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Butterfly in the Typewriter

The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of a Confederacy of Dunces
Lu par : Nick Sullivan
Durée : 11 h et 6 min
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Description

The saga of John Kennedy Toole is one of the greatest stories of American literary history. After writing A Confederacy of Dunces, Toole corresponded with Robert Gottlieb of Simon & Schuster for two years. Exhausted from Gottlieb’s suggested revisions, Toole declared the publication of the manuscript hopeless and stored it in a box. Years later he suffered a mental breakdown, took a two-month journey across the United States, and finally committed suicide on an inconspicuous road outside of Biloxi. Following the funeral, Toole’s mother discovered the manuscript. After many rejections, she cornered Walker Percy, who found it a brilliant novel and spearheaded its publication. In 1981, 12 years after the author’s death, A Confederacy of Dunces won the Pulitzer Prize.

In Butterfly in the Typewriter, Cory MacLauchlin draws on scores of new interviews with friends, family, and colleagues as well as full access to the extensive Toole archive at Tulane University, capturing his upbringing in New Orleans, his years in New York City, his frenzy of writing in Puerto Rico, his return to his beloved city, and his descent into paranoia and depression.

©2012 Cory MacLauchlin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Global
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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • French Quarter
  • 09/07/2013

Worth it! Good biography. Informative.

Any additional comments?

Good biography. Informative. Not terribly exciting but not bad either. Great research. Necessary if you enjoy the original book or author's life. I live in New Orleans where the original book and life takes place. It's accurate and I had no issues as a French Quarter native.

I go to New York a lot, know art and students, and can relate to the people and life described... the biography is real and well done.

Don't expect literary miracles from the biography, its just a good bio.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew K. Weaver
  • 11/06/2018

Really informative and enjoyable

I learned so much about JKT, one of my favorite writers. Highly recommend this to anyone who finished Confederacy and were left craving more.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Buretto
  • 19/01/2020

Engaging, if a bit uneven

It's always interesting to learn about the evolution of a creative mind, particularly one with such a tragic legend as this one. And the book doesn't disappoint on that count. Toole's early years, schooling, early jobs and writing woes are all presented comprehensively. But perhaps too much so, as it drags at times, rehashing themes and somewhat ambivalently focusing on his sexuality. That point is only significant with regard to the length of the book, since the author spends a good deal of time presenting contemporary opinions of friends and psychological indicators regarding Toole's sexuality, and yet ultimately seems to dismiss these as irrelevant. Overall, the story is engaging. However, the frequency, and the inconsistency in the volume and tone, of edits does becoming a bit distracting.