The hero of John Kennedy Toole's incomparable, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic classic 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.
©1980 Thelma D. Toole; (P)1997 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Barrett Whitener strikes just the right note." (AudioFile)
"A Confederacy of Dunces has been reviewed almost everywhere, and every reviewer has loved it. For once, everyone is right." (Rolling Stone)
"What a delight, what a roaring, rollicking, footstomping wonder this book is! I laughed until my sides ached, and then I laughed on." (Chicago Sun-Times)
I did not know what to expect when I started listening to this book, and as the book progressed that stayed true; I didn't know what to expect next. The story is hilarious and sad and surprisingly moving. The writing is bold and clear and audacious. Barrett Whitener's performance was all of those things too. His characterizations were brave and broad, almost over the top, yet nothing else would suffice to tell this wild story. He skirted the edge of buffoonery the entire time, and yet never crossed too far. My hat is off to this extraordinary narrator for doing justice to this extraordinary novel. Just buy it!! You won't be sorry.
The idea of the story is good, the performance is good, but the story itself drags along.
I'm more disheartened than surprised that there are so many bad reviews of this completely one-of-a-kind masterpiece. If you're looking for 'easy comedy', or something deserving of a 'laugh-track', this is not for you. But if you're insightful, observant, and appreciative of odd-personality types, and can read between the lines...you're a few clicks away from the hands-down funniest piece of work you'll ever come across in your entire lifetime.
This is GOLD! And there's nothing else like it!!!
Downloaded by my son, we have both listened and been amazed at this book. The characters are well delineated by the reader, with every nuance of accent and affect possible. It makes you laugh, but more often shake your head in amazement at the idiocy of these people. I can't recommend it to my book club (very funny, frank references to masturbation), but you gotta read this!
I read this book while I was in college and I fell in love with it. I must have read it 20 times over the past the 20 years. This book is a classic. You must read it, and get ready to laugh out loud!!
I was surprised at how much I liked this book, given that almost all the characters (with the exception of Jones and perhaps one other character) are thoroughly unlikable. This is especially true in regard to the book's grotesque protagonist, Ignacius J. Reilly, one of the funniest and most original characters I've seen in a long time. Despite Reilly's unlikeability, it's a testament to Toole's writing that at times we identify with the selfish, socially-inept buffoon. At other points, Toole skews it so that we're hoping Reilly's world comes crashing down around his head.
A trenchant and biting depiction of 1960s culture written at its outset rather than in hindsight.
I tried to read this on paper twice and finally got through it because of the clearly talented narrator for this audiobook. Perhaps reading this book in 2011 is the same as watching Citizen Kane. If you know why it was so amazing in its day, you can take some pleasure in it. But now that every unique piece of both works has been done and overdone, they seem grim, outdated, and tiresome. That said, the notion that our best and worst natures will manifest despite ourselves is a worthy idea; and this book (if nothing else) captures that beautifully.
Excellent listen. Complex, wonder dialog, subtle social criticism and one of the best character creations. Barrett Whitener does a exceedingly good job of narration.
This is a quirky story about a really eccentric man. I read this book several years ago and wanted to buy it on audio to listen on my drive to and from work. The narration is absolutely spot on and really brings out more in this book than just reading it. If you are familiar with New Orleans, then you will enjoy this book even more as the follies unfold all over town.
The author does a nice job of developing characters, but I thought the plot was pretty weak and not that interesting. It also ends rather abruptly but by that time I was ready for the book to end. The narrator is excellent however and I'll never be able to think of the hero of the book without thinking of the voice that perfectly matches the character.
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