A Confederacy of Dunces [Book Review]

This is my first book review, so bear with me. When I had the idea to do a book review, I was taken back to a time in my life when I was forced to read books that were boring, and give reports on them, or take chapter tests. As a result, I was stunted in my reading skills and my desire to read anything outside of school.

Lately, though, I have been finding quite a few interesting topics to read about, and am slowly moving through the tons of books that we have in our library, one tome at a time.

When we were in Ohio, I finished A Confederacy of Dunces, and I think it’s about time to write a review.

History of Obtaining The Book
Myriah had heard that this was one of the funniest books ever written, and got it for me through Quality Paperback Book Club. (As an aside, we really do have a ‘book problem’, our library grows every day, and we probably should not belong to such a club, but it’s hard to change a habit such as this) I did not start reading it until I was finished Sandworms of Dune. (Maybe I will eventually do a mega-review of the entire Dune Series.)

The Book
Starting out, after reading the forward–which said that you have to read the entire book to the end in order to understand all of the concepts–reading was a little slow. It was hard to get past the complete bafoonery of every character involved.

It wasn’t until about 1/3 of the way through the book that I realised I was having a genuinely good time reading it. It was strange, the book was funny, but it was more like I was laughing constantly on the inside, while remaining perfectly stolid on the outside.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page thereafter, and the final payoff was definitely worth it. The running jokes in the novel created a sense that it was completely unbelievable for them to intertwine, but the author did so, and it really was amazing.

Strange Thoughts of Self
One thing I got out of this book was a strange bit of self-comparison to the main character. Ignatius J. Reilly is an intelligent fellow who graduated from college and then just stopped everything. He spends his time in his room, door locked, contemplating our society and all of its pitfalls. It’s not until his mother runs into a house in her car that he has to go out into the real world and become a working man.

He is so utterly ridiculous, and is offended by anything and everything which he perceives as an affront to all common decency.

Now, I don’t see myself like that, but I do see myself as someone who had such great potential, only to disconnect themselves from the world and disappear from the surface altogether. I started this blog because of reading this book, because I could see myself getting more and more disconnected from the real world. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in my own head.

Final Verdict
This book is an absolute must-read. I would wholly recommend this to anyone who would like an intelligent long-term laugh.