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The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies

The Cunning Man (original 1994; edition 1996)

by Robertson Davies

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1,272186,200 (3.89)1 / 26
Title:The Cunning Man
Authors:Robertson Davies
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1996), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Cunning Man by Robertson Davies (1994)

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Meh. It's hard to know how objective I'm being, since it's also hard to see another Davies work in comparison with The Deptford Trilogy, which was gorgeous. ( )
  KatrinkaV | Jan 30, 2016 |
Davies is a master craftsman who intertwines humor with his superior knowledge of human nature. His characters are complex and drawn with an eye for detail. His plots are full of the scandals from which all our lives are constructed. Most of his books (like this one) are first-person narrated and therefore subject to the petty foibles, idiosyncratic jealousies etc. of perceptual bias of their narrator. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
An engaging novel with intriguing characters and a filament of mystery running through the center. While not as good as The Deptford Trilogy in my opinion, The Cunning Man is less of a commitment and still a fair taste of what Davies has to offer. Robertson Davies probably isn’t for everyone, but if he ends up being for you, though, you’re in for a treat!

Full thoughts are posted on Erin Reads. ( )
  erelsi183 | May 9, 2014 |
Much good material, but not as good as Davies other works. ( )
  JasondinAlt | Apr 28, 2014 |
A disappointment. This book came very highly recommended but the whole time I was reading, I kept thinking "Are we going anywhere with this?" There were several interesting characters but they just kept wandering around. Chips' letters from Glebe House were brilliant but I found the fake footnotes describing her illustrations incredibly annoying. ( )
  R0BIN | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
"This is a wise, humane and consistently entertaining novel. Robertson Davies's skill and curiosity are as agile as ever, and his store of incidental knowledge is a constant pleasure. Long may he continue to divert us."

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robertson Daviesprimary authorall editionscalculated
BascoveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Cunning men, wizards, and white witches, as they call them, in every village, which, if they be sought unto, will help almost all infirmities of body and mind.... The body's mischief's, as Plato proves, proceed from the soul: and if the mind be not first satisfied, the body can never be cured.

Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)
For Brenda, and our daughters Miranda, Jennifer and Rosamond
First words
Should I have taken the false teeth?
In my experience snobbery sometimes means no more than a rejection of what is truly inferior, and if mankind had never been fastidious I do not suppose that haute cuisine would ever have displaced hunks of meat parched over a smoky fire.
My great book I had decided to call The Anatomy of Fiction ... It would, of course, be a work of extrapolation, working from the known, as given by the author about an imaginary (but not therefore unreal) character, to well-researched and intelligently guessed-at elements which the author was probably aware of but which the conventions of his time did not permit him to describe. As a doctor, I could not conceive that he might have chosen to omit such details from reasons of literary choice; surely the health, physical state, and living conditions of his characters would be of absorbing interest to him? ... A commentary, a sort of footnote to that part of the Divine Drama in which Fiction has a place.
Why did Micawber lose his hair? Want of kerotin? ... What did Jane Eyre, as a governess in a gentleman's house, get to eat? ... What conclusions can we draw about the menstrual cycle of Emma Bovary? How did Nana avoid having babies? ... Only a partial estimate can be made of the quality of a life unless we know something about the defecatory habits of the patient. ... What was the condition of Miss Havisham's bowels, sitting all day in a wheelchair as she did? Intestinal stasis can have a profound influence on the personality. ... many women in fiction spent a great part of their life on sofas. Why? What ailed them? ... To deal with the Boozer in Lit. would mean that I should have to embark on a work of many volumes.... What do people die of, in fiction? Children frequently ... have no clear symptoms, and seem to die of Ingrowing Virtue. Would it be possible to define in broad medical terms something that could be called Heroine's Disease ...?"
Because of that duplicitous little miss Ellen Ternan, Dickens managed to make an astonishing number of people other than himself miserable, and unlike Ibsen or Trollope [who also fell for much younger women] he wanted a physical fulfilment of his daft passion. Whether he got it or not remains a mystery; photographs of Miss Ternan do not suggest a passionate or even a normally warm nature.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140248307, Paperback)

Following the mysterious death of Father Hobbs at the high altar on Good Friday, holistic doctor Jonathan Hullah takes a critical look at his past and at the individuals who shaped his life, and reevaluates his personal philosophies. Reprint. NYT.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:43 -0400)

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The story of Dr. Jonathan Hullah, a doctor practicing holistic healing. It chronicles his youth, including an incident in the Canadian bush where his life was saved by an Indian shaman, and describes his World War II years in the course of which he decided to practice holistic medicine. A look at the connection between spirit and body. By the author of The Rebel Angels.… (more)

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