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Barney's Version (Vintage International) - Softcover

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9780307476883: Barney's Version (Vintage International)
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Barney Panofsky--Canadian expat, wily lover of women, writer, television producer, raconteur--is finally putting pen to paper so he can rebut the charges about him made in his rival's autobiography. Whether it's ranting about his bohemian misadventures during the 1950's in Paris, his tumultuous three marriages, or his successful trashy TV company, Totally Unnecessary Productions, he quickly proves that his memory may be slipping, but his bile isn't. But when he's charged with the murder of his own best friend--caught in bed with the second Mrs. Panofsky--Barney's version of things might not be enough to keep him out of trouble.

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Review:
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-- 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

Review:
"Richler's great achievement. . . . Ebullient, manic, over the top." --Los Angeles Times

"At once falling-down funny, angry, and heartbreakingly poignant." --The Dallas Morning News

"Cunningly designed for maximum suspense and beaucoup laughs. . . . Exuberant." --Time

"Vintage Richler: funny, tough, and touching." --San Francisco Examiner

"Richler's aim is still deadly. . . . [With] a caustic wit and Falstaffian charm." --The New York Times Book Review

"A fine, funny novel. . . . Deft, irreverent, and affecting." --The New York Times

"A satisfying experience; this is a masterfully executed novel--a funny, touching, mature work." --St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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

"Grossly funny. . . . A rousing spectacle. . . . A novelist at the top of his game." --The Wall Street Journal

"Funny and engaging. . . . Richler's admirers will not want to miss it." --Washington Post Book World

"Richler brings off one of the most difficult feats of a satirical novelist--winning the affection of the reader for a character who is a world-class vulgarian. Barney is very, very funny." --The Boston Globe

"Wildly comic. . . The years . . . have added depth to Richler's power to outrage and amuse." --New York Review of Books

"Hilarious. . . . Barney Panofsky is right up there with such creations as Moses Herzog and Randle Patrick McMurphy as outrageous swimmers against the tide of conformity. His wicked sense of humor will endear him to all but the most censorious." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A brilliantly slapdash fictional memoir. . . Hilarious. . . . Raucous but elegiac." --Entertainment Weekly

"A rollicking novel laden with rue, a self-portrait of a creative personality who never found a creative outlet he could respect, a paean to the pleasures and perils of drink, a celebration of ice hockey and tap dancing . . . [and] a murder mystery with an uproarious solution." --The New Yorker

"A touching human work [which] celebrates the power of love, the importance of family, the value of work, and the frightening process of aging. . . . [An] eloquent portrait of an impossible man." --Toronto Star

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  • PublisherVintage
  • Publication date2010
  • ISBN 10 030747688X
  • ISBN 13 9780307476883
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages432
  • Rating
    4.16 avg rating
    ( 12,130 ratings by Goodreads )

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679404187: Barney's Version

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780679404187
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, 1998
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9780099939207: Barney's Version: A Novel

Vintage, 1998
Softcover

9780676970784: Barney's Version

Knopf ..., 1997
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9780676971743: Barney's Version

Vintag..., 1998
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9780671028466: Barney's Version: A Novel

Washin..., 1999
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