Books – Mordecai – Critical Acclaim

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“A fine, intelligent, deeply historicized, compassionate, insightful, fair-minded and above all loving book.”

— Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon, and, Angels and Ages

“With the insight of a novelist and the accuracy of a journalist, Charles Foran vividly renders the life of Mordecai Richler, in all his complexity and with all his contradictions. A great, authoritative biography, as entertaining as it is informative.”

— Yann Martel

“A richly detailed, writerly account of novelist Mordecai Richler’s life.”

— The Globe 100 Books of the Year

“Foran’s biography is based on countless interviews, extensive research and exclusive access to the Richler family correspondence and archives. The result is both thoroughgoing and thoroughly entertaining – more than one critic has noted that Richler’s life reads like a novel – and will surely be the authoritative version for many years to come.”

– The Globe and Mail

“Meticulously researched… This volume not only overshadows its predecessors, it’s also the standard against which future biographers will have to measure their efforts. Mordecai is the first book to attempt to capture the full breadth of Richler’s long life and career. It is also the first to be as broad in scope, as sympathetic in approach, and as full of characters as one of Richler’s own novels.”

— Quill & Quire, Books of the Year

“It was a full, rich life, and it’s a full, rich book… We judge a man by his life, a writer by his books. Charles Foran has done a thorough and thoughtful job of the first. Time will do the second.”

— The Walrus

“Foran’s magisterial biography of a great Canadian novelist revealed the unexpectedly tender dimensions of a wicked satirist and, in so doing, reminded Canadian writers and readers alike that outsized literary ambitions and bold literary lives can certainly play out in this country too.”

— The Globe and Mail

“A comprehensive, panoramic portrait that will stand as the definitive Richler biography… Foran is a master storyteller… Ultimately, in Mordecai, Foran reminds us of how Richler managed to make Canadian culture relevant and sexy to the world.”

— The Gazette

“The great strength of Mordecai is in the much deeper picture Foran gives of Richler’s relationships… Foran gives a convincing and complex portrait of Richler.”

— Winnipeg Free Press

“A massive and enthralling biography.”

— National Post

“The definitive biography of Mordecai Richler… Biographer Charles Foran is a beautiful writer: a stylist… So detailed, so exhaustive, so astute and authoritative… This is a portrait of a dedicated artist who raged against the dying of the light. As I finished the book, I found tears rolling down my cheeks.”

— Ken McGoogan, National Post

“Easily the most thorough accounting of Richler’s life… An absorbing, sympathetic and often funny account of a fundamentally decent man who worked like a demon at his craft, and who brought the verve and engagement of an essayist to the sometimes aesthetically and tonally narrow world of Canadian literary fiction.”

— Toronto Star

“In the hands of an expert biographer, a life can take on fresh meaning and reveal a new shape. That’s what happens to one of the most remarkable lives of modern Canada in Charles Foran’s ambitious, 740-page Mordecai: The Life and Times.

— Robert Fulford

“Charles Foran’s Mordecai, as in Richler, absolutely sets a standard for future literary biographers. This book, this beautiful wonderful book, is the precise manifestation of how one should go about the business of combining absolutely exhaustive research with a firm grip on the elements of narrative that the reader thirsts for when first lifting the book off its shelf… The literary biography of the year and likely of the last ten years.”

— Hubert O’Hearn, By The Book Reviews

“Foran has written a big, rich book for a big, rich life – the story of a complex and multidimensional man who, while often perceived as an acerbic and foreboding literary icon in public, was a kind and gentle family man who adored his wife and children and loved his close friends. Richler was not only a man of letters, but a true mensch as well, and Foran has done him justice.”

— TORO Magazine

“Foran’s biography of Richler is so rich in scope, so well researched and so wonderfully written it is bound to become the definitive last word on the irascible, enormously gifted writer whose novels became landmarks in Canadian literature.”

— Nancy Schiefer, London Free Press

“Riveting, revealing and definitive…”

— Martin Knelman, Toronto Star

“Engaging and entertaining… Foran provides an intimate and insightful portrait of a great man who was alternately irreverent, curmudgeonly, passionate, controversial, confrontational and intimidating, and who, for years before his death, was already considered the lion of Canadian literature.”

— Winnipeg Jewish Review

“Foran’s work is a full-blooded, warts-and-all account of an irreverent man who challenged hypocrisy and valued the truth… surely the definitive biography of Canada’s most accomplished Jewish literary figure… Mordecai is well worth reading.”

— Sheldon Kirshner, The Canadian Jewish News

“A great writer deserves a great biography. Fortunately, Foran’s job was made (relatively) easy by the fact Richler lived one hell of a life. This 800-page bio follows Richler from the smoky cafes of Paris to the sunny coast of Spain, from the bustling streets of Montreal to the remote lakes of Quebec, and everywhere in-between. An engrossing read.”

— Mark Medley, Financial Post

“It’s a door-stopper full of incredible detail. Despite the length, it reads as a compelling novel and Foran maintains a lively pace throughout. But the solid writing belies the extent into which Foran researched Richler’s life. He does a masterful job of weaving together Richler’s past, never failing to entertain the reader.”

— Halifax Chronicle-Herald

“If you can’t buy or borrow a copy of Charles Foran’s blockbuster biography of Mordecai Richler, steal one… The 738-page volume ranks with the best biographies I have ever read.”

— Pat MacAdam, Ottawa Sun

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