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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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By Vinity on 12-10-11
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.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
By Jeff Xilon on 06-20-12
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.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By TDJO on 08-27-17
Great story narration less so.
Robertson Davies seems to be less well-known than many of his contemporaries. I read his books some years ago and decided to listen to this one on a long drive through Europe. The story is as fresh and well told as I remember and overall I'd recommend it highly. The narration was just a bit strange though. I'm not sure if the accent is Canadian- certainly not from the areas I have visited, and it comes across as very mid-Atlantic.
If you've never read Davies, start with the Cornish Trilogy and as they stand alone, go for What's bred in the bone first. This is not quite as good but certainly will intrigue and entertain if you can live with the narration.
By jesjaspers on 10-31-16
Perfect story beautifully narrated with great tone. Slow build of plot well crafted and written well