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10 thoughts on “Cocksure

  1. Daniel Kukwa Daniel Kukwa says:

    This is the dirtiest creepiest most outrageous most insane provocative novel I’ve read in some time It’s also the most biting razor sharp satire I may have EVER readRichler takes everything that is cliche about the 1960s and flays it like a freshly caught salmon Feminism capitalism communism anti semitismANY “ism” you can think ofit’s all skewered via the egos of some of the most vacuous cast of characters ever assembled They are uproarious disgusting hilarious insultingwalking talking airheads unable to escape their desire to belong to an oppressed minority Minorities obsessed with terrorizing the majority for slights that were at one time realbut often imaginedEven better are the digs at Hollywood films and the television talk show industry Whether it be trans sexual studio moguls and cloned film stars designed to appeal to EVERYONE or snobby intellectual TV hosts looking down their noses at traditional valuesand encouraging audience participation in the ridicule As for the whinging about sexual frustration and gender rolesgood lord this takes the biscuitAt times Richler pushes a little too hardbut this is a novel that speaks not only to a generation long gone but to a society still obsessed with similar superficial concerns A generation of Fox NewsParis HiltonJersey Shore watchersforty years after the fact by Richler’s count This novel is a true eye openerand it’s guaranteed to make you laugh out loud at least a dozen times


  2. Czarny Pies Czarny Pies says:

    This is a foul spirited and foul mouthed work from a writer who is normally shows us a very generous spirit and normally keeps his wit well within the bounds of good tasteThere are simply too many excellent books to read in the Richler catalogue to justify spending any time with this inferior effort


  3. Troy Parfitt Troy Parfitt says:

    Mordecai Richler's Cocksure is an amusing and fast paced satirical novel that challenges – nay skewers – political correctness; cheers for that However though it is a decent read it doesn't uite come off and isn't as fulfilling as the writer’s previous work The Incomparable Atuk a lesser known gem in Richler’s ground breaking repertoire By the by the reason Atuk is less known probably has to do with its wonderful political incorrectness Or as Richler once said “Satirical novels are probably least seriously treated in Canada because in Canada there’s an insecure attitude about culture People feel that culture is a very serious thing and a duty and connotes earnestness and haven’t got enough confidence to realize that something funny may be of the highest seriousness and people in England and the United States haven’t got that problem”In any event Cocksure revolves around Mortimer Griffin a white bread WASP from Caribou Ontario who makes his mark in the London book trade When an eccentric self obsessed Hollywood magnate named The Star Maker buys his publishing firm Griffin is confronted by the fact he Griffin is not Jewish many people think he is and the impact this has on his career and personal life So we've got a bit of a weak premise especially for Richler whose serious efforts weave dozens of themes and characters together in a complex erudite and oh so satisfying mix Regard if you will the literary pyrotechnics of Solomon Gursky Was Here the profoundly good storytelling within the covers of Joshua Then And Now or even the conventional delivery and ba dump tshewww comedy of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz And we all know or should about the subtle intricacy and tragicomedy of Barney’s Version Humour helps Cocksure along – the bit about Griffin analyzing why he thinks about hockey legend Gordie Howe when making love to his wife is priceless – but some of the jokes don’t work One does get the impression however the story must have been fun to write The dialogue is good; Richler had that ear for vernacular He never needed to describe the colour of the sofa or what was happening in the background; he just provided authentic and sustaining speech And Cocksure’s characters are uite funny the “ageless” Star Maker for example and Polly who pretends she’s living in a movie with scene cuts at all the dramatic spots It’s interesting to note that well into the twenty first century Mordecai Richler’s writing still pushes the envelope He wrote Cocksure in 1968 Sure it’s a bit ribald in places the title being the clue but that was the Zeitgeist wun’nit? Still the book was judged too risué for some and was banned by WH Smith in the UK and by bookstores in Ireland New Zealand Australia and South Africa We’ve come a long way and we have writers like Richler to thank In a CBC interview about Cocksure Richler said “I guess it’s a rather vile book It’s really a novel of disgust It’s meant to create discomfort especially among liberals who are so insufferably smug and self satisfied about being moderately good” Cocksure is a decent read but shouldn’t be anyone’s first Richler experience I would wager you’ve got to “get to know him” elsewhere before you can appreciate this idiosyncratic mocking little yarn Cocksure might not achieve typical Richlerian heights but it is fun; 4 stars fun Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World


