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A Confederacy of Dunces Audiobook

A Confederacy of Dunces

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Publisher's Summary

"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once." So enters one of the most memorable characters in recent American fiction.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (3329 )
5 star
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4.0 (2234 )
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4.2 (2227 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Comeaux 09-24-13
    J. Comeaux 09-24-13

    AudioBook Fan Extraordinaire

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Stand-Out Book, and Spot-on Narration"
    Any additional comments?

    I read the book back in early 1980's, and now I have thoroughly enjoyed the audible version. What a wonderful job the narrator did of getting so many individual voices, sometimes in the same scene, and making them unique and enjoyable. The book captures many, maybe most, of the low-life New Orleans city living in the 1960's. I know because I lived there in the 1970's, and not much had changed. I have read a hundred reader reviews of this book, and the sum is this: if you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of book you'll like. An anti-hero that has no redeeming qualities. A collection of characters all around him that are not much better. Even if you loathe the book, you'll come away with a feeling, "Well, I'm glad I'm not like THAT!" Just read it, it is one-of-a-kind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daya Curley Sunnyvale, CA, United States 09-07-13
    Daya Curley Sunnyvale, CA, United States 09-07-13
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    "A great book / a fantastic voice performance!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Confederacy of Dunces the most enjoyable?

    I really loved feeling like I could trust the performer as much as I did the text. I had read the books a number of times, but felt like hearing it this time. I'm so glad I did!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Confederacy of Dunces?

    The differentiation was impressive...and the accents totally believable.


    What does Barrett Whitener bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It felt like Barrett Whitener was having a blast...and that means the world to the listener.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. F. Rucker Stone Mountain, GA United States 08-04-13
    W. F. Rucker Stone Mountain, GA United States 08-04-13 Listener Since 2007

    eclectic reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ignatius J. Reilly Against the World"

    When we first meet our hero he is waiting for his mother in a store wearing his green hunting hat with green ear flaps. He is a very large man subject to internal attacks from his pyloric valve that lead to distinctive large, loud burps. In the store he gets into an altercation with the police in the form of Officer Mancuso, part of the menagerie of characters all vying for the title of the craziest human being on the planet. None of them are any competition for Ignatius.
    Reilly is 30 years old and lives with his mother. He spends his time in bed writing a magnum opus on Big Chief note books in pencil and crayon. He is forced to seek employment when his mother steers her old Plymouth into a building incurring a sizable bill for the damages done. First he finds work at Levy Pants, an old family business on it's last legs. The owner, Mr. Levy and his wife are engaged in a constant battle as he neglects the business and she berates him about anything she can think of the more personal, the better. Ignatius leads a revolution of the work force who figure out he is crazy, stop demonstrating and go back to work.
    He then moves to a career as a hot dog vendor. The high point of this career is selling hot dogs on Bourbon Street dressed up as a pirate complete with earring and plastic cutlass. He is less than successful since he eats not just the profits but all of the product he he can carry around in his mobile hot dog stand. All through the book he carries on a relationship by mail with Myrna Minkoff which could be styled the Marxist and the Medievalist with Myrna as the Marxist. Another fun spot is the House of Joy a B-girl bar whose owner sells porn on the side and pays a black man named Jones $20.00 a week to sweep up while he cracks jokes about his mistreatment. The narrator was excellent. All of the characters have great voices with very distinctive accents.
    I could go on a lot longer but I think you get the idea. The book goes from very amusing to laugh out loud funny as Ignatius goes through the world in his own reality in a struggle with the rest of the world. He loses a lot of the battles but refuses to give up the fight. He speaks of the whims of fortuna and forges ahead. He not only refuses to conform he is horrified and angered that he is expected to. I recommend the book highly and am only saddened by the fact that it was the only book completed by the author during his adult life. He wrote one other book when he was 16 but it was not a work of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jon 06-08-13
    jon 06-08-13
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    "Within reach of Cervantes
    "

    The novel staggers in scope. Hilarious and devastating. A perfect novel and a perfect narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh Mah Gawd!"

