The Manticore : Deptford Trilogy

  • by Robertson Davies
  • Narrated by Marc Vietor
  • Series: Deptford Trilogy
  • 9 hrs and 59 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.
The Manticore, the second book in the series after Fifth Business, follows David Staunton, a man pleased with his success but haunted by his relationship with his larger-than-life father. As he seeks help through therapy, he encounters a wonderful cast of characters who help connect him to his past and the death of his father.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the splendid literary enterprises of this decade." (Newsweek)
"Robertson Davies is one of the great modern novelists." (Malcolm Bradbury, The Sunday Times, London)
"Robertson Davies is a novelist whose books are thick and rich with humor, character and incident. They are plotted with skill and much flamboyance." (The Observer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Be sure you choose what you believe

“Be sure you choose what you believe and know why you believe it, because if you don't choose your beliefs, you may be certain that some belief, and probably not a very credible one, will choose you.”
― Robertson Davies, The Manticore

The second novel in Davies' Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore focuses largely on the life of Boy Staunton's son David. Like Fifth Business before, this novel contains amazing prose and a caste of characters that are not quite loveable, but amazingly human at the same time. The structure of the novel is largely a diary David Staunton keeps while undergoing Jungian analysis after the suicide of his billionaire father. This flashback analysis allows Davies to deal with an unreliable narrator by having the Jungian therapist (Johanna Von Haller) jump in occasionally to explain, uproot, twist, and interject architypes into the unrolling life of David Staunton, his relationship with his father, nurse, mother, sister, and early love. It also allows Davies to explore issues around the subconcious, Jungian architypes, myth, history, etc.

The third and final chapter of the novel exits the diary and brings in some of the characters from the series (Dunstan Ramsey, Liesl, and Magnus Eisengrim). I didn't quite like it as much as Fifth Business, but still adored it. I understand (I think) where Davies was going with the final act, but I'm not quite sure he squared the knot. Perhaps, it left a lot unsaid because, obviously, there is one more book. So, for now I'll tenatively leave it as 4-stars, but perhaps that will increase as I finish the trilogy.
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- Darwin8u

Definitely 2nd in a trilogy

It's a Rashomon-like, alternate view of the major plot points of Fifth Business, as told by "Boy" Staunton's son in the form of his year-long analysis at the Carl Jung Institute in Zurich. At times it can feel like a Jungian-based critique of the first novel in the trilogy — pedantic — even as it rounds out and fills in many of that book's minor characters. The abrupt shift in the last few chapters feels a bit forced, and is obviously a set-up for the third novel, World of Wonders. Which I'm going to start immediately, because it definitely piques the interest!
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- Derek A. Baker

Book Details

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