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It’s is an incisive and often unforgiving account of nineteen year-old Duddy Kravitz—hustler, con artist, betrayer.
At the time, the work was reviled as coarse and cynical, but it was praised as well for rejuvenating the Canadian comic novel.
In terms of Richler’s literary career and in the development of Canadian literature the book is considered a seminal work for its examination of aspects of Jewish life that are a source of value and a focus of trenchant criticism.
Despite this, Duddy still thinks he is "manly" because of all of the things he owns.
Every ethnic community has its cultural tattletales, artists and writers who go around revealing the family’s dirty little secrets to the outside world, the “white men” as Duddy Kravitz learns to call them in THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ.
He meets a blacklisted man (who happens to be a communist), and hires him on the spot.
He wants to produce a film about Jerry Dingleman, who had a miraculous childhood, but fails to capture Jerry's attention.
In his desperate pursuit to own a large lake and parcel of land in the Laurentian Mountains, Duddy Kravitz descends into duplicity, fraud, and betrayal.
His trajectory leaves him owner of the land for his dream resort, “Kravitzvill,” but also completely isolated.
Most Jewish authors have found themselves at odds not only with the dominant external culture, but with Jews themselves. Mordecai Richter is a Canadian Jew whose fiction consistently focuses on cultural assimilation’s pains and prices.
Loss of faith, a strong sense of cultural disaffection, and what another of Bellow’s characters aptly calls the “nightmare isolation of the self”—these elements have become both mood and motif for such writers such as Mike Gold, Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer, Clifford Odets, Philip Roth, J. His screenplay of THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ closely parallels his 1959 novel of the same title.