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 had no problems with the narration. I really just didn't get the story. I found the characters. especially the main character, to be absolutely annoying. I really don't like "not finishing" a book, but I finally told myself life is just too short to waste on a book that I don't like.
Full Disclosure: I love New Orleans. This book's setting takes place several decades ago, and NOLA has changed somewhat due to Katrina, but it's still a special city and this is a special book. It helps to love NOLA to "get" this book. It's hilarious, and the main character is a head case - hell all the characters are - but that's what makes this such a special book. The reader does a good job of picking up the local accents and flavors. Stick with it - you'll be laughing out loud in parts. There's a good reason this book won a Pulitzer. It's a masterpiece character study. I wish the author had lived to write more.
I am going to chalk this one up to a matter of taste. I grasp what the author was trying to do, and I chuckled from time to time but overall this book was not my cup of tea. I wouldn't however, recommend you not listening to it since the majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
I have tried to read this book a few times in the print edition. I found it amusing, but the character dialect would distract and confuse me, and I always put the book down without finishing it. Whitener's narration, however, complete with character-specific voices and dialect, brought the story to life, and I enjoyed it immensely. Kudos for a brilliant reading of a fantastic book.
I first purchased this book to read over 5 years ago and "tried" it a couple of times, but just couldn't capture the essense of Ignatius as I had been told by others. This was my first download of an audible book and I was thrilled at the readers interpretation of him. I do agree with another reviewer that the character seemed to be an older person by this readers interpretation, yet I still found it to be a wonderful experience. I laughed all the way through it, and have since bored all my co-workders with the antics of all the characters. Miss Trixie is a character in which I could easily visualize, along with all the rest. Barrett Whitener did a wonderful job in his reading.
I'm sure there is some point to it, but maybe the point is that there isn't any point. In any case the book is laugh out loud funny and you can't help but take life a little less seriously after listening to it.
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
Set in New Orleans, Dunces is a hilarious tale of some really unlikeable folks....dysfunctional misfits who blunder along committing the innumerable human errors that all of us are guilty of at times...and they do all this so well that you will nearly die laughing....the whole bunch of them should be on strong psychoactive medicine, but if they were, there would be no laughter....and in the end the reader may find that this funny story has something serious to say about life, or American society, or the human race, or all of the above...if you can get beyond the first dispicable major character, you will be on one interesting trip through what Mark Twain used to call "the whole damned human race", and you will understand why O'Toole must have had the same viewpoint about mankind.
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