Books: Minorities Are Funny

COCKSURE by Mordecai Richler. 250 pages. Simon & Schuster. $4.95.

In Stick Your Neck Out, Mordecai Richler's 1963 satirical novel, an Eskimo conquers the demi-world of Canadian intellectuals and literally loses his head on a quiz show that plays for keeps. Cocksure trades in the same buffoonery of annihilation and, like its predecessor, scores easily on some already heavily dented targets: big business, the communications industry, pop culture, organized morality, modern education, sex.

Richler's basic weapon is the mace of reductio ad absurdum, which he wields with skill and ferocity. A publisher compiles a...

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