The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler was published in London and Boston, 1959, and Toronto, 1969. Duddy Kravitz is a brash Jewish Montréal kid determined to make it - whatever "it" is, whatever "it" takes. Acting on his grandfather's maxim that a man is nothing without land, Duddy schemes and dreams to develop his first brainstorm, a lakeshore property in the Laurentians. Duddy is an attractive figure, bursting with chutzpah, but he is also driven to exploit others in his drive to succeed.
Richler frames Duddy's initiation within a pungently satiric sendup of Jewish and WASP middle-class gentility as seen from the sharp-eyed, tough-minded St-Urbain Street perspective that has become one of Richler's trademarks. Duddy's eventual triumph is also his downfall, costing him more in lost love than he will ever realize in money.
Richler's most popular novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz has been translated into French as L'Apprentissage de Duddy Kravitz (Elisabeth Gille-Nemirovsky, Paris, 1960; Jean Simard, Montréal, 1976). A movie was made in 1974 and Duddy made his stage debut in Edmonton in 1984.