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Fifth Business
Author: Davies, Robertson
Section: Fiction
Owner: kate (Rating: 0)
Address: Login to view account details.
Status: Available [Check Out]
Owner Review: From Amazon:

"No one has yet written the Great Canadian Novel, but in Fifth Business, World of Wonders and the Manticore, Robertson Davies may have given us something like the Great Interlinked Canadian Trilogy.Fifth Business is the novel with which to start. The book's central figure is schoolteacher Dunstan Ramsay, who grew up in the tiny village of Deptford in the sugar-beet growing district of Southwestern Ontario. The town's pretty boy-slash-bully Percy Boyd Staunton hits the minister's wife with a snowball containing a rock, which causes her to go into premature labor and give birth to the underweight Paul Dempster. (This is an early 20th Century level of obstetrics, you understand.) The rest of the book is a fascinating weave of Canadian social and political history from the 1910s thru the 1960s as Dunstan, Paul and Percy Boyd (now the raffish "Boy") Staunton are pushed together by the whims of fate. Boy and Paul become world famous in very different ways. Not bad for two kids from the sticks and Dunstan, the humble schoolteacher, has reason to envy them. Or does he? A "fifth business" is theater talk for a leavener, a kind of enzyme agent that, while not significant in itself, makes other things happen. As the amazon-dot-com reviewer from Singapore so brilliantly pointed out, the novel contains elements of magical realism. Don't confuse Fifth Business with your basic American sprawling bestseller. This is heady yet subtle stuff. Not for nothing is Fifth Business required reading in Grade 13 of the Ontario public school system. (Yes, Grade THIRTEEN--no wonder Canadian kids are so smart.)I would recommend you buy the paperback Fifth Business/World of Wonders/Manticore trilogy. It only costs a little more than buying Fifth Business by itself, and more than likely you'll want to read the other books once you've finished Fifth Business."

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