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)
A great and enjoyable book, simply stated.
But what makes this stand out is the deft and capable narrator. Absolutely astounding how well it was read. The cadences of New Orleans brought out superbly. Each character distinct and novel. This reading brought this book to life in the most wonderful way.
Ignatius J. Riley's "Oh my God!" will stay with me forever.
I've read reviews from several sources and this seems to be one of those books with no middle ground - you either adore or abhor it. I fell to the latter. Couldn't stand the main character nor nearly any other character in the book. I thought the narrator did a tremendous job with the material he had to work with. Jones came through to be the only character that I could stand to listen to by the end of the book.
Truly a confederacy of dunces. I have never read a book with such unique and eccentric characters. A roller coaster ride from one hilarious set of unlikely circumstances and outrageous situations to another. The confidence of the less than stellar hero Ignatius Riley, that he alone was the sane and injured participant of each of these situations rather than the cause of each one was amazingly believable.A quirky and delightful read. What a tragedy,that the author, John Kennedy Toole took his own life,without knowing his work would be published and awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.