Fiction and Fact in Mordecai Richler's Novels

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This study analyzes Richler's use of biblical and literary sources as ironic subtexts for his tales. Identifying hitherto unnoticed sources, it also shows that Richler uses them to compare and judge both the world he imitates and the one he creates. Another important aspect of the study of Richler's nine novels shows that even the first novel (now out of print) is cast in the same mold as the more successful ones where he fashions his protagonist on a biblical or literary mode only to blast holes in both his hero and the model he represents. Thus he achieves his own peculiar moral density by pushing accepted conventions and beliefs to their logically absurd extremes, while keeping the realistic level intact.


"Ada Craniford has managed to combine professional quality with a work that is a damned good "read" which I found difficult to put down and which should appeal to a wide audience far beyond the narrow confines of Academia. . . . Her style is pungent, graphic, often comic, but at the same time elegant, and she reveals a wonderful knack for illustrating a point with a an appropriate anecdote which is guaranteed to continue to amuse the reader long after the source has been forgotten. . . . With its rich and rewarding prose, impressive research and sometimes almost clairvoyant insights [Mordechai Richler] is a beautifully written, interesting and important book about a great Canadian writer." - Douglas F. Parkhill

"... she provides a fresh and stimulating view of the writer. Intertextual reading, especially recognition of parody, underlies her most arresting comments." - Joan Hind-Smith

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