Currently Reading: A Confederacy of Dunces

My parents' bookshelves are filled with great books.  Starting young (too young for some), I worked my way through all of them, some of them two or three times.

Except this one.

I can picture it in its place on the shelf and remember the cover, which always intrigued me, yet I can't remember ever cracking it open and I can't determine why.

When I spotted it at the library, I decided it was time.

Ignatius J. Reilly is an intelligent, well-educated, articulate, fat, lazy slob of a man.  He lives with his widowed mother in New Orleans, spending most of his time eating, belching, masturbating, and going to movies he later only complains about.

After a car accident, caused by Ignatius, his mother finds herself with a debt to pay and not enough money to do so.  In turn, she requests that Ignatius get a job.  Repelled by the idea, Ignatius tried to deny her, but is eventually forced out into the workplace.  He takes a few jobs over the course of the novel, ruining each company he works for.

The novel is smart, funny, and incredibly vivid.  Each character is incredibly fully-formed, humorous, and slightly cartoonish.  Ignatius is disgusting and infuriating, and I spent the entire novel waiting for him to get his comeuppance.

What took me so long to pick this up?    

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