It's hard not to have preconceived notions about a book which was published after its author had committed suicide and which later went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.
And these notions often end up hindering our unbiased assessment of such a book or even tend to drive feelings towards a specific direction. But this book does not.
In fact, it engages you from the get go and as you get acquainted with each one of the ensemble of quirky characters you are bound to forget about everything else.
One bursts into spontaneous laughter at their antics, but also feels for their predicament.A Confederacy of Dunces
takes a look at the outer realm of the American society consisting of the weirdos, the oddballs, the poor, the destitute, the lower-ranking policemen, petty criminals, strippers, whorehouse madams, the working class, the minority groups.
Through the misadventures of Ignatius J. Reilly, our protagonist and a delusional, obese, self-obsessed anachronism of a modern man, the author gives us a peek into the lives of these misfits and at the same time spins a predominantly humorous tale.
By humorous I mean laugh-out-loud kind of humorous or the kind of humorous that can make you choke violently on the juice you had been unwise enough to sip on while reading this book. (You have been warned.)
But the novel is much more than that - more appropriately it can be described as a social commentary cleverly disguised as a comedy.
Hilarious, charming, witty, beautifully prosaic and sometimes sad. A true modern classic.
If you suddenly find this book in your possession after this Christmas, consider that Fortuna spun your wheel exactly in the right direction.