  4. Jason Jason says:

    What an odd strange novel is it a satire on the 1960s and Hollywood? Is it an alternate reality? The author takes liberalism and the sexual revolution to their extreme limits positing a world where middle school kids read de Sade and act out plays in the nude sex is the only true form of self expression War heroes are ridiculed and laughed at for their 'heroism' and the risk of life for others a publisher commits heinous crimes to guarantee best sellers There is a sub plot of modern Frankenstein monsterism that the movie LOOKER may have pilfered And the accusation of anti semetism haunts the narrative I just don't know what to make of it all A stellar narration performance by Martha Henry


  5. Dan Lalande Dan Lalande says:

    Mordecai Richler's defining cynicism at its most distilled A no holds barred satire of the sexual revolution penned in '67 wherein a goodhearted WASP tries to keep his head above a teeming sea of self serving degenerates posing as a progressive society There are highs of hip sourness that rank with the work of Richler cronie Terry Southern who obviously influenced and schoolboy wit lows that play like forced Playboy cartoons


  6. Donna Donna says:

    I absolutely hated this book and the only thing that kept me from rating it a perfect “0” is the otherwise good reputation of this classic Canadian author I found the book dated misogynistic anti Semitic anti gay and anti black as well What seems to be a 1960s attempt at comedy and perhaps it succeeded back then is now simply an unpalatable serving of political uncorrectness


  7. Jenn Jenn says:

    Richler has a uniue and simple writing style; similar to Hemingway Richler states the simple and honest truth 100% of the time I appreciate that writing style This book while not his best work is worth checking out if you a fan of either Canadian fiction or of a writing style that contains no bullshit except that which is intentional


  8. Shelley Shelley says:

    Yeah it's satire but I wouldn't be surprised if Richler low key believed some of this stuffAlso just because it's satire doesn't mean it's good and it'll age very uickly


  9. Giuseppe Giuseppe says:

    Funny and uncompromising in his annihilation of sacred thoughts


  10. David David says:

    Sometimes using the extremely outrageous works as satirical humor Paddy Chayefsky or Mel Brookes But this doesn't It could be because most of the characters are flaunting their outrageousness I think the absurd needs to be accepted as normal for satire to work It could just be that having been writtenin the 60s the satire has passed it's expiration date


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Cocksure [Reading] ➷ Cocksure By Mordecai Richler – Thomashillier.co.uk In the swinging culture of sixties’ London Canadian Mortimer Griffin is a beleaguered editor adrift in a sea of hypocrisy and deceit Alone in a world where nobody shares his values but everyone want In the swinging culture of sixties’ London Canadian Mortimer Griffin is a beleaguered editor adrift in a sea of hypocrisy and deceit Alone in a world where nobody shares his values but everyone wants the same things Mortimer must navigate the currents of these changing times Richler’s eccentric cast of characters include the gorgeous Polly who conducts her life as though it were a movie complete with censor type cuts at all the climactic moments; Rachel Coleman slinky Black Panther of the boudoir; Star Maker the narcissistic Hollywood tycoon who has discovered the secret of eternal life; and a precocious group of school children with a taste for the teachings of the Maruis de Sade Cocksure is a savagely funny satire on television movies and the entertainment industry This is Mordecai Richler at his most caustic and wicked best.

  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • Cocksure
  • Mordecai Richler
  • English
  • 11 March 2016
  • 9780771075100

About the Author: Mordecai Richler

Mordecai Richler was a Canadian author screenwriter and essayist His best known works are The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Barney's Version ; his novel Solomon Gursky Was Here was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in He was also well known for the Jacob Two Two children's storiesThe son of a Jewish scrap yard dealer Richler was born in and raised on St.