When a sixty-seven-year-old Canadian rascal named Bernard Panofsky decides to write "the true story of my wasted life." the result is Barney's Version, Mordecai Richler's wickedly funny blend of satire, social commentary, and brilliant introspection on the state of contemporary life.
Hoping to rebut the charges about him made in a rival's autobiography Barney feels compelled to pen his account of events. From his bohemian misadventures during the 1950s in Paris to the fortune he amassed through his trashy TV company Totally Unnecessary Productions and the three women he married, he quickly proves that his memory may be slipping, but his bile isn't. He skewers feminists, politicians, the bourgeoisie, fads, social movements, and most of all himself. And when it comes to being charged with the murder of his own best friend -- caught in bed with the second Mrs. Panofsky -- Barney's version is as contradictory and slippery as real life right up to its astonishing end.
Wildly vulgar, superbly ironic, and brilliantly manic, Barney's Version is Mordecai Richler's comic masterpiece, the great work of a satirist at the top of his game.