This story is set in New Orleans in the mid-1960s and the protagonist- Ignatius J. Reilly. Ignatius is quirky, idealistic and sometimes a little bit delusional. He is quite fat and frankly, very lazy. Ignatius abhors pop culture, preferring the Medieval times. He also has a slight obsession with his pyloric valve and is usually bringing it up in conversations. And the sad fact is he is intelligent and educated but never puts his brain to good use. Instead, he sits at home watching the telly without a care in the world and without a job. I can relate to Ignatius as I too can be very lazy and idealistic at times, and I like Ignatius; he is a very comical character, even though he is, sometimes, too egoistical for his own good.
This story starts off with Ignatius almost getting arrested by a cop who accused him of being someone he was not because of the way he dressed. His mother, surprised by the accusation, took him to hide in a nearby bar in case more police officers came to the scene. To their disdain, cop, Patrolman Mancuso, was arresting an old man for standing up for Ignatius. Worse still, they were thrown out by the landlord, Lana Lee. After that incident, as Ignatius and his mother were driving home, a wet spot on the road made their car crash into the side of a building causing his mother to owe more than a thousand dollars for damage. His mother had no money to pay so she asked Ignatius to get a job. Ignatius was reluctant to do so but did it anyway to stop his mother’s whining. He gets a job in Levy Pants but gets fired almost immediately so he applied for another job as a hot dog vendor. Ignatius continues to be a nuisance for everyone and even formed a political party. As Ignatius continues his journey, his bad luck continues but in the end, he finally accepted his problems and stopped trying to upstage his former girlfriend, Myrna Minkoff.
From this book, I have learnt that you should never give up and you should keep on trying but do not let past grudges fuel your anger. You should come to terms with your problems and just accept them. Never let laziness get in the way of moving forward and just do something with your life. If you have great knowledge of anything, use it to your advantage and do not just leave it in the corner and just laze about. If you are ever stuck in a rut, ask someone for help. I enjoyed the humour in this book. Ignatius’ absurd ramblings and all the other comical characters make me feel happy and it amuses me whenever I pick up the book. The writer’s style of writing was always captivating as he used many different spellings of words and many expressions to express the character’s accent.
Book Review by: Adrielle, CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent