Well, maybe. Things fall apart. But he’s signed on to play the lead role in the Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote of movies: Confederacy of Dunces. Speaking of: I tried reading that this year finally and found it dull. Is it just me? Mr. Pulitzer, is it just me?

Comments (31)
  1. I thought the book was excellent, but it is a bit dated. It was written in the 1960s and some of it hasn’t aged well. I’m not sure why you found it so dull–I laughed loudly and frequently.

    As for this casting, Zach is very funny but a small man. I pictured someone much taller (and way fatter) in this role–like a young John Goodman.

    • OMG the john goodman as ignatius has been a dream forever! oh man. oh man. as a new orleanian, i love love love love love this book. its a bit weird and slow at first, i will give you that, but it builds up to such absurd heights and is such pitch perfect description of what that city can be like! every person i’ve tried force the book on who hasn’t been from or lived in new orleans didn’t seem to like it as much as people from there, so maybe there is an issue of it being too local or self referential. also, fun fact: i used to live like two blocks from the house where ignatius supposedly lived!

      i actually don’t see zach galifinakis as a great actor for this role either, though not because of his size. his delivery style doesn’t suit the overly bombastic and self aggrandizing ignatius, but hopefully he will play it as over the top as it would need to be.

  2. First, The Great Gatsby and NOW a post on Confederacy of Dunces on Videogum today? I can only hope Holden Caulfield uploaded a lip dub of “Call Me, Maybe?” to YouTube for the VidGum Literacy Trifecta.

  3. I have general reservations about making this book a movie, but honestly, that casting choice seems very solid. Good job, casting directors! Although now my petition to have Paul Walker as Ignatius J. Reilly seems likely to fail.

  4. I’m just glad to hear that someone else found this book kind of “meh”. I know it’s almost universally loved (or at least people love to say they love it), but I read it 4-5 years ago and had a hell of a time trying to get through it. I think I have a pretty good sense of humor, or at the very least one capable of seeing how something is considered comically brilliant, but I just didn’t get it with Confederacy of Dunces.

    • I agree; I read it late in high school when I started to get into hipper, more literary fiction. After I finished, and had laughed just a few times, it left me with a “meh” feeling. Perhaps there’s something to it that makes the book so great, but I just can’t see it.

  5. I’m not a huge fan of the book either. There were parts I enjoyed (specifically the part where he organizes the factory workers), and I thought the ending was very funny, but I was bored for many more pages than I was entertained.

    However, most of my friends whose literary tastes I trust and respect love this book. So, to each her own, I suppose.

  6. Philip S. Hoffman would be my choice since we can’t stuff John Goodman in a time machine. I love Zach Galificalifornication, but I don’t think that the material plays toward his strengths. I’m not sure that anyone excepting Gilliam could pull off a movie version, but it will still be a huge challenge.

    While I don’t want to down on anyone based on media choice and consumption thereof, I was suspicious of some of you vapid cunts before, but now it is confirmed. Confederacy of Dunces is an unqualified masterpiece of novelty. It may be a lot of things, but dull it is not.

  7. Surely Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” is Terry Gilliam’s “Don Quixote of Movies”

  8. If you are having trouble with this book go take a trip to New Orleans….I think you need it!

    • I see the point you are trying to make, but I still disagree. I am not an expert on New Orleans by any means, but I grew up in Baton Rouge (which is about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans) and have spent a lot of time there over the years. Granted, I haven’t lived in Louisiana since I graduated high school (NBD) 12 years ago, but I still go back a few times a year and will always have a special place in my heart for New Orleans, which is one of the few truly unique cities in America. Sorry for the tangent, but the point is that I know New Orleans.

      However, while I agree that a working knowledge of the city is necessary for a complete appreciation of the book (particularly the peculiar social mores in New Orleans and the way Toole’s dialog accurately captures the many various accents, which can be tough to grasp in written form if you’ve never heard it), I was still bored and generally underwhelmed. Maybe it was all the hyperbolic praise I heard about it (which led me to read it in the first place), and maybe I simply didn’t “get” its humor/brilliance (entirely possible), but for whatever reason it just didn’t resonate with me.

      • Basically, Confederacy of Dunces is my literary equivalent of Wilco. I feel like I should love them and place them among my most treasured cultural influences (based on the rave reviews from the relatively small sphere of people whose cultural tastes I respect/trust), but for whatever reason I’m just lukewarm to both.

  9. There’s a customer that comes in late at night and non-chalantly brags about how he’s read all the major paper’s cover to cover that day that I think would be a better fit. He’s also about 6’3″ and 300lbs and wears a Saint’s jersey.

  10. Well, not everything can be as entertaining as a trampoline blooper or a caption contest.

  11. I think it gets a lot of built-in goodwill from its back story and (Pulitzer prize aside) it still feels like a samizdat book, passed onto you by your weird older friend. But I think you also may have had to have read it before the Simpsons came out for it to have an impact on you

  12. I loved the first half of the book and my perception of Steve Winwood is partly based on Ignatius but my interest kind of just trailed midway through. To be fair, I lost my copy of the book halfway so that probably wasn’t the best way to read it.

  13. I loved this book immensely and will re-read it soon. Not sure how a movie would work but will give it a chance. I consider myself a fan of this Zack Gilafanocous character, enjoy his movies. Will operate with mid level hope that this will be adequate, manage the expectations.

  14. That book is hysterical. Most unlikeable, ridiculous protagonist ever. When you say you “tried” to read it, how far did you get?

  15. I love love love this book. I read it in high school and then again a few years later in college. Since then I have come to the realization that a lot of my sense of humor (that really began to blossom in high school) was largely impacted from my experience with this book.

    It does take a little while to get into it… and it’s kind of polarizing. A character like Ignatius seems like he would have to be polarizing by nature. Sorta surprised that Gabe didn’t like it… but oh well.

    Oh this post is about Zach Galifianakis…? Whether he nails it or not is hard to say. I could see that coin landing on either side.

  16. Seeing as many people as I do here who found the book underwhelming or dull is maybe the most depressing thing I’ll see today. Not that I don’t respect that opinion, but it has to be the funniest book I’ve read, and it’s disappointing when it doesn’t click with people.

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