Charged with comic energy and a steely disregard for any pieties whatsoever, Barney's Version is a major Richler novel, the most personal and feeling book of a long and distinguished career.
Told in the first person, it gives us the life (and what a life!) of Barney Panofsky--whose trashy TV company, Totally Useless Productions, has made him a small fortune; whose three wives include a martyred feminist icon, a quintessential JCP (Jewish-Canadian Princess), and the incomparable Miriam, the perfect wife, lover, and mother--alas, now married to another man; who recalls with nostalgia and pain his young manhood in the Paris of the early fifties, and his lifelong passion for wine, women, and the Montreal Canadiens; who either did or didn't murder his best friend, Boogie, after discovering him in bed with The Second Mrs. Panofsky; whose satirical eye for the idiocies of today's Quebec separatists (as well as for every other kind of political correctness) manages to offend his entire acquaintanceship (and will soon be offending readers everywhere); and whose memory--though not his bile--is, in his sixty-seventh year, definitely slipping . . .
From the Hardcover edition.
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Review: Barney's VersionUser Review - Mike Smith - Goodreads
Presented as a first-person memoir by the title character, Barney Panofsky, this book struck me as a bit uneven. Well-written and entertaining for the most part, the structure and lack of a plot made ... Read full review
Review: Barney's VersionUser Review - Matt - Goodreads
Most of Barney's Version is structured as an autobiography of a bitter old curmudgeon. Barney, the titular protagonist, is trying to proclaim his innocence - both of the crime of murdering his friend ... Read full review