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The Street

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews

In this beguiling collection of short stories and memoirs, first published in 1969, Mordecai Richler looks back on his childhood in Montreal, recapturing the lively panorama of St. Urbain Street: the refugees from Europe with their unexpected sophistication and snobbery; the catastrophic day when there was an article about St. Urbain Street in Time; Tansky’s Cigar and Soda

Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 24th 1977 by Penguin Books (first published 1969)
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLife of Pi by Yann MartelA Fine Balance by Rohinton MistryWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Best Canadian Literature
257th out of 860 books — 841 voters
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt VonnegutThe Godfather by Mario PuzoThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe French Lieutenant's Woman by John FowlesSylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Best Books of 1969
40th out of 50 books — 33 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 01, 2011 Izabella rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
okay -- I didn't really finish it. I couldn't. It was just too painful.
Nov 26, 2016 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat of a disappointment having read many of his other novels. The Street is a collection of short stories describing early Jewish life and community in Montreal that is quite charming and imformative. There's just something about Richler's writing style which does not lend well to the short story. I don't know. Still very enjoyable and educational - a must for anyone wishing to learn about Montreal's Jewish history.
Paula Dembeck
Sep 06, 2014 Paula Dembeck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This slim volume of ten short stories was originally published in 1969, but has now been reprinted as part of the New Canadian Library series with an Afterword by William Weintraub.
The stories focus on Richler’s childhood growing up in a very small corner of Montreal, the Jewish neighbourhood that lay east of Mount Royal Park bounded by “The Main” and Park Street. Within those boundaries lay a small self-contained working class community and Richler details lively portraits of his life growing
Jun 01, 2015 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am on a roll, exploring distinct Canadian locales. I relate to the atmosphere of living closely among French; knowing their language but not sharing the religion, nor all points of view. A good look at the past is valuable for the young like me, who long succeed extinct eras. Exploring the traits of differing communities and socioeconomic groups, in any timeframe, creates understanding of them. Mordecai did a very good job of representing his neighbourhood for us - not to mention Montréal of t ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, canada
In St. Urbain Street partire in vantaggio era tutto. Le nostre mamme ci leggevano articoli di <> su pedicellosi quattordicenni astigmatici che già si erano laureati a Harvard, o che mettevano in difficoltà i professori del MIT. Leggere i fumetti o ascoltare programmini alla radio voleva dire buscarsi uno scapaccione, vibrato talvolta con una copia arrotolata del <>, per maggiore efficacia pedagogica. Non era lecito memorizzare medie di baseball e filastrocche sporche. Dovevamo ...more
Jacob David
Mar 15, 2011 Jacob David rated it really liked it
A well written memoir of a very specific time and place. The boyhood coming of age stories paint a vivid picture of life in Jewish Montreal around WWII. I thoroughly enjoyed the mischief of the young boys set against the larger problems of the world, especially from a Jewish angle. Their class, religion, and culture create a different perspective on the priorities of this group of Canadians and the insight of Richler is valuable both from an historical angle as well as a sociological look into ...more
May 29, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great look at the life of a kid on St. Urbain Street in Montreal, Canada. The author has done a great job with this short memoir. It is a snapshot of time, during the early years of WWII, that shows life in the Jewish neighborhood where everyone had to make do and stuck together. Family took care of family but he shows the child's perspective on how that usually turns out. One person in the family takes care of the elders. Fun read. Short chapters make it a fast read as well.
Aug 04, 2013 Stéphane rated it really liked it
Delightful, funny and sometimes bittersweet stories about the life of the young author in the Montreal gettho.
Richler tells stories like no other. Concise, witty and insightful, this collection sheds a light on the life in the 30's and 40's in the country that just isn't America. His short stories, brimful with anecdotes and humor, are filled with life and St Urbain Street and all his characters feel as real as one's own neighborhood.
Madeleine Decker
Jan 02, 2016 Madeleine Decker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman, canada
Il y a ZERO étoile!!!!!!!!!!!!
J'ai souffert à lire cette masturbation de neuronnes conduisant à des avortons de phrases et d'idées!
Ramassis de notes de fond de tiroirs, sans développement et sans éclairage sur la vie de cette époque. ou développements stériles de personnages insipides er incolores.
Oriyah Nitkin
I think this book was meant to be funny, but it wasn't. As a historical snapshot of the time, place and circumstances it was somewhat interesting, but without enough substantial content to make it worthwhile, in my opinion. The style of speech depicted of the time was probably the most interesting aspect of the book.

Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brazilliant and all R4x listeners

Herr Bambinger: A refugee proves to be an aggravating and judgemental man of mystery. William Roberts reads Mordecai Richler's short tale set in Montreal WWII

May 20, 2013 Ffiamma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
mordechai richler racconta la vita nel suo quartiere di montreal- l'ebraismo, le storie sgangherate, i personaggi improbabili, la guerra. diversamente dal solito- non torrenziale ma fulmineo, più che un romanzo è una raccolta di sketch che compongono memorie vivide.
Jul 29, 2016 René rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romans
Chaleureuse et riche série de courtes nouvelles qui nous donne une image claire et édifiante de la vie dans le quartier juif du Montréal des années 1940, tel que vécu par un auteur talentueux qui y relate ce qu'il y a vu et ce dont il a appris pour devenir celui qu'il a été.
Sandy Yang
Aug 09, 2012 Sandy Yang rated it liked it
If you need to know Montreal Jewish community about 50 years ago, this is a good book for you! The writing is not appealing enough for me to arouse my curiosity to that period of time in that place.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 22, 2011 Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-lit
I'm not sure what's more impressive here: the fact that each story manages to capture delightful, bite-sized tastes of "Duddy Kravitz"...or that it's all done in such a ridiculously concise manner!
Apr 07, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite authors, I became a fan as a child with Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang. This collection of short stories was a real treat.
Mar 29, 2007 Sondra rated it liked it
A collection of short stories revolving around the adventures of a young boy who lives on St. Urbain street. Stories range from dull to superb.
Nov 14, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pensavo meglio. Recupera un po' da metà in poi ma non è all'altezza di Barney. Tuttavia ci sono alcuni personaggi interessanti che gli fanno meritare le tre stelline.
M. W.
So far it is a decent read, a believable community with all its foibles and humor hanging out for all to see.
Jan 05, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie☯
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
A refugee proves to be an aggravating and judgemental man of mystery.
Aug 06, 2014 Meaghan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
A collection of short stories and reminiscences from Richler's childhood in the St. Urbain area of Montreal. Some are wonderful, others are less so.
MJ rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2008
Lorie rated it it was ok
Jan 20, 2016
Dylan Taylor
Dylan Taylor rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2012
Liz Boutette
Liz Boutette rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2013
François Carrière
François Carrière rated it liked it
Aug 05, 2015
Cynthia Laroche
Cynthia Laroche rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2016
Justin rated it it was amazing
Aug 11, 2013
Kit A.
Kit A. rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2011
Mary Jane Smijan
Mary Jane Smijan rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2015
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Mordecai Richler was a Canadian author, screenwriter and essayist.

His best known works are The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) and Barney's Version (1997); his 1989 novel Solomon Gursky Was Here was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1990. He was also well known for the Jacob Two-Two children's stories. .

The son of a Jewish scrap yard dealer, Richler was born in 1931 and raised on St.
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“Мне и восьми не было, когда я в первый раз попал в переплет из-за девчонки. Ее звали Чарна, она жила прямо над нами, и мы с ней тихо-мирно играли уже который год. Но в одно весеннее утро я решил: не хочу больше играть ни в шарики, ни в пряталки.
— Знаешь, что я придумал? Давай играть в больницу. Я буду врач — поняла? — а ты — больная. У тебя дома есть кто?
— Нет, а что?
— А то, что в эту игру лучше играть дома. Пошли.
Едва я приступил к предварительному осмотру, как вернулась Чарнина мама. Меня подвергли удвоенной силы наказанию: отправили в постель без ужина и вымыли рот мылом.
— Тебе бы надо с ним поговорить, — сказала мама. — Хуже, когда они узнают обо всем таком на улице.
— Похоже, он уже довольно много узнал.
Пробелы в моих знаниях, однако, имелись, и виновата в этом была мама. Она несколько лет тому назад уверила меня, что детей покупают в магазине «Итонс», и, когда, чтобы я вел себя поприличнее, требовалось внушить мне страх Божий, она снимала трубку и говорила:
— Сейчас позвоню в «Итонс», попрошу обменять тебя на девочку.
Сестра — та тоже не могла упустить случая меня постращать.
— А может, «Итонс» его и не возьмет назад. На этой неделе у них уцененными товарами не торгуют.
— В таком случае отошлю его в «Морганс».
— «Морганс», — в этом месте папа всякий раз отрывался от вечерней газеты, — евреев на работу не принимает.”
“Вскоре Мервин снова задержал плату за квартиру, и папа стал брюзжать.
— Его никак нельзя сейчас беспокоить, — сказала мама. — Он в отчаянии. На него сегодня не нашло вдохновение.
— Как же, как же. Беда в том, что и я кое-чего не нашел в своем кармане.
— Вчера он мне прочел главу из своей книги. Такая красивая книга, просто плакать хочется. — И мама рассказала папе, что Ф. Дж. Кугельман, монреальский корреспондент «Джуиш дейли форвард», прочел книгу Мервина. — Так вот, он сказал, что Мервин — очень серьезный писатель.
— Имел я в виду твоего Кугельмана. Если Мервин такой замечательный писатель, пусть выпишет мне чек, а не тянет с квартплатой. Вот этот чек я бы почитал — такое чтение мне по душе.”
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