Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful & funny, tragic & fun
on November 29, 2008
Written in the form of a memoir of Barney Panofsky, a grumpy old bastard who wanted to be a writer and settled for being rich. Having led a fairly controversial life, and with his arch-rival publishing his memoirs, Barney decides to tell his side of the story. From his disastrous first marriage to a poet who becomes an icon after she commits suicide, alleged murder of his best friend and ultimate devotion to his third wife and soul mate (Miriam, Miriam) who left him after years of neglect, Barney unapologetically sneers his way through the decades with impressive wit and faulty memory (which are corrected with footnotes by his oldest son). As the book progresses his memory erodes further and the disjointed narrative becomes a poignant inside look at Alzheimer's and dementia. Despite this, Barney's Version is not melodramatic or overly tragic. Instead, it is a sharp, funny and incisive look at a hero in his own epic.