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Barney's Version (Movie Tie-in Edition) [Deckle Edge] [Paperback]

Mordecai Richler
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 24 2010 030740112X 978-0307401120
Ebullient and perverse, thrice married, Barney Panofsky has always clung to two cherished beliefs: life is absurd and nobody truly ever understands anybody else. But when his sworn enemy publicly states that Barney is a wife abuser, an intellectual fraud and probably a murderer, he is driven to write his own memoirs. Charged with comic energy and a wicked disregard for any pieties whatsoever, Barney's Version is a brilliant portrait of a man whom Mordecai Richler has made uniquely memorable for all time. It is also an unforgettable love story, a story about family and the riches of friendship.

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Product Description


"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 Quebeçois separatism and a murder mystery with an uproarious solution." —New Yorker

About the Author

Mordecai Richler is the author of ten successful novels-including Barney's Version (1997), Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989), Cocksure (1968) and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959)-as well as numerous screenplays, essays, children's books and several works of non-fiction. His most recent book is On Snooker (July 28th, 2001). He is the recipient of dozens of literary awards, among them two Governor General's Awards, The Giller Prize and The Commonwealth Writers Prize. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2001, only several months before his death on July 3rd, 2001.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barney's Version Nov. 30 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As always Morecai Richler does not disappoint with his rich descriptions and vivid tale telling, this book is a MUST READ BEFORE watching the movie. Barney is so very vividly portrayed as a man so confused about LOVE, FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIPS.
By the time you get to the end you yourself will agree that he is 'human' like the rest of us, and that we are all fallible .... if you enjoy Mordecai Richler your will enjoy this wonderful cornecopia of words, descriptions and story telling. It was marvelous. Mana from heaven..... again Highly recommended reading for all adults.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Wished I'd just watched the movie!!! Feb. 19 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Did NOT like the book at all!! It was all over the map and I'm truly surprised that the movie turned out as good as it did.
Wished I had never purchased the book!!!

So. . . . . . Stick with JUST the movie!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I disagree with the professional experts May 6 2011
For the most part I found Barney's Version tedious. Very few of the characters captivated me and the self indulgence of the protagonist was boring. However, I am glad I persevered to the end, because the conclusion was, indeed, unique, surprising and gratifying.

There is one definite redeeming feature of the book, and that is the portrayal of a very controlling, manipulative individual suddenly confronting the onset of a debilitating disease. The book is written in the first person, and although the individual keeps referring to himself as old, he is only in his late sixties (old in neither the 1990s when the book takes place, nor today). However, the disease from which he suffers is definitely an aging disease, and his frustration is well portrayed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can Lit at it's finest Sept. 26 2011
By Annie - Published on
Barney Panofsky is an aging television producer who is politically incorrect, alcoholic, caustic, and strangely likeable. When an acquaintance of his youth writes a memoir that vaguely accused Barney of being both a murderer and an intellectual infant, Barney takes it upon himself to write his own "Version".
The result is a long and winding trip through Barney's memory, but however tedious that may sound, it is actually highly entertaining. There is a tenderness at it's heart that makes it essentially a love story mixed with whiskey and bawdy humour.
Funny and sweet while being inflammatory and offensive - few authors could have pulled this off.
3.0 out of 5 stars Movie Vs Book Sept. 13 2013
By Jack Epsimos - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was half way through the movie when I placed it on pause and bought the book.
After reading the book and then watching the movie again from the beginning I have to say I enjoyed the movie better.

I know that doesn't happen often and neither do my reviews.

Still worth a read.

4.0 out of 5 stars Barney's Version Dec 11 2012
By Helene De Celles - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Funny and tragic at the same time. It takes place in the Jewish sector of Montreal. Surprising ending. I did not like certain aspects of the book, such as his criticism of the Quebec society in which the author he grew up.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read March 26 2011
By P.F.J.D. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book (living in the Montreal region for most of the past quarter-century helped me appreciate many of its details). Few books make my laugh, let alone out-loud repeatedly. Highly recommended.
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