Group of Fools

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So… you have to get your hands on this book!  It’s hilarious and twisted and well, you just need to read it.

Oh.  And it’s a contemporary classic, so whether or not you like it is immaterial because you’ll feel smarter having read it & you’ll sound smarter when you reference it to all those literary hotshots you mingle with all the time…

The main guy, Ignatius, will repulse and delight you.  He’s a fat, 30 + year old, overeducated freeloader, who lives at home with his mother, sapping all her energy and whatever meager welfare checks come in.  He waxes melodramatically philosophic & his malicious plots to ruin people leave the characters he touches in desperate situations, until the end of the story where his spiteful slip-ups allow them to come out better off than they were.

And the author’s story is just as pathetic as his protagonist’s…he wrote the novel, tried to sell it for years, got depressed when nobody showed interest and killed himself.  8 yrs later, his mother pushed the book on a distinguished author who brought it to fame.  And then the author was honored with the Pulitzer Prize, posthumously.

The story takes off after a policeman spots Ignatius waiting for his mother to come out of a dr’s appointment on a Canal Street and labels him a suspicious character.  After the dust settles, Ignatius & his mother get drunk in a sleazy strip joint. Upon leaving, his drunken mother drives the car right into a building.

She cannot afford the cost in damages with her welfare checks, blames her son for having unnerved her to the point of drinking & crashing because he incited the police officer and demands that he get a job to contribute.

As Ignatius plows his way through a series of jobs, he leaves a wake of mayhem.

You’ll enjoy the novel’s setting in the seedy sections of New Orleans, the insane banter between Ignatius and his mother, and you’ll be sympathetic towards every poor soul who comes in contact with the huge, malevolent beast.

This book is all around clever and worthy of making it onto your list of necessary reads in your lifetime.

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