Barney's Version

Mordecai Richler

Barney's Version

The unmistakable voice of Mordecai Richler comes to us in Barney's Version, a raunchy yet tender account of a 67-year-old man's look back over his life - a life that includes plenty of bad behaviour. Barney Panofsky believes only two things: that no one will ever understand anyone else and that life is absurd. When a series of events propels Barney to write his memoirs, what unfolds is a funny, frank and surprisingly touching portrait of one of CanLit's most iconic characters.

Barney's Version won the 1997 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a Canada Reads 2004 finalist. It was defended by Zsuzsi Gartner.


Excerpt:

Terry's the spur. The splinter under my fingernail. To come clean, I'm starting on this shambles that is the true story of my wasted life (violating a solemn pledge, scribbling a first book at my advanced age), as a riposte to the scurrilous charges Terry McIver has made in his forthcoming autobiography: about me, my three wives, a.k.a. Barney Panofsky's troika, the nature of my friendship with Boogie, and, of course, the scandal I will carry to my grave like a humpback. Terry's sound of two hands clapping, Of Time and Fevers, will shortly be launched by The Group (sorry, the group), a government-subsidized small press, rooted in Toronto, that also publishes a monthly journal, the good earth, printed on recycled paper, you bet your life.


From Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler ©1997. Published by Knopf Canada.

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