Joseph Heller’s masterpiece of anti-war satire is given a fittingly glorious home in this Folio edition introduced by celebrated writer and critic Malcolm Bradbury.
A Confederacy of Dunces
Illustrated by Jonny Hannah
Foreword by Walker Percy
Preface by Bill Bailey
Brilliantly conceived and outrageously funny, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces makes its illustrated debut in a standout edition that includes a new preface by Bill Bailey.
I mingle with my peers or no one, and since I have no peers, I mingle with no one
Arguably the funniest winner of the Pulitzer Prize, A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the 20th century’s great cult novels, with a following to match. Rollicking, sweaty, over-allusive and repulsively witty, it sits alongside Swift and Twain as a comic masterpiece. Unpublished during Toole’s lifetime, this astonishing literary accomplishment would have remained in manuscript if not for the persistence of the author’s mother following his untimely death. Now this publishing phenomenon is presented as an illustrated edition for the first time, the riotous narrative accompanied by a dazzling fanfare of illustrations from BAFTA-award-winning animator and illustrator Jonny Hannah.
Bound in printed textured paper
Set in Maxime Standard
Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations, and 7 black & white tailpieces
9½˝ x 6¼˝
One of fiction’s most memorable characters
Ignatius J. Reilly is an unlikely protagonist – grotesquely overweight, overbearing and prone to prolonged bouts of flatulence. He is also one of the most memorable and fascinating characters a reader is likely to encounter in modern fiction. Unintentionally hilarious and deliberately belligerent, John Kennedy Toole’s creation wages a one-man crusade against the many annoyances of modern life and the dunces he encounters on a daily basis.
‘My favourite book of all time … it stays with you long after you have read it – for all your life, in fact’
- Billy Connolly
The slothful and malodourous Ignatius lives in New Orleans with his doting mother and spends his days avoiding gainful employment. Donned head to toe in an outfit as eccentric as the man himself, Ignatius cuts a madcap figure whose sanity is routinely questioned by those he encounters – no mean feat in this city of characters. His series of unsuitable jobs includes an eventful stint as a hot-dog vendor, which only reaffirms his belief that he’s far too busy to work for a living. Illustrator Hannah pays tribute to Ignatius’s semi-successful attempt at gainful employment – one of Paradise Vendors’ hot dogs is emblazoned on the striking endpapers.
An author who never saw his work in print
Despite approaching many publishers, Toole failed to generate interest in his novel and he eventually set it aside and found work as a teacher. However, aged just 32, the troubled young writer took his own life and it became his mother’s mission to pursue her son’s dream on his behalf. As Bill Bailey writes in the preface to this edition: ‘His mother’s determination to get her son’s book into print was heroic.’ Bailey is one of many comedians and creatives who love Toole’s non-conformist character and the world he inhabits, citing the book as a favourite read. ‘Ignatius J. Reilly is one of fiction’s most brilliant creations, one which leaps right off the page and lives large in your imagination forever more.’
About John Kennedy Toole
About Bill Bailey
About Jonny Hannah
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