The first book in Robertson Davies's acclaimed The Deptford Trilogy, with a new foreword by Kelly Link
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.
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About the Author
Robertson Davies (1913-1995) had three successive careers during the time he became an internationally acclaimed author: actor, publisher, and, finally, professor at the University of Toronto. The author of twelve novels and several volumes of essays and plays, he was the first Canadian to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“If you are the kind of reader who looks for traces of the marvelous and the unexpected in narrative as well as daily life, then soon you will, like me, treasure these novels.” —Kelly Link
“The Deptford Trilogy boldly commingles the extraordinary and the everyday, at times attaining what Davies once called, in talking about melodrama, ‘the compelling immediacy of a dream.’” —Michael Dirda