A Confederacy of Dunces

duncesby John Kennedy Toole

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished rereading this book  – I first read it ten years ago and had forgotten a lot of the details, but I was talking about it with some friends in the pub recently and so I thought I would read a little of it again. I opened it and from just reading the first few pages I was totally drawn in. The comic characters are so alive – their voices so brilliantly written, every single one of them. It really feels as if they are wandering around living their crazy lives and it all flows so effortlessly from there that it seems somehow as if J K T is just transcribing what they say. I’m sure the writing process was not at all like that, but that’s how it feels. It often brought a smile to my face reading it, and many  laughs too, each situation is so deliciously absurd and milked for as much comic potential as possible. Ignatius may not be ‘likeable’ to those around him but he has a roguish charm for the reader with his haughty blustering view of a world in which he totally incapable of functioning. A gigantic fat car-crash of a man for whom the author obviously has great affection and patience, bemused and surprised by what his creation does next, rather like poor Mrs Reilly!

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