an indelible central character The salvos came fast and fierce The group was roughly split on loving or hating the book, and responses lived at those two extremes Colin was the chief defender I was his chief inquisitor No one at our meeting had an indifferent response Eventually, the others got tired, their attention drawn by the frozen pizza and beer The debate came down to Colin and me battling away over the inherent worth of A Confederacy of Dunces while the others looked for a way to exit quietly I ll tell you what I told him I hated it Hate is a pretty strong word Perhaps a bit imprecise as well Overall, I strongly disliked the book But I hated everyone in it Based on the epigram by Jonathan Swift, it is clear that Toole s title refers to Ignatius s worldview that his inflated sense of intelligence, his delusions of grandeur, and his unrelenting condescension has created a paradigm in which he believes that every other person in this world is an idiot And what is , he thinks this idiot filled world is in league against him I took the title differently I assumed it to be Toole s worldview His evident intelligence, his publishing failures, and his depression clearly combined to lead him to his unfortunate end Reading this book, I got the sense that Toole really thought himself a genius one destined to be misunderstood To that end, the confederacy of dunces consists of us the hapless, clueless world There is a strong disgust for humanity permeating every page There is not a single likeable character There is not a single person walking the streets of Toole s New Orleans who shows a flash of wit, warmth, or love The pro Dunces members of my book club pointed out that I have a tendency towards likeable characters I considered the possibility, and though there is a grain of truth, I don t think it s entirely accurate It was not the characters un likability that struck me it was their creator s disdain Toole appears to despise his own characters How could I feel otherwise Ignatius is a tiresome, boorish person to follow He is disruptive, dishonest, and frankly disgusting His interactions with others are marked by a tendency towards sociopathy He is written for laughs or so I am told, by those who found him funny but he is clearly suffering from undiagnosed mental illnesses But rather than seeing him to a hospital, we have to follow him as he plods and farts his way through each day, griping about his valve, unable to reach the tiniest bit of insight The side characters are just as bad Ignatius s widowed mother Irene is an alcoholic enabler and so immensely irritating that I nearly defenestrated my copy of this book on several occasions Ignatius s long distance girlfriend for lack of a better word Myrna is a sex crazed New York beatnik who attempts to solve Ignatius s problems by analyzing his sex life To be fair, her correspondence with Ignatius is fairly hilarious Mr Gonzalez, the manager at Levy Pants, is a clueless bungler who doesn t realize that Ignatius is filing things in the trash The owner of Levy Pants, Gus Levy, is dumb, indifferent, and put upon by his wife, a trite, do it yourself psychoanalyst Patrolman Angel Mancuso seems to have a decent enough heart, but he is such an inept milquetoast that it s impossible to care about him The one character with a semblance of actual rather than perceived aptitude is Burma Jones, a black porter at the club Night of Joy He works there for Lana Lee and puts up with her unpleasantness so that he isn t arrested for vagrancy Burma rises above the crowd with his ability not to be taken lightly in this novel to accurately observe life as it swirls around him He is, in other words, relatively sane But even this character is marred by the black stereotypes and tropes he is forced to carry Honestly, I sometimes enjoy trashing a book Especially a trashy book that deserves it I don t feel that way in this instance For one, the background Toole s publishing woes, his death is sad For another, he was a man of obvious talent A Confederacy of Dunces is a masterpiece in that it absolutely achieves with great skill exactly what it sets out to achieve I simply did not like it After our book club disassembled, I didn t hear from Colin for awhile I wondered if I hadn t assaulted his favorite book a bit too hard Books are personal Sharing them is a risk Especially with our book club We don t stab in the back we stab in the front I almost texted him to apologize But his wife was also expecting a baby any day, so it occurred to me that he had other things on his mind Then, the other night, I was taking an evening stroll when I ran into him and his wife as they walked around, trying to jumpstart labor I was going to ask them about baby related stuff, but Colin cut me off immediately I ve been thinking about A Confederacy of Dunces, he said I mcertain than ever that you re completely f ing wrong It s a great book It changed my life Did it really change your life I asked Well, no But it s really damn funny So, there you have the dissenting opinion I didn t care for A Confederacy of Dunces But maybe I m just completely f ing wrong

