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"A compelling performance." ( Library Journal)
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By connie on 10-28-09
must love academe circa mid 20th C
-- or at least love to laugh at it. A quirky love story told from two perspectives serves as a framework for a meditation on human nature. There are Classics specialists cavorting with Roma to trump academic rivals, with Jungian archetypes, alchemy, Tarot, and scientists studying feces thrown in, set in what appears to be U of Toronto before the university "modernized" (or post-modernized).
Though characters are immersed in Classics and Medieval studies, you don't need to be an academic to follow the fun. You can listen to the novel with with a Jungian ear, or you can listen to it as a bizarre tale, well woven, well written, well-narrated and often humorous (but not in the light hearted campus comedy tradition). Warning: There are with several scenes of lengthy debate among academics.
Volume two of the trilogy is on Audible ('What's Bred in the Bone') but not tagged as v. 2. V. 3 ("Lyre of Orpheus") is tagged as such.
If the arguing academics put you off the download, try v. 2., which is more a ride through the early 20th century with an eccentric, with even more Jung thrown in.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Eliza on 11-05-17
Not my favorite Davies novel
I've read all of Robertson Davies novels, and would say he's among my favorites. I usually enjoy listening to books I have read before--it brings out the best in a good book. This one, however, turned out to be an exception to that rule. Or maybe when I read it before I just wasn't as aware of how much the plot depends on creepy sexual predation attempting to disguise itself in mystical symbolism. There's some mildly entertaining academic satire here, but I could have skipped the rest. If you've never read Davies, start with Fifth Business.