Ignatius J. Reilly is a bumbling, unemployed thirty-something who lives with his mother in the outskirts of New Orleans. An interesting chain of events binds the lives of several characters to Ignatius, and the ultimate outcome rests on the actions of Ignatius that result from his disconnect with reality and desire to leave the modern world and return to a medieval era. The realistic dialogue and character portraits only add to the humorous tale of "a modern Don Quixote".
This report prepared by Jared Dahl
This Pullitzer Prize winning novel is a comic masterpiece woven with a cacophony of humourous and eccentric characters all of whom you will love. The greatest is the protaganist Ignatius J Reilly the obese mediaevalist pouring out his scorn of the twentieth century on all and sundry, writing his thoughts in Big Chief Tablets. In his comedy he hates the whole world and the whole world suffers. Following an attempted arrest of Ignatius by policeman Mancuso and an automobile accident his mother forces the 30 year old hermit out to find work. So begins the descent by Fortuna. He lands a filing job at Levy Pants where we meet the loveable dotty octogenarian Miss Trixie and by the end of his time there he has organised a mass revolt by the factory workers. Fired, his next job is as a Hot Dog salesman, dressed in a pirates outfit he wreaks havoc on the Old Quarter of New Orleans. We meet Jones the black below minimum wage cleaner of the Night of Joy club, the horrible proprietess Lana Lee who is running a porn ring and finally we catch up with the minx Myrna, Ignatius' sexually promiscuous fellow trouble maker. It is hard to recommend this masterpiece enough – it is a must read masterpiece!
This report prepared by John Marcel
This hugely comic masterpiece is hard to characterize because it violates conventional narrative categories. Ignatius J. Reilly, a rotund, flatulent, 30-year-old medievalist, pens his indictment of modern society on yellow Big Chief tablets while trying to find and keep a job. A panoply of eccentric characters surround him, from over-enthusiastic Patrolman Mancuso, who mistakenly arrests our hero for vagrancy; to elderly secretary Miss Trixie, who keeps trying and failing to retire; to the poofy Dorian Greene; and the delectable but sinister stripper Lana Lee, owner of the Night of Joy club and an amazing cockatoo. The novel is a portrait of the City of New Orleans and how people speak there as much as anything else. It won the Pulitzer Prize but Toole was not there to see it; he committed suicide in 1969, leaving his mother to scour the country for a publisher and enlist the help of Walker Percy to get the job done.
This report prepared by David Loftus