“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole


Ignatius J. Reilly, working boy: spun low by Fortuna (that vile vixen) and forced away from the comforts of home; compelled by circumstance to seek employment out in the wild world of commerce and in the decadence of a fatally corrupt society; surrounded by ignoramuses unable to comprehend the superiority of his medievalist world view.

Oh, my valve!

Ok, enough of the Ignatius style.  I don’t think I can keep up with it anyway — he’s quite a character.  Anyway, this is a very funny story about Ignatius getting a job at Levy Pants, attempting to incite a civil rights style riot among the factory workers, then working as a hot dog vendor (his best customer is himself) while hammering out the details of a plan for world peace via infiltrating the world’s militaries with homosexuals (sound familiar?), and finally escaping being committed to the loony bin via a rescue from his archnemesis liberal hippie, Myrna Minkoff.

Although funny, Ignatius is actually a pretty pitiful (or, if not a victim of mental imbalance, downright contemptible) individual.  He pathologically, almost subconciously, works to destroy any opportunity for positive social relationships or what we would term “real life success,” not just for himself, but for all those around him, too.  I’m sure there are real-life Ignatiuses today; but they mostly stay out-of-sight — on the internet, lurking in some forum and/or playing some MMORPG 24/7.

Gotta say that this audiobook reading was absolutely superb.  The narrator has great voices for everyone.  I looooooved Jones, the “vagrant” in trouble with the law forced to sweep floors for under the minimum wage at the Night Of Joy bar: “Whoa!”


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