• Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Question for Louisianans

Sun-SSS

New Member
Cajunmama, I didn’t know Cajuns were portrayed as buffoonss. Can’t remember ever seeing them portrayed at all, actually. All I know is the food is hot and spicy, and I like it like that; and the music, which I hear sometimes on a radio program I listen to.

Someone else (I think it was bountyhunter) said there are no novels set in Louisiana, or if there are he doesn’t know them. I find that surprising, that part of the world having given us all so much good stuff—the Blues, and the Jazz, and all. Well, I think Tennessee Williams set stuff there, didn’t he? But yes, drama, not novels.

Here’s something I found amusing—I went to a doctor in a little town, having hurt myself. (Separating fighting dogs is not the cleverest thing to do, probably wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been drinking the local rum). A nice little town, in a sugar-growing area, best known for its distillery. Doctor stitched me up and gave me a prescription, told me, a stranger in town, that the late-night pharmacy was on Bourbon Street. “That’s Bourbong Street,” I corrected, having seen the street sign. “No it’s not!” he told me, sternly. Turns out that prim and proper city fathers had changed the name, concerned that Bourbon Street might carry unfortunate connotations. I chuckled all the way to the pharmacy.

About time I got to the question. It is this: can anyone identify this book? It is an astonishingly good one, set, I’m sure, in New Orleans. Full of beautifully effective dialogue, much of it in what looks to me like very authentic patois. Plot is hard to recall, because it is not real big on plot. Atmosphere, it has by the bucketful. Main characters are a youth who makes a living sweeping the sidewalk or something, who has in the past been in trouble with the law; and a detective who is not convinced that he is not still up to the occasional bit of no good. “You gotta leave me be ’cause I got a gainful employ!” protests the youth. A funny, funny book. Strange how some bits stick in memory long after author and title are gone.

I think it came out in the late seventies. According to what I heard, its author committed suicide because he couldn’t get anyone to publish his book, but that sounds a bit like promotional hype to me. The guy must have had other issues to make him want to commit suicide. Anyway, his sister or his girlfriend or someone published it after his death, so we won’t be getting any more from him, which is a pity. If anyone can tell me who the author is, or the title of the book, I would be grateful.
 

Ell

Well-Known Member
I'm quite sure you're talking about Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

The main character is Ignatius Reilly who lives with his mother in New Orleans. And yes, the speech sounds very authentic - one of the most effective parts of the book.

In real life, Toole committed suicide and it was his mother that got the book published.

ell
 

Sun-SSS

New Member
Thanks for that, Ell. Yes, that's the book all right. I recognise the title, now I see it written. I'll try to get a copy and see if I enjoy it as much as I did when I read so long ago. Pretty sure I will. Copy I read was borrowed from a good friend, since killed in mysterious circumstances.
 

funes

New Member
Another guy, for what it is worth, who must have written a book or two set in Louisiana is Walker Percy. I'm sure his novel The Moviegoer is set in Louisiana. He had a big hand in getting A Confederacy of Dunces published.
 

funes

New Member
I also just remembered Harry Crews' The Knockout Artist, which is set, primarily, in New Orleans. As I remember, the book was quite good, as is The Moviegoer.
 

cajunmama

Active Member
Sun-SSS said:
Cajunmama, I didn’t know Cajuns were portrayed as buffoonss. Can’t remember ever seeing them portrayed at all, actually. All I know is the food is hot and spicy, and I like it like that; and the music, which I hear sometimes on a radio program I listen to.

Someone else (I think it was bountyhunter) said there are no novels set in Louisiana, or if there are he doesn’t know them.


There have been some television shows here in the States, and a some movies that have done alot of the mis-portrayals. And there is an author who got sooooooo much wrong in her several novels set in Louisiana that I won't even mention her name or the novels. :mad: I used to seek out Louisiana set books and such until I got so fed up with them that now I avoid them like the plague.
But since you seem so interested in novels set in Louisiana, here is a link to a mystery book site with a list of them. I can't recommend any one of them, I have not read a single one, not even James Lee Burke , who lives twenty minutes from me.
 
Top