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Davies, Robertson.

Toronto, Irwin. cl985. 540pp. cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-7725-1539-5. CIP

Reviewed by Kenneth A. Elliott

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

Robertson Davies is Master Emeritus at Massey College, University of Toronto. He is the author of several works of criticism and plays. His works of fiction, including The Deptford Trilogy (Penguin. 1983) and more recently Rebel Angels* and What's Bred In The Bone, (Macniillan, 1985)are internationally renowned.

The present volume combines three earlier works under one cover, viz., The Diary, The Table Talk, and The Garland. The author further subdivides each of the major sections with broad captions, having little or nothing to do with the section content. Apart from the sketch on the last page, the work is illustration free. With wide margins and a variety of large type, thc reader will find the task pleasant.

The key word that comes to mind after plowing through this hefty volume is humour. Davies uses his protagonist Marchbanks as a tool to expose his own whimsicality. At each turn of the page the reader is presented with the exploits of Marchbanks as he describes his life amid the four seasons in Canada. In part 2, Marchbanks expresses his opinion on everything from ants invading his house to his falling-out with dogs. The last section consists of erratic bits and pieces of notes and letters to and from people with an axe to grind of one sort or another.

This work is not for the fainthearted nor for the easily distracted mind. It takes much patience and fortitude to wade through Davies's labyrinth, chuckling along the way.

Kenneth A. Elliott, Laval Catholic H.S., Chomedey, Que.

*Reviewed vol.X/2 1982 p. 82.

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