A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

This will probably be the most difficult book I’ve reviewed thus far, and not because of the pint of beer and two glasses of wine I had at dinner tonight…nope, it is strictly due to the fact that two days after finishing the final page of The Confederacy of Dunces I still am not sure what to think about it.

On one hand, I have to admit that it was a brilliantly written book. Each character, no matter how minor had a very specific voice that practically made the novel sing. On the other hand…God, I hated Ignatius. So many times I just wanted to take the novel and chuck it across the room because I would get so worked up about something Ignatius did (or didn’t do) or something he said. My feelings for him got really intense to the point where I was looking forward to getting to the end just so I could get rid of him. Pretty irrational I know, but I’m fairly certain this is the reason why this novel won a Pulitzer Prize and people still laud over it, three decades after it was first published.

As a reader who also possessed a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, I could not help but wonder, more than a few times. whether or not Ignatius did in fact suffer from Asperger’s, I’m almost certain that when this book was written, this diagnosis was uncommon and most likely NOT an intentional diagnosis but one does have to wonder upon reading just the opening chapter of this book. If I was still a student, I would have loved to do a character study on Ignatius on a psychological standpoint. He definitely is one of those characters that stand out, and probably will stick with me for the rest of my life.