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After four decades, the peerless wit and indulgent absurdity of A Confederacy of Dunces continues to attract new readers. Though the manuscript was rejected by many publishers during John Kennedy Toole's lifetime, his mother successfully published the book years after her son's suicide, and it won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This literary underdog and comic masterpiece has sold more than two million copies in over two dozen languages.
A Confederacy of Dunces features one of the most memorable protagonists in American literature, Ignatius J. Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubbed "slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one." Set in New Orleans with a wild cast of characters including Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; and Jones, the jivecat in space-age dark glasses, the novel serves as an outlandish but believable tribute to a city defined by its parade of eccentric denizens.
The genius of A Confederacy of Dunces is reaffirmed as successive generations embrace this extravagant satire. Adulation for Toole's comic epic remains as intense today as it was at the time of its initial publication.
|Grove WeidenfeldLSU Press
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One of the funniest books ever written . . . it will make you laugh out lough till your belly aches and your eyes water.-- "The New Republic"
One of the most revered comic works in the modern canon.-- "Slate"
[Toole's] novel is a parade of victorious laughter, just like those famous jazz funerals in New Orleans.-- "The Millions"
The novel can hardly contain burstingly funny Ignatius--and the mix of high and low comedy is almost stroboscopic: brilliant, relentless, delicious, perhaps even classic.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
To the charms of John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, I succumbed, stunned and seduced, page after page, vocal with delight. . . . A pungent work of slapstick, satire, and intellectual incongruities.-- "New York Times"
An astonishingly original and assured comic spree.-- "New York Magazine"
Crazy magnificent once-in-a-blue-moon first novel. . . . There is a touch of genius about Toole and what he has created.-- "Publishers Weekly"