Sunday, 28 July 2013

thirty-eight.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1963)
(first published in 1980)

Ignatius J. Reilly spends his days eating junk food, writing notes and screaming obscenities at the telly and his mother. After a series of unfortunate events which puts his mother in debt, he has to go out in New Orleans to look for a job.

Is it possible to like a book if you hate the main character? I really disliked Ignatius, and I know I should feel sorry for him because of his obvious mental state, but I just can't. His obnoxious character annoyed me so much that I was at several occasions tempted to give up. I often skimmed the parts which were all about him, and especially his notes and letters. But luckily the rest of the characters made this book worth the read.

And yes, it is an absurd tale with some very interesting characters. All my sympathies went to Mrs Reilly and I also found her friend, Santa, hilarious. The rest of the characters make the story interesting, but some of them I found as annoying as Ignatius himself. The ending certainly made me think. And it almost made me root for Ignatius.

This was July's book in Line's 1001-books reading challenge.

4 comments:

  1. Jeg er glad jeg avbrøt boken, for det høres ikke ut som en bok jeg har lyst til å lese akkurat nå. Men jeg ble spent på slutten, siden den (nesten) forandret inntrykket ditt av Ignatius. Senere en gang!

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    1. Slutten gjorde strevet nesten verdt det. Tror det er en bok du glatt kan hoppe over.

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  2. Is it possible to like a book if you hate the main character? Ja, jeg synes det: bakgrunn, sosiale konvensjoner og ditto. Gjennom første del av boken humret jeg godt selv om jeg si; at karakteren Ignatius likte jeg ikke sånn sett, men sett i lys av hans eksentrisitet så følte jeg med ham skjønt jeg også så morens oppgitthet i det hele. Etterhvert synes jeg historien ble mer tragedie enn humor og avslutningen er jeg enig i; det er håp eller hva!

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    Replies
    1. Du er så flink til å samle tankene og ordlegge deg, Birthe! Det var akkurat sånn jeg følte det. Bortsett fra at jeg ikke hadde så mye sympati for Ignatius.

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