Solomon Gursky was Here, by Mordecai Richler, is more than just the saga of a Jewish family; it is a novel with a moral about culture, consumption, corruption, and rage. In telling the story of the struggle of a Jewish family in Canada and a coming-of-age tale of a Jewish boy growing up in Montreal, Richler exposes subversive motives and self-defeating practices that characterize the Jewish experience and the struggle for success.
The plot of Solomon Gursky was Here is similar to that in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, another novel by Richler that reveals the plight of the Jewish man. In a sense, Richter satirizes the Jewish experience by pushing Solomon’s adventures to the extreme. After Solomon disappears, the story revolves around the search for him. As the search continues, the struggle for power does, too, and the Gurkys’ rage is directed toward each other, toward the tenets of capitalism, and toward the ideals that led his people astray and that engendered the corruption. Richler’s story is one of oppression, betrayal, absurdity, and greed. The author appears to be saying that corruption was inevitable in the history of Canada and in the history of the Jewish people, as was the rage and moral turmoil those vices engendered.