I finished A Confederacy of Dunces over the weekend. Fantastic book. No, that isn't a strong enough word. Fucking fantastic book. That's better. What a remarkable character Toole has created in Ignatius - rude, socially inept, bloated, loud, pompus - he should not be remotely likable. But he is endearing and funny and brilliant. Sure he treats he momma bad, but she raised him, she made him what he is, so I see Ignatius and Irene as needing each other - that is, until Irene finds someone better and Ignatius must face his demons (in the form of a Myrna minx).
I can see why Hollywood is desperate to turn this book into a movie, but I don't see how - Ignatius is such a character - so real, so alive, so big and over-the-top - there is no actor alive today that could do him justice. There was talk of Will Ferrell, but unless he gaines a hundred or so pounds, there is no way he could fill that hot-dog smock.