Barney's Version

Front Cover
Random House, 2011 - Man-woman relationships - 416 pages
7 Reviews
Barney Panofsky smokes too many cigars, drinks too much whiskey, and is obsessed with two things: the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and his ex-wife Miriam. An acquaintance from his youthful years in Paris, Terry McIver, is about to publish his autobiography. In its pages he accuses Barney of an assortment of sins, including murder. It's time, Barney decides, to present the world with his own version of events. Barney's Version is his memoir, a rambling, digressive rant, full of revisions and factual errors (corrected in footnotes written by his son) and enough insults for everyone, particularly vegetarians and Quebec separatists. 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--a 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?

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AmberMcWilliams - LibraryThing

Clever, erudite and witty. Sometimes the layers of irony and satire feel a bit forced, and it's occasionally a hard to engage with the characters because the author gets in the way by being overtly ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Romonko - LibraryThing

67 year old Canadian Barney Parnofsky decides to sit down to write his memoirs and we have Barney's Version. What a treat of a book. Totally unexecpected. Richeler has created a character in this book ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Mordecai Richler was an acclaimed Canadian novelist and essayist born in Montreal in 1931. He won the Commonwealth Prize, the Paris Review Humour Prize, was twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his novels Solomon Gursky Was Here and St. Urbain's Horseman, and was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. He died in 2001.

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