I wasn't so certain about picking this book to read. The most prevalent comment among other readers was that it was hard to love the character-- he's just such a slimy bastard, there isn't much to love about him.
That didn't seem to be the point to me, though. I thought it was a unique portrayal of Judaism and the Jewish people of that time and in that place (1950s Montreal). A lot about what they struggled against (racism on both sides, inadvertent or not), hoped for (a good life for their children) and settled for (bad marriages).
I'll confess to not understanding what Yvette sees in Duddy, if it isn't as he assumes because he is going places. And to not understanding why when it looks like he's heading in the right direction finally, he does the indescribably most slimy-bastard thing possible. There is no redeeming ending, but for an honest portrayal, I didn't expect one.