Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

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This novel is the first in The Deptford Trilogy. Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvellous is only another aspect of the real.

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