NCL 79 – The Incomparable Atuk by Mordecai Richler


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The Incomparable Atuk  was not included in Series One.


The Incomparable Atuk by Mordecai Richler (New Canadian Library N79) front coverSeries Two

From the Back Cover:

This tour de force of hilarity and black humour was first published in 1963 and the incomparable career of the irrepressible Atuk will still shock and delight every new reader. Atuk, of course, was that resourceful Eskimo poet who was “discovered” by the Twentyman Fur Company. Once transported to civilization he quickly realized that, although poetry did not pay, many other activities did. In no time at all he was an established member of the “in” group: stepping airily out of sleek cars, trifling with film moguls and movie magnates and calmly accepting the favours of Betty Dolan, the country’s darling and the wholesomest girl in the land. But then events took an unexpected turn…

Here is a book so full of lunatic twists and shock tactics that it will literally leave you breathless. But, like Richler’s Cocksure, it is also a savage attack on the absurdities of our society. Its backlash will stay with you a long time after the last laugh has died into silence.


The Incomparable Atuk by Mordecai Richler (New Canadian Library N79) front coverSeries Three

From the Back Cover:

“Friends, Canucks, countrymen; use your noggins!”

This black and brilliant comedy follows the flamboyant career of Atuk, a resourceful Baffin Island poet, discovered and transported to Toronto by the Public Relations department of Buck Twentymen’s fur company. Caught up in the swirl of big business and media hype, Atuk soon discovers that while poetry doesn’t pay almost everything else does. In no time at all he is an established member of the “in” crowd: fraternizing with the movie magnates, riding about in sleek limousines, and blithely accepting the favours of Bette Dolan, Canada’s Darling and the most wholesome girl in the land. But Atuk has an awful secret. And soon events take an unexpected turn…

Slimly disguising its attack on the issue of Canadian content, Richler’s biting satire continues to find its target.


The Incomparable Atuk by Mordecai Richler (new Canadian Library) front coverSeries Four

From the Back Cover:

Transplanted to Toronto from his native Baffin Island, Atuk the poet is an unlikely overnight success. Eagerly adapting to a society steeped in pretension, bigotry, and greed, Atuk soon abandons the literary life in favour of more lucrative – and hazardous – schemes.

THE INCOMPARABLE ATUK is Mordecai Richler’s most hilarious and devastating satire, lampooning the self-deceptions of “the Canadian identity” and deriding the hypocrisy of a nation that seeks cultural independence by slavishly pursuing the American dream.

THE INCOMPARABLE ATUK is as topical, provocative, and funny today as it was when first published in 1963.

Richler is one of the wildest and wittiest novelists now writing in English.” – The Observer


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