'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole
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A Confederacy of Dunces
By John Kennedy Toole

I picked this up when I was 12 or 13. For some bizarre reason, I identified with Ignatius Reilly, this overweight medieval scholar who lives in New Orleans with his mother. The book is a comedy of errors and manners about a guy who just doesn't relate to the rest of the world. In one scene, his mother finally reads him the riot act about getting out of the house and getting a job, and he responds with a tirade. But through the rage, you see a real vulnerability, and you become aware of how his anger masks his complete awkwardness, his sense of alienation.

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