Penguin Modern Classics Fifth Business by Robertson DaviesPenguin Modern Classics Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Penguin Modern Classics Fifth Business

byRobertson DaviesForeword byM G Vassanji

Paperback | June 28, 2005

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 100 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Available in stores


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.
Robertson Davies (1913-1995) was an actor, a University Professor and a writer. He is the author of The Salterton Trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy and The Cornish Trilogy. M.G. Vassanji was born in Kenia and raised in Tanzania. His first novel, The Gunny Sack, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1990. His other books include Uhuru Stre...
Title:Penguin Modern Classics Fifth BusinessFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 0.7 inPublished:June 28, 2005Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143051385

ISBN - 13:9780143051381


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It I read this in class. I feel like I was in the minority that actually liked it. Sure, it was a bit slow, but still very interesting! And the ending was absolutely great. Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay I feel like I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I wan't forced to read it and analyze it for my english class. Definitely give it a chance though, I know it's highly regarded!
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this We read this in my English class. I loved this book, but I also love reading and enjoy a good book. I do have to say that some of my classmates did not enjoy it, but it is known that they do not like to read. I loved all the different parts. I loved the twist ending. I just really like the overall story and all the little stories in between. I really like the characters. This book is an easy read even with all the vocabulary words.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad This book is bad
Date published: 2016-05-11
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