Belling the Cat
Essays, Reports, and OpinionsBook - 1998
Following the success of the #1 bestseller and Giller Prize-winner Barney's Version, an irresistible and timely collection of the best of Mordecai Richler's recent essays. Mordecai Richler is not only a great novelist - he is also our best essayist, regularly offending some deeply, endearing himself mightily to others, and always entertaining. The Toronto Star calls him "mercilessly observant, funny, caustic and irreverent". To paraphrase Alberto Manguel in The Sunday Times - "Like Dr. Johnson at his insulting best, Mordecai at the top of his form is unsurpassed." Here we have his take on many unforgettable Canadians, heroes, and sinners, including Gretzky, Eddie Quinn and Pete Rose; we see him give a final skewering to his hated quarry, Brian Mulroney (but the NDP leadership fares little better); Woody Allen does not escape, but for Saul Bellow he has warm admiration and his tribute to Gordie Howe is as fond as it is thoughtful; he brings to life London in the 50s and leaves us with life in the Eastern Townships today. He is a storyteller even in his essays, and these are memorable for his character sketches, his sharp ear for dialogue, his unblinkered view of events. Like all great satirists, Richler cares passionately about the society in which we live; it's that love of country, as much as his love of sanity and common sense and his hatred of sacred cows, that underlies these essays.
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, c1998
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 23 cm