Sunday, February 26, 2017

John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces": Audiobook Review

 A Confederacy of Dunces Audiobook
""Oh my God!""

Where does A Confederacy of Dunces rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Up there more for the energy of the plot and the depth of characters and the skill of the telling than Barrett Whitener's performance. I grew to like it, but it has its challenges.

What did you like best about this story?
The twisted relationship with correspondent "The Minx", as well as the "Oh my God!" bursts regularly from our bloated protagonist Ignatius J. Reilly at every outrage he witnesses.

Which character – as performed by Barrett Whitener – was your favorite?
George, the prissy foil who turns confidante to Ignatius in a skillfully paced conversation that shows off the talent of John Kennedy Toole. Toole builds up both interlocutors so that the naivete of one and the conniving of the other get switched and jumbled as well as run parallel. JKT handles the tone of each of his lowlife participants deftly, from New Orleans.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Hotdogs and Pigtails

Any additional comments?
Burma Jones is not easy to convey "live"; Whitener began the novel sounding in the omniscient narrator's voice as far too neutral and robotic. The women are shown with varying degrees of success, and the registers of different N.O.L.A. dialects and timbres is no easy task to keep moving here. The plot does go into a lot of side stories, building slowly, but the value of "A Confederacy of Dunces" rests in the care JKT takes to portray each figure. (Audible US 2/16/17)

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