Have I ever read a book as perfect as this one? I think not.
Every single page of this story was enjoyable to read. I had never heard of this book before seeing it on the 100 Book Challenge list, so I had no idea of what to expect. The bizarre title and inconspicuous author name gave me no clues either. So I just opened the book and began to read.
All elements of this story appealed to me. It’s set in New Orleans, in the mid-20th century. The plot is superb: the perfect mix of realistic yet unpredictable, and a delightful web of interwoven stories. The characters – from the super rich to the super-poor – are utterly complete: quirky to the extreme, unappealing to the point of disgust at times, yet somehow all very likable.
And the ending! I’ve read too many books where the ending has let me down, but this did not disappoint one bit. It had me cheering with delight and wishing I could find John Kennedy Toole myself and give him a great big hug.
But… that’s the sad part about this masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole never got to see his brilliance published. He tried, and when unsuccessful, he took his own life. It was the dedication of his mother, after his death, who got the book the recognition it deserved.
Read this book.
In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.Follow @jessieansons