    Ignatius J. Reilly is utterly and hilariously unforgettable ... So disturbing is he that one wishes to look away, but cannot. A host of delightful characters brought to life by Barrett Whitener, who does John Kennedy Toole's one and only novel proud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Henderson, NV, United States 05-23-13
    John Henderson, NV, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Hilarious Masterpiece by Novice Writer"
    What did you love best about A Confederacy of Dunces?

    Non-stop laughs and great narration of character accents.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Confederacy of Dunces?

    Ignatius' attempted coup of Levy Pants.


    What does Barrett Whitener bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Colorful voices and accents.


    If you could take any character from A Confederacy of Dunces out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ignatius. It would be an unforgettably outrageous night.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaas Baichtal 04-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Hilarious!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Confederacy of Dunces to be better than the print version?

    The print version might be great, but for me the accents, the timing, and the emotions of the reading were part of what made it so wonderful!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hmm. Ignatius because of his huge ego :D But I also loved Jones for basically saying everything he was thinking (which somehow never got him in trouble), poor Mansuko for being so hard working, Myrna because of how absolutely crazy she drove Ignatius from afar (also addressing her love letters with "Sirs:", and Trixie for sticking to her guns.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It was a super minor scene but I really enjoyed the picture of Myrna and Ignatius terrorizing that teacher and that college.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It took me 3 days of listening with a break day among them. It wasn't a compulsive read for me, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.


    Any additional comments?

    I rarely find someone else with as messed-up a sense of humor as my own. And to think I found out about this book entirely by accident, because I heard a biographer talking about its author in a podcast!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared Stringer 04-10-13 Member Since 2016
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    "The very best audiobook ever made!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Confederacy of Dunces the most enjoyable?

    This book is essentially about New Orleans and its people and the narration brings every exquisite detail to life!


    What did you like best about this story?

    This novel is the most unique I have ever read. The main character is literally a huge personality that is both fascinating, horrifying and wonderfully entertaining. You will never encounter a group of characters like this.


    What about Barrett Whitener’s performance did you like?

    Having been an avid audiobook fan for 20 years I have to say this is by far my favorite narration. It reaches heights of perfection that I didn't think were possible. Each character is perfectly rendered and I have listened to this audiobook about 12 times and always find more reasons to consider it to be the pinnacle of audiobook narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 03-06-13
    Adam 03-06-13
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    "An Honest and Hilarious Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Confederacy of Dunces to be better than the print version?

    I thought the pacing was a bit slow in places vs. being read; but all in all it was a very entertaining read.


    Which character – as performed by Barrett Whitener – was your favorite?

    Mr. Whitener was a bit abrasive as some characters (Jones comes to mind--he kept saying "whoah!" EXACTLY the same every time. A little more variation would have been nice) but overall he did a very nice job. I don't expect accents to be perfect, but he did an admirable job of differentiating the characters in dialogue.

    At first I found his impression of Ignatius to be a bit too "professional" sounding, but it really did grow on me.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is SO funny without really trying. Some books are very "in your face" or full of one-liners, but this book is hilarious because of the structure of the story, the creative characters, and the situations they find themselves in. They really should make the Will Ferrell movie already!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lara9taylor 01-29-13
    lara9taylor 01-29-13 Member Since 2011

    I love listening to audio books and reading books on my Kindle!

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    "Amazing Performance!"

    I have read this book countless times and have probably given away more copies than any other book. I love this book!

    The audiobook experience with this is unbelievable! Barrett Whitener does an excellent job with the voices in this book. As a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I've spent a lot of time in the French Quarter and New Orleans. Mr. Whitener captures the dialects brilliantly! He makes you feel as though you are strolling along Canal Place with Ignatius.

    This book will make you laugh out loud and you'll want to share it with everyone you know!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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