The Last Honest Man
Mordecai Richler: An Oral Biography
By Michael Posner
(McClelland & Stewart, Paperback, 9780771070242, 369pp.)
Publication Date: March 29, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Novelist, essayist, satirist, and iconoclast, Mordecai Richler made an international reputation with such contemporary fiction triumphs as Barney’s Version and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. His death in July 2001 prompted heartfelt tributes from around the world that acknowledged his humour, intellect, soft heart, and irrepressible curmudgeonliness.
The Last Honest Man documents the writer’s public and private lives through the words of his family and friends, colleagues and rivals, editors, writers, filmmakers, drinking pals, snooker buddies, and many others. To borrow a phrase from his long-time editor, Robert Gottlieb, this unusual biography captures the grumpy and the high-spirited man, the generous and the distanced, the enthusiastic and the sardonic, the hungry and the fastidious, the man who was awkward in crowded social situations but consummately at ease in Winston’s bar in Montreal.
Michael Posner draws on dozens of interviews conducted in London, New York, Montreal, and Toronto to present an unusual and compelling portrait of this complex man and artist.
Michael Posner is an arts reporter and feature writer for the Globe and Mail. He is the author of three previous nonfiction books.
From the Quill & Quire
“…a vivid, consistently engaging character study that is as well balanced as it is ennobling.”
“The fully mature, more familiar Richler figure is here as well: tipping over sacred cows, drinking and smoking too much, and, of course, dedicatedly writing the novels and essays that made him the best writer Canada has yet produced.”
From the National Post (Robert Fulford)
“…absorbing and revealing oral biography.”
“The Last Honest Man takes us closer to Richler, both the professional and the private man, than anything else in print.”
“Posner, by carefully organizing the details of Richler’s personal history, shows us how the work came out of the life.”
“The Last Honest Man tells a remarkable story, at once melancholy, inspiring and triumphant.”