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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    2,201
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    1,048
  • 3 Stars
    602
  • 2 Stars
    355
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    288

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,743
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    712
  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    249
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    187
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant

This is an extraordinary piece of work, easily one of the best writing performances I've read/heard in a long time. Can't remember the last time I chuckled reading something so much.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Emily
  • Mount Macedon, Australia
  • 03-07-15

Sublime. A perfect telling of this remarkable tale

There's something about Ignatius J Reilly ... He'll make you guffaw with laughter, choke with repulsion and, thanks to the remarkable talent of John Kennedy Toole, you might even find pity for him.

This novel is astounding. It's such a tragedy that there were no more novels by Toole, who could have been a prodigious talent. However we have this title, and Ignatius is his gift to the world, and the world is much richer for it.

You won't regret a moment spent listening to this brilliant audiobook; the narration is spot on, and the characterisations marvellous. Best enjoyed while eating a hot dog. Happy listening.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Incredible Ignatius Riley

No doubt about it, Ignatius takese some geting used to. But if you're a fan, you'll like this rendition of the novel. The reader is stellar, the voice characterizations are fabulous and bring the characters to life just as I imagined when I read the book the first time. At times repulsive, at others laugh out loud gut wrenchingly funny. Not for everyone one, but definitely my cup of tea. It's just a crying shame that the author wrote no other books. His death was a tragic loss to the literary world.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sam
  • Ft Worth, TX, United States
  • 03-29-08

Breautiful Tragedy

This book is fantastic. The characters are well developed and the humor is intelligent. The main character is quite obnoxious and repulsive, and you love him all the more. There is not a centralized plot, other than the life of the main character. Normally I have a hard time with a book that is just about the characters...but not this time. Give it a try for a great comedy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Celebrate New Orleans

"Humor" and "award winner" usually do not sit right with most people when they are combined. A comedy rarely ever wins an Academy Award, and I don't recall any humorous writing to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Thus, this book is controversial simply because it won the Pulitzer AND it is entertaining. Don't let the dissenters get to you! Forget that this won a prize and just enjoy it. The characters, every single one of them, are fools in their own way. You have the overblown and fabulously lazy Ignatius, the main character, but you also have spoiled rich women, nasty old women, spritely gay men, clueless barmaids, boobish cops, and more. It all combines for what can best be described as one big romp.

I do have two wishes, though. One, the narrarator for the most part does a great job with a very difficult read, but I wish there was more development in the voice of Ignatius. He seems to read him the same way no matter what is happening in the scene, and this got to be wearing on me. Two, the ending is gratifying (I won't give it away) but at the same time it seems to be the ONLY point at which any of the characters, save the Levy Pants owner, who changes or develops in the course of the novel.

Overall, entertain yourself AND be proud you are listening to a Pulitzer Award winner.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Cringeworthy narration, Brilliant story.

I've always loved this story, but the narration had me pulling my hair out after the first twenty minutes. The jokes are timed clumsily, the accents are awkward, and the pacing is off. Like Ignatius himself, this book rolls along with its own peculiar momentum, but this narration trips up at every turn. I waited a long time for this to appear on Audible; now that it has, I'm very disappointed. Please, please, powers that be, bring this wonderful book around again on Fortune's wheel and give it a new narration the second time around!

39 of 47 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable.

I read the book a couple years ago and wondered what the audiobook would be like. It's wonderful, the narrator does a great job with the many voices. I would love to see this made into a movie one day.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • LOS ANGELES, CA, United States
  • 07-14-15

Such characters!

I finally got around to purchasing this classic, and I am only left wondering what took me so long! A wonderfully satiric world populated by such colorful and distinct characters.

The narrator does an incredible job embodying and distinguishing each character.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a classic with some bite.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

What a great story and unique characters. As relevant today as ever. It should be required reading for all high school students.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Curiosity led, amazingly fed!

Wow. For years I have looked for some book to be good enough that I might actually make it to the second chapter. I've read a bunch of books classified as great literature that weren't that great. I wanted to find something that had the same effect on me that many of my childhood books did as a child. A fascinating story, impossible to put down, something that was opened only a few times because I read most of it in one sitting, and THIS WAS IT. I stumbled across it while looking into traveling to New Orleans and the reviews seemed good so I gave it a whirl. I have never been this excited to tell a friend about a book in my life-and this includes the times I discovered there was a cliffs notes to some book that I hadn't read in high school!! This book will crack you up, revive your imagination and give you the feel of almost having been there yourself. What an awesome story filled with really great characters! Ignatius! He's hilarious! His mother! She's just like my own mother! I love this book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful