Fifth Business : Deptford Trilogy

  • by Robertson Davies
  • Narrated by Marc Vietor
  • Series: Deptford Trilogy
  • 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hailed by the Washington Post Book World as "a modern classic", Robertson Davies’ acclaimed Deptford Trilogy is a glittering, fantastical, cunningly contrived series of novels, around which a mysterious death is woven.
This first novel in the trilogy introduces Ramsay, a man who returns from World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross but who is destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As we hear Ramsey tell his story, we begin to realize that, from childhood, he has influenced those around him in a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious way. Even his seemingly innocent involvement in as innocuous an event as throwing a snowball proves to be neither innocent nor innocuous in the end.

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What the Critics Say

"A marvelously enigmatic novel, elegantly written and driven by irresistible narrative forces." (The New York Times)
"Robertson Davies is one of the great modern novelists." (Malcolm Bradbury, The Sunday Times, London)
"One of the splendid literary enterprises of this decade." (Newsweek)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Been waiting for this

This is a favorite series of mine from my college days so I was very happy to see it come up on audible. For years, when I was younger, I re-read it nearly every year. This is great storytelling but it's complex and multifaceted so beware if you are just looking for a fun light listen. It is a great tale infused with history, psychology, religion, theories on different styles of education, murder mystery, all wrapped up in a often humorous, sharp writing style. I think this is the most sedate of the 3 books but it's needed to glean insight into into the main characters. As Dunstan Ramsey says, he is Fifth Business and this book reflects it.

The reader, Marc Vietor is adequate. He is the style of reader who mostly just reads. Not a great deal of characterizations of the voices. I would have wished for a more versatile reader. Not sure about his doing Canadian voices but Simon Vance would have been an interesting choice for reader.

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- Vinity

A Very Nice Audio Version of a Great Book.

What did you love best about Fifth Business?

This is a hard question for me to answer because Fifth Business may be my favorite book of all time. I have read it on numerous occasions and enjoying it as an Audiobook just added more to my ongoing and probably never ending experience with the book. It has many wonderfully developed, interesting characters chief among them being the narrator and protagonist Dunstan Ramsay. The story is king though and includes many fascinating subjects in its tapestry: stage magic, love, war, siants, pre-WWI small town Canadian life, Jungian psychology. Just great.


Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

Marc Vietor really does a good job with the general narration which means does a good job with our protagonist Dunstan Ramsay who is the teller of this story. I also really enjoyed his Padre Blazon.


Any additional comments?

It's a truly wonderful book. The only book I had to read in high school that I was thankful for. If you've never read it I can't recommend it enough. If you've read it and are wondering if it's worth listening to as an audiobook I'd say yes, yes it is.

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- Jeff Xilon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-02-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios