Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review : A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

(Original review posted on Goodreads:- December 23, 2012)

It's hard not to have preconceived notions about a book which was published after its author had committed suicide and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.
And sometimes these notions may end up skewing our view of a book or even tend to drive feelings toward a specific direction.
But this book does not.
In fact, it engages you from the get go and as you get acquainted with each one of the ensemble of quirky characters you forget about everything else. You burst into spontaneous laughter at their antics, but also feel for their predicament.
A Confederacy of Dunces takes a look at the outer realm of the American society consisting of the weirdos, the oddballs, the poor, the destitute, the lower-ranked policemen, petty criminals, the strippers and 'immoral' stripbar owners, the working class, the minority groups.
Through the misadventures of Ignatius J. Reilly, our protagonist and a delusional, obese,self-obsessed 30-years old aberration of a grown man, the author spins a predominantly humorous tale revolving around a multitude of characters.
And by humorous I mean laugh-out-loud kind of humorous or the kind of humorous that can make you choke violently on the juice you had been unwise enough to sip on while reading this book. You have been warned.
But the book is much more than that - more like a social commentary disguised as a comedy. Hilarious, charming, witty, beautifully prosaic and a true modern classic.
If you suddenly find this book in your possession after this Christmas, consider that Fortuna spun your wheel exactly in the right direction.

5 out of 5 stars.

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