June 26, 2003 in Books

Change of Heart

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Book Club has finally come and gone. Thank goodness. As much as I enjoyed reading A Confederacy of Dunces 10 years ago, I didn’t really enjoy it so much this time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still up there on my list of top books, but what I thought was laugh out loud funny the first go around, was just too painful to read this time. I felt sorry for the main character Ignatius and all the supporting caricatures. Plus he was just awful to his poor mother and there were many moments when I just wanted to abandon the book. In fact, I had to dedicate much of last Sunday to sitting at Barnes & Noble to get through it all. This go around, the book seemed somewhat sophomoric and even grotesque at times. This unexpected change of heart made me get really anxious to hear what others in the group though of my selection. No surprise, the reviews were mixed. Nonetheless, it made for a lively discussion. So in the end, I am comfortable with my selection. Having led my own book club for a number of years, I know that it’s no fun when everyone feels the same way about a book. In any event, maybe I’ll reread when I’m in a better state of mind. No question about it, my current worries about the job among other things, made me less patient with Toole’s masterpiece this second time around.

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