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Biographer and boozer Moses Berger, the son of a failed poet, develops a lifelong obsession with Solomon, the black sheep of the rags-to-riches Gursky dynasty, whose history is inseparable from the rise of the Canadian nation. An ambitious gambler, autodidact, and daring lover, Solomon disappeared in his solo plane just as the family business shifted from midnight bootlegging to a multifaceted commercial empire. It may be that Solomon decided to leave his brothers (scheming Bernard and bumbling Morrie) behind to chase the major events of 20th-century history. Perhaps, like Ephraim, his forger-explorer-preacher grandfather, Solomon has returned to the solitude of the Arctic. Or he may have been murdered by his cunning brother Bernard: "Dig deep enough into the past of any noble family and there is a Bernard at the root. The founder with the dirty fingernails. The killer."
Sprawling across continents and generations, this quasi-biblical--or, better, Godfather-esque--epic is fundamentally concerned with greed. Power, money, flesh, and attention all tempt the innumerable characters in a wicked tale of adoration and betrayal. More fantastical than any of Richler's other novels, this shimmering web of disappearance and deception questions the wisdom and even the viability of any sort of loyalty. --Darryl Whetter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.