Barney's Version: A Novel

From his Yiddish childhood in a coldwater flat on Montreal's St Urbain's Street, Mordecai Richler evokes a North-American Jewish adolescence, his family and friends, and leads us through the modern history of Zionism, the kibbutz movement, and Israel then and now. He describes the cultural melting pot of his Canadian youth - nurtured, as he was, not only on loyalty to Zionism, but also on Tom Brown's Schooldays , Kipling, Gilbert & Sullivan, and baseball. He mixes the personal and political, combining stories about his mother struggling to make ends meet, his orthodox grandparents, Jerusalem cab drivers, and life on a kibbutz (the food is appalling!), with an analysis of modern Israel, Zionism and the dangers of extremism.