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.
This is a book that actually made me laugh out loud, many times.
Wonderfully funny, Richler skillfully tells an intriguing and complex story of an aging character with a realism that resonates and entertains.
Itfs full of regret coupled with hope and a deep sense of attachment to everything that has ever made itself a part of Barneyfs life.
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 4 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 4 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 5 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 5 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 15 months ago by VG
Better than the movie, very enjoyable read. Engaging, i read it in a day, cross reference with his other books, but not necessary to have read them.Published 17 months ago by Ken Gill
What a great book. Mordecai Richler was a true Canadian treasurer. What a storyteller. A must read for any husband.Published 24 months ago by StellaDora
I enjoyed it, but the beginning dragged. He reminded me of someone I knew fondly. you ask to much of readers in this review process. How dare you demand more words?Published on February 9, 2013 by Ann Klestadt
Wonderfully funny, Richler skillfully tells an intriguing and complex story of an aging character with a realism that resonates and entertains.Published on December 20, 2012 by Gary McGugan