  9. Michael Finocchiaro Michael Finocchiaro says:

    This was my second read of this unbelievable masterpiece from John Kennedy Toole who committed suicide 21 years before this book was rediscovered and published by his mother he was thus the only person to receive a posthumous Pulitzer in 1981 Ignatius P Reilly is so incredibly unforgettable I laughed from cover to cover The parrot on his shoulder reminded me of the Mexico episode in Bellow s Augie March which I also loved and reviewed here There is never a dull moment here and the implic This was my second read of this unbelievable masterpiece from John Kennedy Toole who committed suicide 21 years before this book was rediscovered and published by his mother he was thus the only person to receive a posthumous Pulitzer in 1981 Ignatius P Reilly is so incredibly unforgettable I laughed from cover to cover The parrot on his shoulder reminded me of the Mexico episode in Bellow s Augie March which I also loved and reviewed here There is never a dull moment here and the implicit criticism of American consumerism was and remains revelatory and thought provoking But what really clinches the book is Ignatius and his poor long suffering, overbearing, manipulative, compulsively Catholic mother and his insane ex girlfriend Somewhere between Portnoy s Complaint and Don Quixote, this is a true modern masterpiece and well worth the read.Also, a good read now with Drumpf the tiny handed Dunce in the White House With a mustache and a hat with earmuffs, the resemblance with IP Reilly would be striking

  10. Lyn Lyn says:

    Confederacy of Dunces is a masterpiece of satire and irony, a worthy recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for best novel It is funny, sometimes uproariously so, and I smiled and chuckled throughout Toole s depression and loss was not just of himself and his family, but also of us all, a genius who can create this comedic virtuosity might have written a folio of great work, and perhaps Confederacy was not even his greatest Or perhaps, the spark that drove him to so bitingly observe our culture and Confederacy of Dunces is a masterpiece of satire and irony, a worthy recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for best novel It is funny, sometimes uproariously so, and I smiled and chuckled throughout Toole s depression and loss was not just of himself and his family, but also of us all, a genius who can create this comedic virtuosity might have written a folio of great work, and perhaps Confederacy was not even his greatest Or perhaps, the spark that drove him to so bitingly observe our culture and time was also the flame from within that ate him away too, I guess we ll never know Ignatius J Reilly is to literature as Homer Simpson is to our later culture, a grotesquethan a picaresque, a satirical slap in the face of who we are, a fool s loving but damning foil to the king The comparisons to Don Quixote are unavoidable, but whereas Quixote was roguish and loveable, Ignatius never achieves the heroic, even mock heroism And he is never loveable And perhaps that is a mark of Toole s true, painful vision, that our idiosyncrasies need to be made fun of, but there is no gentleness left, that only a rough and stinging rebuke will show through the neon and carnival barkers Maybe Ignatius was most timely amidst Toole s own insanity, in the mid sixties, and by the time of Walker Percy s discovery some of the edge had already worn away, or perhaps even, it was still just poking harmless fun at the products of society Thirty years later, and the grotesque center stage with spotlights on Ignatius have become as common as reality TV shows, the characters no longer charicatures because of familiarity So while Confederacy of Dunces is a modern classic, some of its stinging comment has been lost amidst too frequent of the same targets and too many opportunists to admonish gently Thirty years later, Ignatius is no longer a caricature but a portrait.But to its credit, Dunces has some redemption, some easy to find, other examplessubtle By the end, Mrs Reilly can stand her own ground, while still being a mother who loves her son, Gus Levy has excorsied the demons from his past and seems able to meet future challenges head on And the true hero of COD, Burma Jones, who, by a lucky stroke of PR savvy, will be a vagrant no .Good book 2018 addendum it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think Ignatius is the memory and this portrait that Toole has given us is not just of this man, but he is a microcosm of a time and place, but in another sense, timeless

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