Sunday, August 10, 2014

Review: The Cunning Man

The Cunning ManThe Cunning Man by Robertson Davies
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the way Davies wove the story of his narrator's life in and out of the lives (and letters) of other people in this book. As always he played around with words and made lots of sly observations about the human condition and made Canada, Toronto in particular, a character in the story. I could be totally wrong (as I have no actual knowledge of it) but I feel like I learn so much about what makes Canadians Canadian when I read Davies.

There were lots of great lines in this book and I want share some of them:
"I suspect you of having a nice, happy uncomplicated home. A terrible start in life, let me tell you. The more tough-and-tumble you experience early in life, the better armed you are against what's to follow." (p.122) 
"I was a great reader in my childhood. I knew a lot of poetry, not all of it good, but there is an astonishing amount of nutrition in second-rate poetry." (p. 152) 
"There is a lot of schoolgirl still left in her, and she wants to do something outlandish and mess with unlimited butter." (p. 348) 
"Every love affair is a private madness into which nobody else can hope to penetrate." (p. 461) 
"To have watched my city change from a colonial outpost of a great Empire to a great city in what looks decidedly like a new empire; to have watched the British connection wither as the Brits grew weary under Imperial greatness, and the American connection grow under the caress of the iron hand beneath the buckskin glove -- that was to have taken part in a great movement of history." (p. 468)
Robertson Davies is a Canadian author, and this novel is set mostly in Toronto so it counts toward the 8th Canadian Book Challenge. This is also my contribution to the August Books You Loved Link Up.

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