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A Confederacy Of Dunces : Popular Penguins : Popular Penguins - John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy Of Dunces : Popular Penguins

Popular Penguins

Paperback

Published: 29th June 2009
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Meet Ignatius J. Reilly: flatulent, eloquent and pretty much unemployable . . .

The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged as well. Ignatius ignores them as he heaves his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him. Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission – and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with . . .

Author Biography

John Kennedy Toole was born in New Orleans in 1937. He received a master's degree in English from Columbia University and taught at Hunter College and at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He wrote A Confederacy of Dunces in the early sixties and tried unsuccessfully to get the novel published; depressed, at least in part by his failure to place the book, he committed suicide in 1969. It was only through the tenacity of his mother that her son's book was eventually published and found the audience it deserved. His long-suppressed novel The Neon Bible, written when he was only sixteen, was eventually published as well.

A Confederacy of Dunces won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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A Confederacy Of Dunces : Popular Penguins
 
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5.0

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      Comments about A Confederacy Of Dunces : Popular Penguins:

      This was recommended to me by a friend in the U.S. and what a surprise I received. I was blown away! It is incomparable and impossible to categorise. It will not be long before I read it again.

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      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. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D. H. Holmes department store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offences against taste and decency. Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul.

      Ignatius himself was dressed comfortably and sensibly. The hunting cap prevented head colds. The voluminous tweed trousers were durable and permitted unusually free locomotion. Their pleats and nooks contained pockets of warm, stale air that soothed Ignatius. The plaid flannel shirt made a jacket unnecessary while the muffler guarded exposed Reilly skin between earflap and collar. The outfit was acceptable by any theological and geometrical standards, however abstruse, and suggested a rich inner life.

      Shifting from one hip to the other in his lumbering, elephantine fashion, Ignatius sent waves of flesh rippling beneath the tweed and flannel, waves that broke upon buttons and seams. Thus rearranged, he contemplated the long while that he had been waiting for his mother. Principally he considered the discomfort he was beginning to feel. It seemed as if his whole being was ready to burst from his swollen suede desert boots, and, as if to verify this, Ignatius turned his singular eyes toward his feet. The feet did indeed look swollen.

      He was prepared to offer the sight of those bulging boots to his mother as evidence of her thoughtlessness. Looking up, he saw the sun beginning to descend over the Mississippi at the foot of Canal Street. The Holmes clock said almost five.

      Already he was polishing a few carefully worded accusations designed to reduce his mother to repentance or, at least, confusion. He often had to keep her in her place.

      She had driven him downtown in the old Plymouth, and while she was at the doctor's seeing about her arthritis, Ignatius had bought some sheet music at Werlein's for his trumpet and a new string for his lute. Then he had wandered into the Penny Arcade on Royal Street to see whether any new games had been installed. He had been disappointed to find the miniature mechanical baseball game gone. Perhaps it was only being repaired. The last time that he had played it the batter would not work and, after some argument, the management had returned his nickel, even though the Penny Arcade people had been base enough to suggest that Ignatius had himself broken the baseball machine by kicking it. Concentrating upon the fate of the miniature baseball machine, Ignatius detached his being from the physical reality of Canal Street and the people around him and therefore did not notice the two eyes that were hungrily watching him from behind one of D. H. Holmes' pillars, two sad eyes shining with hope and desire.

      Was it possible to repair the machine in New Orleans? Probably so. However, it might have to be sent to some place.

      ISBN: 9780141045641
      ISBN-10: 0141045647
      Series: Popular Penguins
      Audience: General
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 444
      Published: 29th June 2009
      Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
      Country of Publication: GB
      Dimensions (cm): 17.9 x 11.1  x 3.5
      Weight (kg): 0.25
      Edition Number: 1