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The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Paperback – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671028472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671028473
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Washington Times It is time to recognize Mr. Richler as one of North America's most powerful novelists.

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.

From the Inside Flap

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is the novel that established Mordecai Richler as one of the world?s best comic writers. Growing up in the heart of Montreal?s Jewish ghetto, Duddy Kravitz is obsessed with his grandfather?s saying, ?A man without land is nothing.? In his relentless pursuit of property and his drive to become a somebody, he will wheel and deal, he will swindle and forge, he will even try making movies. And in spite of the setbacks he suffers, the sacrifices he must make along the way, Duddy never loses faith that his dream is worth the price he must pay. This blistering satire traces the eventful coming-of-age of a cynical dreamer. Amoral, inventive, ruthless, and scheming, Duddy Kravitz is one of the most magnetic anti-heroes in literature, a man who learns the hard way that dreams are never exactly what they seem, even when they do come true. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

By the end of the book I felt I knew (but didn't like) Duddy.
lazza
None of the Characters, especially Duddy, were likable entertaining characters.
Christoph L. Clark
Though he gains what he wants, he loses what is truly most dearest.
J. Gifford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By lazza on December 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mordecai Richler is certainly one of Canada's best novelists. His caustic sense of humour, his self-deprecating look at life, and his sometimes thinly disguised autobiographical stories are always memorable. Imagine Joseph (Catch-22) Heller being from Montreal and you have Mordecai Richler.
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
I chose to read this book for several reasons: least importantly, I had to choose a topic for a school project; I learned to read with the aid of Mordecai Richlers "Jacob Two-Two" books, so I had a fondness for his style of writing; I lived in Montreal for eight of my eighteen years; perhaps most importantly, I read it because I had heard it was not a book to be missed. I was not disappointed.
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book.

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.....
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Earl Bruhn on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is fast paced, vulgar, funny, and human. The world of Duddy Kravitz--an extraordinary Jewish teenager in Montreal in the 1940's--may sound very far removed from our lives, but very few things I have read have struck me as being so irresistably recognisable as life. It would be to deny yourself an immense pleasure not to read this book. Certain chapters are as classic as things we remember from great 19th century literature.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Mr. Richler's writing when I read "Duddy" in the '70's. Since then, and partly because of Duddy, I have enjoyed many of Richler's books. The irreverent humour, fully realized characterization and exotic Montreal and Quebec settings make this book riveting. Duddy, a young, almost tragically (except it's too funny) ambitious man, embodies all the tensions and pitfalls of scheming to make a buck.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was my New Years Resolution to read more "literature" especially by Canadian authors. I am ashamed to say that I have managed to get this far through life without reading anything by this someone who is widely regarded as one of Canada's greatest man of letters.
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
OK here's the deal. Duddy is not a good guy but the reader loves him because he is a human being and if he turns out sour and crazy it is only becasue those more fortunate than he have taken advantage of him. Duddy responds to the cards that society hands out by playing them as best he can. Richler is an incredible writer. His characters and dialogue have so much richness, so much reality. This is a book about Montreal and all the politics and culture-clash that occur between its upper-class Jews and Gentile and the lower class Jews and Gentiles. The old Jews and the young Jews, the college kids and the working kids. The French canadians and the anglo-phones, etc. There are very few women in this book, but Duddy has a very small field of vision when it comes to women, so the POV is true to the character. I love this book.
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