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Penguin Modern Classics Manticore Paperback – Jun 28 2005
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"Robertson Davies is one of the great modern novelists." —Malcolm Bradbury, The Sunday Times (London
"Robertson Davies is a novelist whose books are thick and rich with humor, character and incident. They are plotted with skill and much flamboyance." —The Observer (London)--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Robertson Davies (1913–1995) was born and raised in Ontario, and was educated at a variety of schools, including Upper Canada College, Queen’s University, and Balliol College, Oxford. He had three successive careers: as an actor with the Old Vic Company in England; as publisher of the Peterborough Examiner; and as university professor and first Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto, from which he retired in 1981 with the title of Master Emeritus.
He was one of Canada’s most distinguished men of letters, with several volumes of plays and collections of essays, speeches, and belles lettres to his credit. As a novelist, he gained worldwide fame for his three trilogies: The Salterton Trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy, and The Cornish Trilogy, and for later novels Murther & Walking Spirits and The Cunning Man.
His career was marked by many honours: He was the first Canadian to be made an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was a Companion of the Order of Canada, and he received honorary degrees from twenty-six American, Canadian, and British universities.
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, I read it. It's great. Only Davies could have taken Jungian psychology and interspersed it throughout this novel so evenly and so effectively. A book like this could easily have become boring or heavy, but it is always entertaining and infinitely informative. David Staunton's life is by some measures mediocre, but his personal journey is deep and lively, as few writers could have portrayed it.
It is also one of the few books that actually change your view on the world. That is an over-used phrased often misplaced, but it is true here; as an introduction to Jungian psychology, this is as good as it gets: all the ideas and facts to be found in a text, but with a superior story woven with it.
Simply put, read the thing!!
Back to this book -- it's extremely engrossing with penetrating descriptions of all the characters in Davey's life and a curiously detached view of his life. I couldn't put it down, even at the end when the mystical element almost gets out of hand and he literally climbs the mountain and crawls through a primal cave. Even if you don't buy all the Jungian stuff, Davies is such a good and interesting writer that most should enjoy the experience. As a social commentator, he reminds me of Thomas Wolfe. A gripping read.
Through out the book Davies places emphasis on Psychological ethos and technique as well as expressing the extremes of the human ego and sexual desires. Davies however, is a story teller. Throwing aside callous and unnecessary detail and drawing upon less used characters from Fifth Business, Robertson brings us down a compelling though sometimes debatable path of a man coming to terms with who he is and what his life has been lived for. Occasionally the main Character drags on with seemingly unrealistically long narratives.
Ramsay the Hero of Fifth Business (the first installation of the Deptford Trilogy) seems to receive a bad review from the main character of the Manticore. This enrages the reader who remains faithful to Ramsay but whom is trying to keep up with our new main character. The Manticore requires an open mind, more so then fifth business and is a long and drawn out read. However with the third and best book only pages away it is a must read for those who desire a satisfying epic. Second best. Four stars.
Most recent customer reviews
The story is everything with Davies books. He captured me with the tale of David Staunton, who is only a minor character in Fifth Business. Read morePublished on May 6 2001 by Steve Sanyal
I really like some of Davies' work for its narrative drive and fresh characterization. However some things continually annoy me about him and they are very present in this novel. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2000 by scott gates
The only bad thing about Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy (FIFTH BUSINESS, THE MANTICORE, WORLD OF WONDERS) is that it had to end! Read morePublished on July 14 1999 by email@example.com