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The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Paperback – March 1, 1999
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Chicago Tribune A rasping humor pervades the book....It burgeons with its special talent and a vulgar vitality.
The Washington Times A fast-moving, entertaining, and bawdy novel.
Los Angeles Times Funny in the biting, subversive manner of Joseph Heller and Philip Roth.
Minneapolis Star Tribune Duddy Kravitz [is] Richler's most famous creation.
The New York Times Book Review Richler has been praised for his clear-eyed vision and his realistic style.... The total effect is as brash and blatant as a sports car rally -- and as suggestive of power.
Alfred Kazin It comes off brilliantly.
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Top Customer Reviews
Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is one of Richler's earlier and better known (..thanks to the 1970s film adaptation) works. The story centers around a young Jewish teenager (Duddy), a very abrasive and aggressive boy, striving to make money in order to buy land (thinking, like his grandpa, that if you don't own land you ain't nuttin'). So Duddy gets into a strange, and hilarious, film-making business. His pushy and obnoxious behaviour both appalls and endears everyone he meets; I too was appalled and endeared. By the end of the book I felt I knew (but didn't like) Duddy.
While I did enjoy 'Duddy Kravitz' I have to say it certainly isn't Richler's best effort. I suggest Barney's Version, written some 30 years later, which demonstrates the author's abilities at his peak.
Bottom line: an endearing story of a lost youth in Montreal circa 1950. Fondly memorable.
Duddy Kravitz is ambition personified, an almost unbelievably driven young man. As all the other reviews say, he casts aside decency, friendship, and something akin to love to achieve his stated goal. The thrust of the story, however, or at least my own understanding of it, is that Duddy never realizes what he has done. Small flashes of emotion show through sometimes, but they are almost ruthlessly surpressed. It's almost as if he thinks that to be human is to be weak.
Duddy succeeds, because he can do nothing else. The price extolled by his own ambition is great, though, and it hurts intensely to realize that he doesn't even recognize what he has done.
Rough, well-written, and well worth reading.
While the first two or three chapters are not really needed in the novel, I found the character of Duddy Kravitz repulsive but strangely satisfying as a character. Cliched my ass. Okay, Max, Jerry Dingleman and Lennie are cliched, but you also get Virgil the epileptic, John Friar the Americommunist filmmaker, Yvette the "Girl Friday" who holds Duddy's land for him, and of course, you have the anti-Semitic Scot Mr. Macpherson. Sure it may sound cliched, but this was written 40 years ago. Cliches have come from this line of writing.
I may be a masochist but it's FUUUN to see Kravitz screw and be screwed. And Richler knows how to write a book. In my opinion, it may be nothing new, but at least it's nothing bad.....
This is Richler's cautionary tale about the evils of greed and unrestrained ambition. This topic has been explored by a countless other writers but seldom with as much skill as that displayed by Mr. Richler.
The main character is both repugnant and fascinating to watch. I can't recommend this enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're looking for overlapping plots and literary pyrotechnics, you might want to try Richler's fiction after 1980 (i.e. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Troy Parfitt
The book was hard to follow and Duddy was a skag. Only read it as a recommendation from Road Scholar to get background for Canada Trip to Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. Read morePublished 15 months ago by mary kay raftery
Watch the movie. It's the reason Richard Dreyfuss almost quit acting, but it's amazing, and more attention-grabbing than the original novel. Especially that bris scene.Published 15 months ago by Raizel
I really didn't like this book. None of the Characters, especially Duddy, were likable entertaining characters. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Christoph L. Clark
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler was on my reading list for school last year. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sam Couture Reviews
This book touched on two very important nostalgic points for me: the landscape of Montreal life and the struggle of the "American" dream (in Canada). Read morePublished 22 months ago by PerchTwirl
The bookseller Owlsbooks professionally addressed and corrected a concern I had about the quality of the book sent to me. They took my concern seriously and promptly resolved it. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Lisa Craig
Perhaps most shocking is all the reviews that fail to mention the overriding theme. Every Jewish character is morally corrupt, and obsessed with money, status, and power. Read morePublished on September 28, 2013 by mikeg
"Duddy Kravitz" propelled Mordecai Richler into the literary annals of 20th century Canada as Munro, Atwood and Ondaatje dominate it in this present age. Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by John E. Drury