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But Barney does get around to telling his life story, a desperately funny but sad series of bungled relationships. His first wife, an artist and poet, commits suicide and becomes--à la Sylvia Plath--a feminist icon, and Barney is widely reviled for goading her toward death, if not actually murdering her. He marries the second Mrs. Panofsky, whom he calls a "Jewish-Canadian Princess," as an antidote to the first; it turns out to be a horrible mistake. The third, "Miriam, my heart's desire," is quite possibly his soul mate, but Barney botches this one, too. It's painful to watch him ruin everything, and even more painful to bear witness to his deteriorating memory. The mystery at the heart of Barney's story--did he or did he not kill his friend Boogie?--provides enough forward momentum to propel the reader through endless digressions, all three wives, and every one of Barney's nearly heartbreaking episodes of forgetfulness. Barney's Version, winner of Canada's 1997 Giller Prize, is Richler's 10th novel, and a dense, energetic, and ultimately poignant read. --R. Ellis --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Good yarn with a lot of Canadian and Quebec references. Mordecai Richler was a unique person and his writing reflects this.Published 14 days ago by Daniel R Lewis
Saw the movie first, and found it interesting enough to get the book. Astonished that the book is in the form of a memoir, an interior monologue reviewing the marriages of the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Robert Reitter
Read this because of the movie. Loved Loved Loved the movie (one of my top 10). The book is good, but this is one of the few times where I think I like the movie better--not... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kyle
So I only read this book after seeing the movie. You really do take a random trip down "Barney's" memory lane. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Grace Roman
Terrific, very funny, unique novel in the vein of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth; at times outrageous and always engaging.Published 14 months ago by Michael
tough guy not so tough. great honesty as far as the limits of the protagonist's nature allows. a very funny book, definitely meat and potatoes fare, and yet full of incisive... Read morePublished 14 months ago by pamela friedland
I have to admit I was a little disappointed. It's a good read - all of Richler's work is, but it was a bit depressing to see another trip back to Europe, with associated hijinks,... Read morePublished 24 months ago by VG