Fifth Business

by Robertson Davies
Foreword by M G Vassanji

Penguin Group Canada | June 24, 2005 | Trade Paperback

Fifth Business is rated 4.375 out of 5 by 8.
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man''s land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 280 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.7 in

Published: June 24, 2005

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143051385

ISBN - 13: 9780143051381

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A wonderful Piece of Canadian Fiction This is a wonderful story based on the life a a man named Dunstable Ramsy and the characters that suround his life The story progresses and shows us how one small incident in life can have a butterfly effect on not only the main characters life but the lives of anybody who was involved with the incident that takes place at the beginning of the novel (in this a case the young wife of a minister being hit in the head by a snowball with a rock in it)
Date published: 2010-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Living life on the sidelines When I picked up Robertson Davies' Fifth Business -- the first novel in his acclaimed 'Deptford Trilogy' -- I really did not know what to expect. The jacket of the novel is very oblique and offered no real clues as to what I was going to be getting myself into reading the novel. Much to my delighted surprise Fifth Business' prose is full of wit, energy and an engaging narrative. Davies' has created three memorable characters and narrator Dunstan Ramsay is extremely likeable. A great story with a thrilling ending, Robertson Davies' Fifth Business is truly the Canadian Great Gatsby. Great read; I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2010-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best in Canadian Literature This is a book you will likely remember forever. Intriguing from the get go it slowly rumbles to live until tying an intricately woven story into a fine package. The reader becomes aware of themselves as the Fifth Business character in their own lives. Such an honest re-evaluation of ourselves is a rare result in a fictional piece. Among the best novels I have ever read and may ever read.
Date published: 2009-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suprising I had never heard of this book before my grade 12 english class this year, and at first i thought the book was really dumb because a young boy lets himself take all of the guilt from a snowball incident which wasn't all his fault. But after really getting into the book and having to read in between the lines, there are so many hidden meanings that if you were to skim over and not really think about you wouldn't understand. This book was amazing from start to finish. As the book moves along you become entwined in the characters identities, secrets, gulit and jealousy.
Date published: 2007-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Take the Time to Read and Understand It Beautifully written, with a lot of thought put towards the topic of synchronicity and Jung’s theories of the shadow. The names are so in-depth, each name has a meaning and purpose that relates to the character. This book is a real “read between the lines” kind of book.
Date published: 2006-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Classic Robertson Davies employs eloquent prose and compelling, complex characters in Fifth Business. I care a great deal about these characters (all of them flawed). However, Davies' relentless linear narrative was tiring at times: plot point A lead directly to B, B to C, and so on. Fifth Business was written using the traditional techniques and methods, and I felt that the novel lacked imagination (in that aspect). However, the strong characters and enjoyable story made these complaints a mere footnote.
Date published: 2006-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A classic the day it was published It has been over 12 years since I read this book. I have read hundreds of other books since reading this one, and to this day I can remember not only the plot, but character names. It is a magical book, beautifully written, and very entertaining. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be totatlly immersed in the complex lives of the characters they read about. If you have not read any Robertson Davies yet, start here! You will be so glad you did.
Date published: 2006-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Witty and Intelligent This book truly is a modern classic. The reader almost becomes the title character - Dunstan Ramsay. The book is narrated by him in a very witty and educated form of prose. Dunstan sees the world and society very insightfully and wisely, and it causes one to pause and think. His philosophies on religion, heroes and many other subjects are profound. I highly recommend this book to anyone who truly loves literature, and this might not be the best choice for someone who doesn't read that often.
Date published: 2005-11-25

– More About This Product –

Fifth Business

by Robertson Davies
Foreword by M G Vassanji

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 280 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.7 in

Published: June 24, 2005

Publisher: Penguin Group Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143051385

ISBN - 13: 9780143051381

From the Publisher

Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man''s land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.

About the Author

Robertson Davies , novelist, playwright, literary critic and essayist, was born in 1913 in Thamesville, Ontario. He was educated at Queen’s University, Toronto, and Balliol College, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford he became interested in the theatre and from 1938 until 1940 he was a teacher and actor at the Old Vic in London. He subsequently wrote a number of plays. In 1940 he returned to Canada, where he was literary editor of Saturday Night , an arts, politics and current affairs journal, until 1942, when he became editor and later publisher of the Peterborough Examiner . Several of his books, including The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks and The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks , had their origins in an editorial column. In 1962 he was appointed Professor of English at the University of Toronto, and in 1963 was appointed the first Master of the University’s Massey College. He retired in 1981, but remained Master Emeritus and Professor Emeritus. He held honorary doctorates from twenty-six universities in the UK, the USA and Canada, and he received numerous awards for his work, including the Governor-General’s Award for The Manticore in 1973. It is as a writer of fiction that Robertson Davies achieved international recognition, with such books as The Salterton Trilogy (Tempest-Tost, Leaven of Malice , winner of the Leacock Award for Humour, and A Mixture of Frailties ); The Deptford Trilogy (Fifth Business, The Manticore and World of Wonders ); The Cornish Trilogy (The Rebel Angels, What
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