Philip Kaufman
Created by Joel Newman

"Montreal's a dying city, Philip. And dying cities take their people with them to the grave."
- Max Gold to Kaufman

Montreal comes in for a good post-referendum bashing in licensed private investigator PHILIP KAUFMAN's one recorded adventure, 1981's Dead Man's Tears, written by former Montrealer Joel Newman. Images of death and decay abound.

And Kaufman's a real piece of work, too. Armed to the teeth, spouting secondhand Spillane ("Violence is all about us, and sometimes violence must be countered with more violence") and willing to lead women (and at least one man) on to get what he wants, he's a "smooth son of a bitch" who "enjoys jerking people around."

Kaufman's a Jewish working class kid who always had to work hard for his money. He must have worked pretty hard, because he lives high on the hog in a four bedroom house in Westmount north of Sherbrooke. He's also got a chip on his shoulder, and dislikes anti-Semites, the French, women, gays, the rich, the Liberians, the Lichensteinians, gentiles, etc., etc. He's (or at least his author is) convinced that Montreal's controlled by corrupt, greedy French fascists intent on separation. In his one appearance to date, a cartel of top police administrators, lawyers and the Minister of Justice are out to wrest control of organized crime from the hands of the Italians and Sicilians, and place it in the hands of the Québecois. Somewhere in here, there might have been a good story, but Newman let his predjudices and paranoia get the better of him.At the end of the book, Kaufman decides to leave Montreal for good, and never come back. One can only hope.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith (original report, February 2002).

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