> Every yarn that involves crime is crime fiction to me. I expect
others will suggest some arbitrary level of centrality to the plot, or some such, but I take the simpler route, perhaps because I like to think of Mordecai Richler as a crime writer. Many of his books are not about crime, but almost all reflect on some element of criminality among their characters.
You make some very interesting observations about Richler. I hadn't
really thought about how the theme of criminality and power recurs in
his books. The bootleggers in 'Solomon Gursky Was Here' and Joshua's
father in 'Joshua Then and Now' spring immediately to mind.
I still don't think of him as a crime writer. With the exception
of 'Barney's Version'. Which in my view is a wonderful subversion of
the crime thriller -- particularly the 'solving' of Boogie's death.
Which is way he is still, as far as I'm concerned, one of the great
That said, Richler has admitted a fondness for crime fiction in
interviews and there are some very funny bits about Barney's cop
father's fondness for 'Black Mask' pulps in 'Barney's Version'. I'd say
he's not a crime writer by trade but he might be one by association.
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