Even Barney Panofsky's friends tend to agree that he is 'a wife-abuser, an intellectual fraud, a purveyor of pap, a drunk with a penchant for violence and probably a murderer'. But when Barney's sworn enemy threatens to publish this damning verdict, Barney is driven to write his own memoirs, rewinding the spool of his life, editing, selecting and plagiarising, as his memory plays tricks on him - and on the reader. Barney slides from crisis to success, from lowlife to highlife in Montreal, Paris and London, his exploits culminating in a final outrageous scandal.
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.