The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

3.7 (6,475 ratings by Goodreads)
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"The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" is the novel that established Mordecai Richler as one of the world's best comic writers. Growing up in the heart of Montreal's Jewish ghetto, Duddy Kravitz is obsessed with his grandfather's saying, "A man without land is nothing." In his relentless pursuit of property and his drive to become a somebody, he will wheel and deal, he will swindle and forge, he will even try making movies. And in spite of the setbacks he suffers, the sacrifices he must make along the way, Duddy never loses faith that his dream is worth the price he must pay. This blistering satire traces the eventful coming-of-age of a cynical dreamer. Amoral, inventive, ruthless, and scheming, Duddy Kravitz is one of the most magnetic anti-heroes in literature, a man who learns the hard way that dreams are never exactly what they seem, even when they do come true. "From the Trade Paperback edition."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 15mm | 211g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140156593
  • 9780140156591

Review quote

"Duddy Kravitz sits alone in its urbanity, energy, relevance, direction and raw talent."-"Toronto Star" "It burgeons with its special talent and vulgar vitality."-"Chicago Tribune" "Richler Ýis one of North America's most powerful novelists."-"Washington Times" "Richler has been praised highly for his clear-eyed vision and his realistic style. This novel will confirm that estimate... the total effect is brash and blatant as a sports car rally - and as suggestive of power."-"New York Times Book Review" "There can be no doubt of ÝRichler's prodigal talent."-"Times Literary Supplement" "From the Trade Paperback edition."show more

Review Text

This is a Canadian What Makes Sammy Run, set in Montreal-covering the years from 1947 to 1951. At 15, Duddy, through petty persecution, manages to bring about the death of one of his teachers, but it is as a natural born go-getter and money-maker that he really hits his stride in pushing people around and using them. He sets himself up as an independent movie producer, filming bar-mitzvahs and weddings for the Jewish community of the city. His driving motive is to make enough money to buy up the land around an untouched lake ("A man without land is nothing " his grandfather has told him) and build a children's camp, a hotel, a synagogue, a movie house, etc. There is a faithful French- Canadian girl who loves him and whom he uses; there is the big time racketeer he beats out; there is Duddy's father, a taxi driver; his brother who is the hope of the family- studying to be a doctor; his rich uncle, his old immigrant grandfather, and so on. The material in fact is familiar. But even if there are no surprises, Mr. Richler has such a way with his writing, particularly his dialogue, and such an intimate sense of his characters, that he carries the reader to the end- in spite of the plot cliches along the way. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

6,475 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 21% (1,346)
4 41% (2,664)
3 28% (1,815)
2 7% (478)
1 3% (172)
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