I read this book about 15 years ago and loved it. It is filled with fantastic characters (in both senses of the word) and even better dialog. It is really the dialog that carries the book for me.
I wanted to reread the book and when I saw it was available in audio book format I jumped on it.
The audio version is unbelievably wonderful. While it is not a dramatized version you almost feel that it is because of the PERFECT voices used for the characters. You really get the feel for the personality of Ignatious (the main characther).
I cannot reccomend this highly enough for fans of quirky fiction. This is a perfect audio adaptation of an already great book.
This is one of those books I'd always heard the title of bandied about and never picked up. Now I feel like I am the last person in the world to be let into the secret society of Ignatious J. Reilly's fan club! This book is hilarious - more so for all the protaganist's horrific flaws, and for how the listener can shamefacedly see those flaws in her own life. This reading was very well done - I sat in front of my computer and laughed out loud. I want to listen to it all over again!
It's probably one of the top "listens" you'll find. The language, characters, pace of the writing could very well make you want to read the book after you listen to it. It's pure genius. The narrator deserves an industry award for his performance. What can make this experience even better is finding someone else who has listened to the book so you can compare notes.
What a wonderful experience! A delightful book and so expertly read. Listening to this book reminded me of something we used to call "radio". I've listned to many books and in this one each character was expertly rendered and captured.
And the story itself is captivating. It has humor galore and a bit of suspence as well. I fully agree with the opening narration that the loss of the author is a double tragegy: for his own death and for the world to lose any future books. I'd read more in a flash.
I got it. I got the humor, I got what the author was trying to say. I just didn't like it. I appreciate the writing and the cleverness that made this a Pulitzer Prize winner. I'm giving it three stars because I recognize that it's well-written and would appeal to those with a taste for picaresque characters in farcical situations, and truthfully, there were a few parts that made me laugh. But being primarily a reader of genre fiction, a book like this with no real plot and no character growth just doesn't appeal to me. For literary fiction, A Confederacy of Dunces has the virtue of being unpretentious -- it's designed to entertain you, not move you or make you think Deep Thoughts. But it didn't hit my funny-bone enough to overcome my loathing for the characters.
That said, I listened to the audio version narrated by Barrett Whitener, and I highly recommend it. I can't imagine a more perfect audio portrayal of Ignatius, and he did a wonderful job with all the other characters as well. Honestly, I think the book would have been a lot less funny without his narration.
The story is fantastic, very funny and intelligent - the Narration is horrible and completely ruined the book for me - please just read this and don't waste your time listening!
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
It took me seven years and many, many false starts before I was able to get through this book, that so many people claim as their all-time favorite. Ultimately, it was worth the time. Really, I'm glad to have this one under my belt so that I know what all the fuss is about.
It took me a while to really "get" the novel, and I did get a measure of joy from all the talk about our protagonist's valve.
Ignatius is a fantastic character; one of the best in all of literature, maybe. But the world he inhabits in this book is boring. The plot did nothing for me, and the dialog alone was not funny enough to carry me through.
Partner one of the best books, comedic or otherwise, ever written with stellar narration and you have the most entertaining audiobooks I have ever heard. The book has always been one of my favorites; this is the fourth time I have read it. This audio edition rivals my first reading due to the engaging reading. Pure joy!
Husband, father, building contractor, inventor and audio book lover.
Ignatius J. Reilly is one of the most interesting, fantastic and deluded characters in book I have ever listen to. As for me I am not aware of the intricacies of the New Orleans dialect and had no problems with the narrator. I was engrossed in the tragic and hilarious life of our victim of the conspiracy of the "dunces", he was so ruthlessly surrounded with. Funny, is a poor description of this tale, as the characters are both heartbreaking and humorous. I was not ready for the book to end and it is unfortunate that the author left this world without sharing more of his wit. At least we got this bit of his mind. Savor it.
“ ... with the breakdown of the medieval system, the gods of chaos, lunacy, and bad taste gained ascendancy.”
- Ignatius J. Reilly
The story of the book and its place in the American canon is well-known. Ignatius J. Reilly is a man of New Orleans and the 13th century. He has been called Don Quixote, but he is the windmill, leaving chaos in a swath larger than his blubbery odious arms.
Two of the books characters are New Orleans and the New Orleans accent. It is the New Orleans of the 1960s, where one twisted wires until the television resolved itself into only two ghostly images, where nickels and dimes could buy things, and when pornography rhymed with photography.
The introduction is by another son of New Orleans, Walker Percy, who tells the story of the novel's publication and praises the authentic dialogue and the portrayal of a black man in the 1960s as a man instead of a charcoal caricature.
Toole's prefaces the novel with a quote from A J Liebling, the great New Yorker contributor, journalist and war reporter. Liebling cites the New Orleans accent--which is not antebellum julip tones but the clipped sounds of a working port, "closer to Hoboken".
Without the right performance, this book fails, and this performance is perfect, from the port city clip to the black man standing up to his racist employer to Ignatius's own blustery indignant quaver.