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The Idiot

John Kendrick Bangs

Book Overview: 

The Idiot is anything but, yet his fellow boarders at Mrs. Smithers-Pedagog’s home for single gentlemen see him as such. His brand of creative thought is dismissed as foolishness yet it continues to get under their skin, because when you’re beneath contempt you can say what you please.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Why not?" asked Mr. Brief.

"That's what I want to know—why not? The world, as represented by the ticket-taker at the door, says they are not—or implies that they are not, by demanding tickets for two. They attempt to travel out to Niagara Falls. The railroad people charge them two fares; the hackman charges them two fares; the hotel bills are made out for two people. It is the same wherever they go in the world, and I regret to say that even in our own home there is a disposition to regard them as two. When I spoke of there being nine persons here instead of ten, Mr. Whitechoker himself disputed my point—and yet it was not so much his fault as the fault of Mr. and Mrs. Pedagog themselves. Mrs. Pedagog seems to cast doubt upon the unity by providing two separate chairs for the two halves that make up the charming entirety. Two cups are provided for their coffee. Two forks, two knives, two spoons, two portions of all the delicacies of the season w. . . Read More

Community Reviews

funny, the main character reminds me of the main character in Confederacy of Dunces.

My 4th Bang book and I’ll make my way through them all; a short read, only a couple of hours : it’s one of those where I think you’ll need to read twice to catch all he’s saying, ‘ if mr and Mrs pedagogue are classed as one person them why do they have to buy 2 theatre tickets ‘ and why can’t we all

Very witty and humorous.

This book reminds me of A Confederacy of Dunces and Catch-22. It's as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. If it was any longer, I'd have a hard time getting though it, but it's perfect as is. Just the right mix of humor and thought.

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