Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

The Appreticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler was written a number of years ago and describes a Montreal that has probably changed quite a bit. Richler depicts the Jewish community as insular, but changing. Shuls are being replaced by Reform Temples that eschew many of the more traditional customs.

Duddy attends a high school in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. His career in high school is marked by a lack of interest and a penchant for troublemaking. From a young age Duddy wants to be successful and his interpretation of that is ownership of land and the making of money. His grandfather had once said that a man must own land and that becomes Duddy’s mantra. In order to obtain what he wants Duddy is not above employing nefarious means.

Richter populates his book with a host of quirky characters. I’ve heard people say that there is a great deal of humor in the book—perhaps, but I was put off by some of the stereotypes. I found it uncomfortable to read and really couldn’t find any character I liked.

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