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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

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. The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged. Ignatius ignores them, heaving his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him: Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission—and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with....

Never published during his lifetime, John Kennedy Toole's hilarious satire A Confederacy of Dunces is a Don Quixote for the modern age, now brought to life by the comedy legend, Reginald D. Hunter.

©2000 John Kennedy Toole (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"My favourite book of all time...it stays with you long after you have read it—for your whole life, in fact." (Billy Connolly) 

"A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities...it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about A Confederacy of Dunces

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Waited years for this to become an audiobook

What a total disappointment. So badly narrated. Unclear, wrong tone, poorly enunciated. Mumbled and fast without pause or any clarity. It should be clear and sharp and aloof. It’s a masterpiece that is being read. I like RDH usually. His stand up is excellent, but this is utterly unlistenable. It’s like getting Donald Trump to read out The Ten Commandments.

5 people found this helpful

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A great story badly read.

Unfortunately with Audiobooks, a lot is attached to the reader and even though this is a great story I felt it was baldy read. Disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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Narrator makes it impossibly hard to follow along

I had been searching for this one even before it had gone on presale. This was my most anticipated audiobook, but it's EXTREMELY hard to follow along with the narrator and understand what is going on. I understand it's a very specific regional accent but it doesn't lend itself very well for narration. Example words: "acceptable" becomes "uhseptable" and "interrupted" becomes "in-rupted". I suppose as you listen it becomes easier but then there's an even bigger problem... The narrator uses around 4 voices which he's very good at doing but can't maintain them in character (The voices: deep male, male #1, male #2, and female). At the start of a dialogue a character will be given a voice but mid sentence the voice will change to a different one. i.e. The mum will start with a female voice but suddenly sounds like one of the male voices. For a dialogue heavy book this makes it extremely hard to follow and understanding what is going on. It would have been significantly easier to comprehend if the narrator dropped the voices all together and just read the words clearly.

Extremely disappointed. I am quite far along but feel I haven't grasped anything so will attempt to start over and if my opinion changes I will update this review. But as it stands it's not worth downloading.

3 people found this helpful

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Imagine Eddie Murphy Playing Ever Character Nutty Professor Style

Reginald D Hunter was a odd choice for narrator over a professional voice actor. So what we get is a strange staccato reading which is so off-putting I even checked to see if Hunter learned to read as an adult. But no, it seems to be a conscious choice to make the main character sound as Autistic as possible. Luckily Hunter relents, or gets lazy, as it lessens roughly midway through.

Hunters accents seem authentic to the time and place. But these accents unfortunately sound too close to Eddie Murphy’s and all I could imagine throughout was Eddie playing each and every character, so much so that for the first half of the book I thought that Ignatius was black!

The book itself, although not my thing, it is easy to see why it is so well regarded.

A real shame about the narration, why not get Nick Offerman? As he has played Ignatius on the stage!

2 people found this helpful

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  • 17-08-22

Laughed from start to finish

Read this book years ago and found it as funny today in audio as then in the written word. In my opinion, Reginald D Hunter’s narration was perfect for this production.

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This could never have lived up to my expectation

I was so excited when I heard that an audio book version of A confederacy of dunces was to be published and delighted when I discovered that it was to be narrated by Reginald D Hunter. I thought that he was an inspired choice and probably the only voice that could be a safe pair of hands for some of the best southern characters in fiction. I have heard Reginald D Hunter live and seen him on tv many times and I love his laconic drawl. On this audio book he sounds a bit stilted, as if he had been directed to split up the words and to annunciate clearly. Either I got used to it or Reginald warmed up as he went along and I really did enjoy this performance. Some people find A confederacy of dunces depressing and others think it is one of the greatest works of comic fiction; despite the misguided direction, Reginald D Hunter does these well-drawn, comic characters full justice. On the other hand, the director needs to question their world view and take lessons in philosophy and geometry.

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Wonderful story. Maybe not the clearest narrator.

This is a dear book to me. A tale my.late father and I read together and one I plan to read to my children. So I pre-ordered this, as soon as I saw it was going to be released. Possibly the narrator will grow on me, but I'm finding that he slips through some words, rather than annunciating them clearly. I've currently.set the reading speed to 90%, which seems be helping a little. The narrator's tone is rich and can be nuanced but I just feel, although clearly capable, he isn't the best choice for this book. I will update/edit this review, if he does indeed grow on me, but at the moment, I'm unable to sink into the story completely as the narration is somehow out of sink and slightly jarring.

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Should have taken account of the blurb!

I read the blurb, I thought, 'that means it'll be wry and funny'. It wasn't, it was exactly as it says on the cover. I gave up.

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Loved it

Laughed out loud many a time during this book. Reginald D Hunter is brilliant and really bring the characters and story to life.

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This was absolutely brilliant.

Great narration, great writing what more to say? I laughed my way through this book and I'll definitely listen again at some point, if only to memorize some of the funnier lines. The nook brings to life old New Orleans like a hilarious time capsule.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-22

A masterpiece. Masterfully narrated.

A menagerie of picaresque characters, captures 60’s America in all its scintillating squalor and sleaziness. The author has an anthropologist’s ear for dialect and character. Belly-achingly funny. The narrator does majestic work breathing life into these unforgettable characters. Bravo!!