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Barney's Version

Mordecai Richler

Editore: Knopf, 1997
ISBN 10: 067940418X / ISBN 13: 9780679404187
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Titolo: Barney's Version

Casa editrice: Knopf

Data di pubblicazione: 1997

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "A feast of nonstop storytelling, and arguably Richler's funniest book yet."Maclean's favourite books of 1997 "[A] triumph . at once hilarious, poignant, satiric and elegiac. Barney's 30-year marriage to Miriam, their mutual love, and the two sons and one daughter they produce . are the novel's heart and soul. Barney's Version has an embarrassment of riches . woven here into a wantonly generous, seamless whole." The Globe and Mail "I couldn't put it down. There is no other writer among us at the moment who can so deftly deploy pure dialogue to create such rich atmosphere of period and place. In Barney's Version, the women are his finest achievement. This is wholly a wonderful novel. By turns gripping, hilarious, ridiculous and even poignant." The Montreal Gazette "A rollicking novel laden with rue, a self- portrait of a creative personality who never found a creative outlet he could respect, a paean to the pleasures and perils of drink, a celebration of ice hockey and tap dancing, a lament for a multicultural Montreal now torn and depressed by Quebecois separatism and a murder mystery with an uproarious solution." New Yorker From the Trade Paperback edition. Codice inventario libreria ABE_book_new_067940418X

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Riassunto: Charged with comic energy and a steely disregard for any pieties whatsoever, Barney's Version is a major Richler novel, the most personal and feeling book of a long and distinguished career.

Told in the first person, it gives us the life (and what a life!) of Barney Panofsky--whose trashy TV company, Totally Useless Productions, has made him a small fortune; whose three wives include a martyred feminist icon, a quintessential JCP (Jewish-Canadian Princess), and the incomparable Miriam, the perfect wife, lover, and mother--alas, now married to another man; who recalls with nostalgia and pain his young manhood in the Paris of the early fifties, and his lifelong passion for wine, women, and the Montreal Canadiens; who either did or didn't murder his best friend, Boogie, after discovering him in bed with The Second Mrs. Panofsky; whose satirical eye for the idiocies of today's Quebec separatists (as well as for every other kind of political correctness) manages to offend his entire acquaintanceship (and will soon be offending readers everywhere); and whose memory--though not his bile--is, in his sixty-seventh year, definitely slipping . . .

Recensione: Barney Panofsky smokes too many cigars, drinks too much whiskey, and is obsessed with two things: the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and his ex-wife Miriam. An acquaintance from his youthful years in Paris, Terry McIver, is about to publish his autobiography. In its pages he accuses Barney of an assortment of sins, including murder. It's time, Barney decides, to present the world with his own version of events. Barney's Version is his memoir, a rambling, digressive rant, full of revisions and factual errors (corrected in footnotes written by his son) and enough insults for everyone, particularly vegetarians and Quebec separatists.

But Barney does get around to telling his life story, a desperately funny but sad series of bungled relationships. His first wife, an artist and poet, commits suicide and becomes--à la Sylvia Plath--a feminist icon, and Barney is widely reviled for goading her toward death, if not actually murdering her. He marries the second Mrs. Panofsky, whom he calls a "Jewish-Canadian Princess," as an antidote to the first; it turns out to be a horrible mistake. The third, "Miriam, my heart's desire," is quite possibly his soul mate, but Barney botches this one, too. It's painful to watch him ruin everything, and even more painful to bear witness to his deteriorating memory. The mystery at the heart of Barney's story--did he or did he not kill his friend Boogie?--provides enough forward momentum to propel the reader through endless digressions, all three wives, and every one of Barney's nearly heartbreaking episodes of forgetfulness. Barney's Version, winner of Canada's 1997 Giller Prize, is Richler's 10th novel, and a dense, energetic, and ultimately poignant read. --R. Ellis

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