Confederacy of Dunces brings on laughs

Confederacy of Dunces brings on laughs

Raine Lipscher

Ignatius Reilly — a morbidly obese, arrogant loser who treats his mother like trash. This is our main character in Confederacy of Dunces set in the late 1970s in  New Orleans. The book starts out when Ignatius is in a music store and Officer Mancusco spots his strange choice of clothing and suspicious character, and decides to arrest him. After Ignatius resists the officer, a crowd forms including an old man who accuses Mancusco of being a communist. Soon after, Ignatius finds himself in a situation where his intoxicated mother drives their car into a building, forcing Ignatius to roll out of his lazy, mommy-dependent life and find a job so they can pay for the damage.

Although this book left me cracking up at moments, it moved a little slowly. Listening to Ignatius give his aloof speeches on why the human race is falling apart, and how much he despises most people and most things around him makes it a little negative to read. Not only does the negativity come from Ignatius, but the history of the book too. The author, John Kennedy Tool, took the book to a publisher and was rejected, leading him to his despairing suicide. After his death, his mother took the copy to another publisher who thought it was hilarious and accepted it.

After Ignatius is forced to find a job, I found myself traveling with him to strange new places where he always seemed to have trouble. He started a rebellion in the warehouse of a Levi’s pants factory and became a hot dog vendor and eating — rather than selling — most of his product.

The book also follows the storylines of a woman named Lana Lee who owns a bar with a showgirl, Darlene, and a black janitor named Jones. This part of the storyline bores me to be quite honest — it’s mostly Lana Lee being rude to Jones and Darlene and complaining about how the bar is getting no business. However, the book also follows Officer Mancusco who is forced to wear a new costume to work every day by the head of police, because he didn’t follow protocol; the costumes always leave me laughing.

All in all, this book wasn’t half bad. It was a little weird and Ignatius is certainly a character, but I would rather encourage this book than discourage it. You’re able to roll on with Ignatius and all the quirky characters throughout the pages.