After the brilliance of Fifth Business
, The Manticore
was a bit of a struggle. Granted, I wasn't really expecting a Jason Bourne-style murder mystery, but I wasn't totally prepared for a month-long Jungian psychotherapy session in Switzerland either.
Robertson Davies proves once again his masterful ability to take the mundane and spin it into something far more compelling than anyone could imagine. While Fifth Business chronicled Dunstan Ramsay's unique experiences, The Manticore
focuses on the son of Dunstan's friend Boy Staunton. For me, the plot took a back seat to the novel's psychological overtones; however, I'm no expert in the field, so I imagine I missed quite a bit of information of consequence. The Manticore
really requires repeated readings to fully grasp what the Manticore means to David, but the plot meshes well with Fifth Business
, meaning you don't have to be a psych graduate student to enjoy the novel.
I hope to reread The Manticore
soon and perhaps even increase its rating to 5 stars. Bravo once again to Robertson Davies.