A Confederacy of Dunces

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole (U.S.)


Members of the Book Club enjoyed this book, some really loving it and finding it hilarious, others slightly more reserved in their feelings and finding it sad and monotonous at times. Everybody thought the characters were funny and fascinating and were able to visualise them easily thanks to the vivid descriptions. Readers loved the dialogues, which they said pulled them along and gave the story a fast pace. The U.S.A. of the 1960s was strongly felt, as was the city of New Orleans. The different accents of the characters added an extra dimension to the humour. Some readers found that the story slowed in the middle becoming somewhat tedious, and they felt the gloominess of the characters and their lives. Readers enjoyed the ending, as the various situations were cleverly wrapped up. They all agreed that the book would make a great film! Overall, it averaged a 7.7 out of 10.


A monument to sloth, rant and contempt, a behemoth of fat, flatulence and furious suspicion of anything modern – this is Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, noble crusader against a world of dunces. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the fleshpots of a fallen city… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading lists

Season 6 – “World Classics (the past is masculine)” (Sep 2007 – Jan 2008)

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole (U.S.)
“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)
“The Woman in the Dunes” by Kobo Abe (Japan)
“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia) *

Season 7 – “Future World Classics (the future is feminine)” (Feb – Jun 2008)

“How Many Miles to Babylon?” by Jennifer Johnston (Ireland)
“Second-Class Citizen” by Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria)
“Eva Luna” by Isabel Allende (Chile)
“Clear Light of Day” by Anita Desai (India)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood (Canada) *

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur


“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” – Italo Calvino


The past is masculine;
The future is feminine;
And the present is a
blending together of both.
– Nicola

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