The trilogy consists of Fifth Business (1970), The Manticore (1972), and World of Wonders (1975). The series revolves around a simple act—a young boy throws a snowball at another, but it misses its intended target—and the effect this act has on a number of characters. The Deptford Trilogy has won praise for its narrative voice and its use of character. Fifth Business, in particular, is considered one of Davies' best novels. The trilogy takes its name from the fictional small village of Deptford, Ontario, based on Davies' native Thamesville. Davies takes a different viewpoint in each of the novels, and approaches each in a different style. The sometimes eerie tone and unconventional literary devices have evoked some to identify the series as a precursor to slipstream fiction. The main characters of the series have come by twisting paths from their simple village—and each carries a secret that crosses the lives of the others and drives the plot forward. The greatest secret is one that the reader is not even aware of until the close of the last book, but which finally answers questions about the relationships among several major characters. Fifth Business
Fifth Business is narrated by Dunstable (later Dunstan) Ramsay, a male schoolteacher who grows up in Deptford, a fictional town in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The novel takes the form of a letter Ramsay writes to the headmaster of the school, from which he has just retired. He recalls how as a boy, he ducked the fateful snowball intended for him. The snowball hit a pregnant woman who happened to be passing by; she gave birth prematurely as a result. This incident has affected Ramsay's life, and the novel tells how he comes to terms with his feelings of guilt. Intertwined with his story is the life of Percy Boyd 'Boy' Staunton, Ramsay's boyhood friend who threw the snowball, and who later became a wealthy businessman. The Manticore
The Manticore is the story of Boy Staunton's...
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