A 1997 novel by Canadian author Creator/MordecaiRichler, which turned out to be his final work of fiction before his death in 2001. Later made into a 2010 film directed by Richard Lewis.
The novel is the life story of one Barney Panofsky, a rather grumpy Montreal Jew ([[AuthorAvatar just like the protagonist of every other Mordecai Richler novel]]) who is famous for having three wives (and three divorces) and for having been accused of murdering his close friend Boogie circa 1960, for which he was acquitted at trial but judged guilty in the court of public opinion. A lifelong producer of crappy TV shows that has made him rich, Barney sets out writing his memoirs to refute what he sees as scurilous charges made by Terry [=McIver=], a so-called great Canadian novelist (whose work Barney finds humourless and cardboard) who he knew in Paris in the early 1950s. Thus we learn the story of Barney's life, including his relationships with Clara (wife #1), [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Second Mrs. Panofsky]], and Miriam (wife #3), his three children, and his friend Boogie.
The film version stars Creator/PaulGiamatti as Barney, Rachelle [=LeFevre=] as Clara, Creator/MinnieDriver as The Second Mrs. Panofsky, Rosamund Pike as Miriam, and Creator/DustinHoffman as Barney's father Izzy.
!! The book and film contain examples of:
* CanonWelding: In the same universe as several of Richler's previous novels, including ''TheApprenticeshipOfDuddyKravitz'' (Duddy puts in a few cameo appearances).
* DaddysGirl: Barney's daughter Kate is the most supportive of his three children. He himself professes to be confused by this, since he wasn't really ''that'' involved in her childhood compared to Miriam.
* DeathBySex: [[spoiler: Barney's dad]] in the film version.
* DirtyOldMan: Barney grows up to be one.
* FootnoteFever: Barney's manuscript is littered with mistaken allusions to film, literature, and then-current events, which his son Michael notes and corrects with footnotes. [[spoiler: Subsequently, this turns out to be intentional on Barney's part to make Michael, who he thinks to be insufficiently literate, read all those books. This was actually unnecessary, as Michael had in fact already done so.]]
* JerkAss: Many people, including Barney himself.
* JewishMother: Averted. Barney notes that unlike this stereotype, his Jewish mother was generally uninterested in how he was doing at school and spent most of her time listening to the radio. This is Richler's TakeThat at his own mother, who he hated.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: The novel is Barney Panofsky's autobiography, edited and footnoted by his son Michael.
* MrsRobinson: Barney's teacher.
* NWordPrivileges: As with many of Richler's other novels, his portrayal of some Jewish characters would probably have raised some objections had Richler not been Jewish himself.
* NoNameGiven: Barney's second wife.
* SitcomArchNemesis: Terry [=McIver=].
* SoapWithinAShow: Barney is the producer of a sleazy, cliched, and long-running soap opera named "O'Malley of the North".
* UglyGuyHotWife: The film stars Paul Giamatti as Barney, with his three wives played by Rachelle [=LeFevre=], Minnie Driver, and Rosamund Pike; there's a noticeable attractiveness gap. In the book, Barney explicitly notes that this caused the downfall of his marriage to Miriam, as Barney was so dazzled by the idea that someone as beautiful and intelligent as her could love him that he became obsessed with warding off any possible threat, alienating her in the process.
* UnreliableNarrator: Barney openly acknowledges taking potshots at various people he doesn't like, but does try to remember things as best he can. The footnotes and his son call to attention whether he was remembering incorrectly in places.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Barney, in more than a few episodes of his life.
* WomenAreWiser: Miriam (wife #3) is this; however, Clara (wife #1) is a decided aversion.
!! The film contains examples of:
* ActorAllusion: The heroic Mountie in "O'Malley of the North" is played by [[Series/DueSouth Paul Gross]].
* CastingGag: Some might recognize [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_Egoyan Atom Egoyan]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cronenberg David Cronenberg]] playing the directors of "O'Malley of the North".