Joshua Then and Now
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Joshua Then and Now is about Joshua Shapiro today, and the Joshua he was. His father a boxer turned honest crook, his mother an erotic dancer whose greatest performance was at Joshua’s bar mitzvah, Joshua has overcome his inauspicious beginnings in the Jewish ghetto of Montreal to become a celebrated television writer and a successful journalist. But Joshua, now middle-aged, is not a happy man. Incapacitated by a freak accident, anguished by the disappearance of his WASP wife, and caught up in a sex scandal, Joshua is besieged by the press and tormented by the ghosts of his youth. Set in Montreal, the novel chronicles the rocky journey we all make between the countries of the past and the present. Raucous, opinionated, tender, Joshua Then and Now is a memorable excursion into Mordecai Richler's comic universe.
forth over a counter offering cockles and winkles; they brought round trays laden with sizzling brown bangers or Scotch ale, as well as champagne. There was a pearly king and queen and disco music from a group called The Lambeth Walk. An actor with a cockney accent had been hired to fry the fish and chips. Dover sole. The real stuff. “And only the bona fide Québécois here,” a bouncy, rosy-cheeked Trimble announced to cheers, “will be allowed to sprinkle vinegar on their pommes frites.” Wet snow
wonderful opportunity I’m offering you. I’m talking about a go-project, all the money there, and I’m prepared to guarantee you a co-credit.” Of course, he added, since Joshua was hardly a name writer, and would require a good deal of artistic guidance from Leopold, he mustn’t expect an enormous fee; and then straightening out imaginary creases in the tablecloth, he whispered an offer. “So your mother, may she rest in peace, not only specified that you make a movie with lots of tit shots,” Joshua
need?” “You heard my father.” “You mean it’s O.K. to rob banks and collect insurance, as you both put it, and break hands and not pay taxes,” she said, her voice rising, “but it’s immoral to take money from your wife?” “I brought him up good.” “O.K.,” Pauline said, “take the money down to New York, you can both go to jail as far as I’m concerned,” and she left the bedroom, slamming the door behind her. “I hate to criticize,” Reuben said, “but you’d think, what with all the privileges they
every available clifftop and cove. Haphazardly built, without a thought for tomorrow. SPRECHEN DEUTSCH HIER. WE SERVE FISH AND CHIPS. He turned in his rented car in Almeria and spent the night there, bound for Ibiza in the morning. Such, however, were the vicissitudes of Spanish air schedules that he could not fly directly to Valencia, continuing from there to Ibiza, but was obliged to fly all the way back to Madrid, and from there to Valencia, catching yet another flight for the twenty-minute
European theme. And before he came along, your only heresy was to grovel to producers and write banal scripts for which you were most assuredly overpaid.” “Why, you creep,” Melrose began, “you crypto-fascist –” But Peabody was guffawing, delighted. “Why don’t you send me a story, Mr. Shapiro? I can’t promise to publish, but I will read it myself.” “Well now, I don’t write stories. I am a reporter. And what makes you think I’d want to be published in your pretentious little rich boy’s magazine