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The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by…

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959)

by Mordecai Richler

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Of course there is the movie, introducing Richard Dryfuss. I recalled scenes from it, but the novel is much more than the movie. Duddy is desperate to get ahead, to get noticed, to get approved of, and he hustles with such determination that at times I felt exhausted by his juggling act. While we watch him, we see the small, tight community of Montreal Jews after WWII, where everyone knows everyone and the local heroes are not always admirable. Duddy's hunger to be somebody and his ties to his family drive the story.

Richler doesn't leave out humor. Some of the episodes are screamingly funny. But this is not a satire; it's a portrait of a boy, a community, and a specific time. Excellent. ( )
  ffortsa | May 4, 2018 |
A very entertaining story about the adventurous undertakings of Duddy, trying to become someone in life, to acquire land. A rollercoaster ride of business deals, failures, accidents, pure luck events. What to think of a guy like Duddy? Immoral sometimes, perseverant, mad, sentimental. This book is a lovely potpourri. It just ends to abruptly, as you would like to hear about Duddy's future projects. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Review: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler. A well written book. A story of a young boy with a behavior problem that led him down a path of crude behavior, dishonesty, corruptive habits, and self-egotism. He was led to believe by his grandfather that to be a “Man” you must own land. Being obsessed with this goal he unconscientiously (thought no wrong done) stepped on anyone who got in his way.

By the time he reached twenty his learned behavior was out of control. He was always on the go from one con to another to get what he wanted. He had a bad attitude that switched on and off like a light bulb. He lived on his conniving habits day after day. He made friends and lost friends because he always put himself first. The only two caring friends that stayed fairly close to Duddy was Yvette and Virgil. Yvette saw through Duddy but she still stuck around him to help him with his business. Duddy treated her like dirt and didn’t really want to be seen with her in public. Virgil was another story. He believed in Duddly all the way. He thought Duddy was number one in his book even after his accident. He never placed the blame on Duddy.

At times there seem to be a chance Duddy was improving his character. However, in a flash his mind turned off to everyone but himself and his goal. Duddy finally sank to the bottom of the barrel. He stole money from Virgil the sweetest guy who would never hurt a fly. At that point I think Duddy had no conscience at all. The only feelings he had was for himself.

Well, Duddy got what he wanted but he paid a high price to get it. He lost his two great companions and his grandfather’s trusting relationship. At the end I don’t think Duddy sincerely felt any guilt or shame. I don’t think he knew how…..

I feel like he was in and out of some kind of manic state. Nothing of mental health was ever brought up in the book. Even as I read my mind was switching back and forth whether or not I like him. Duddy kept my heart pumping at a fast pace while reading just to keep up with him and his behavior. I thought the book was a good read and a fast rush……
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
very sad. you can't help feeling sorry for Duddy. ( )
  mahallett | Sep 21, 2014 |
Duddy Kravitz is a third generation Jewish immigrant who reminds me of Kevin Spacey's character in House of Cards. Although Duddy is only a teenager growing up in 1950s Montreal, he is amoral, scheming, conniving, sly, and even amusing. He goes after what he wants with a corrupt, combative, yet subtle bully air just like a well trained politician. He knows how to hustle for jobs while hustling people at the same time. No one is immune to his charms or betrayals. At the heart of the story Duddy has plans to own land because, in his mind, that is the only way he can be sure he will be Somebody in the end. He'll steamroll over anybody and everybody to get what he wants. His pride won't let him be human. In the end, Duddy ultimately becomes Richler's mouthpiece for topics such as greed, politics, religion, and family and you can't help but admire Duddy's tenacity no matter how much you hate his moral character. Just like Frank Underwood, he is a begrudgingly likeable villain. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mordecai Richlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bevan, AllanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carpenter, DavidAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helmond, Joop vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kopel, JoannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macdonald, AnnForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morawetz, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What with his wife so ill these past few weeks and the prospect of three more days of teaching before the weekend break, Mr MacPherson felt unusually glum.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671028472, Paperback)

From Mordecai Richler, one of our greatest satirists, comes one of literature's most delightful characters, Duddy Kravitz -- in a novel that belongs in the pantheon of seminal twentieth century books.

Duddy -- the third generation of a Jewish immigrant family in Montreal -- is combative, amoral, scheming, a liar, and totally hilarious. From his street days tormenting teachers at the Jewish academy to his time hustling four jobs at once in a grand plan to "be somebody," Duddy learns about living -- and the lesson is an outrageous roller-coaster ride through the human comedy. As Richler turns his blistering commentary on love, money, and politics, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz becomes a lesson for us all...in laughter and in life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:04 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Duddy, the third generation of a Jewish immigrant family in Montreal, learns about life and love while trying to be someone special.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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