Monday, April 9, 2007

Five classic funny novels

The staff at Cracked named five "of the funnier classics in the canon that'll get a chuckle out of you."

One title on their list:

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

A schizophrenic masterpiece of a novel, Confederacy of Dunces focuses on the pompous, bombastic Ignatius J. Reilly — a fat, flatulent blowhard who lives with his mother, masturbates frequently and considers himself the intellectual superior of pretty much everyone around him. (Think of him as the Godfather of Internet Nerds.) More a series of inter-connected stories than a single plot, Confederacy loosely chronicles Ignatius's botched, waddling attempts to find love, get a job and lead a violent one-man revolt against the Modern Age. Around him swirl a group of twisted supporting characters as flawed and unique as Ignatius himself.

A large cult following surrounds Confederacy, due partly to the strange, off-putting charisma of its lead character — you'll never know anybody quite like Ignatius, we promise you — but also because of the tragic life and death of the book's creator, John Kennedy Toole. Unable to find anyone interested in publishing his masterpiece, Toole committed suicide in the late ‘70s. Only after his death would his mother finally get someone to read Confederacy. It was published in 1980 and praised unanimously as a work of comedic genius. Toole would be posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, and Confederacy would go on to sell more than 1.5 million copies in 18 languages.

Read about all five titles on Cracked's Wit List.

--Marshal Zeringue