A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole


This is a book about Ignatius Reilly, an absurdly reactionary intellectual who is forced by his mother to find a job in 1960s New Orleans. Along the way he encounters a streetwise black man forced to work in seedy bar, a henpecked husband who owns a failing jeans factory and a hopeless beat cop. He also corresponds with Myrna Minkoff, an old college friend whose left-wing radicalism contrasts with his own bizarre feudal ideology.

I liked the parts with Ignatius best, particularly the extracts from his delirious journal. I’d be happy have had the entire novel in his voice. I was less interested in the other characters.

Confederacy of Dunces is one of the better literary novels I’ve read this year. I’d give it a chance if I were you.


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