Canada Reads·Canadian

Cocksure

Mordecai Richler's novel is a satire on celebrity culture and the entertainment business.

Mordecai Richler

A ribald satirical romp, Cocksure is set against the backdrop of the publishing industry in London, England, in the 1960s. Canadian Mortimer Griffin's life is turned upside down after the publishing company he works for as an editor is bought by a Hollywood tycoon. Mordecai Richler targets the absurdities of celebrity culture and the entertainment business in this hilarious send-up.

Cocksure was a contender for Canada Reads 2006, when it was defended by Scott Thompson.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews | More about this book

From the book

Dino Tomasso braked before the high, familiar gates with the coupling snakes woven into the wrought iron. It was not necessary for him to show a pass, but he had to wait, drumming his three-fingered left hand against the steering wheel, while the armed, black-uniformed guard threw the lever that oopened the gates and waved Tomasso's AC Cobra 427 through. Tomasso turned into the winding, cypress-lined driveway, whistling happily until he spotted Laughton sitting by the poolside.

Laughton, one of several doctors attached to the Star Maker's medical unit, was drinking with Gail, a pretty nurse in a bikini. "Time for a quick snort?" he asked.

"No. Sorry," Tomasso said, his voice wobbly.

"How you keeping?"

"Lousy. Honestly."

"Hold on a minute." With a wink for Gail, Laughton whipped out an eye chart from under his towel and pointed a swizzle stick at the fifth line: U F J Z B H Q A. "Let's go," he said.


From Cocksure by Mordecai Richler ©1968. Published by Penguin Canada.

Author interviews

Richler chats about his career in conversation with Eleanor Wachtel. 21:20
Mordecai Richler and Robert Fulford discuss the Canadian literary scene. 19:46

More about this book

Authors remember the life and works of Richler. 18:54