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Tempest-tost (The Salterton Trilogy #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,076 ratings  ·  55 reviews

An amateur production of The Tempest provides a colorful backdrop for a hilarious look at unrequited love. Mathematics teacher Hector Mackilwraith, stirred and troubled by Shakespeare's play, falls in love with the beautiful Griselda Webster. when Griselda shows she has plans of her own, Hector despairs on the play's opening night.

Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 26th 1980 by Penguin Books (first published 1951)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,589)
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Leer a Robertson Davies es un acierto seguro. Davies era un inteligente y refinado narrador, dueño de un sutil sentido del humor y una erudición privilegiada, características todas ellas que se hacen evidentes tanto en sus diálogos como en sus descripciones. Esto, unido a un pulso narrativo encomiable, hace que la lectura de sus novelas sea una delicia para el paladar más exigente.

'A merced de la tempestad' fue la primera novela que escribió el canadiense Robertson Davies, en el año 1951, libro
I don't know much about Robertson Davies, but I imagine he must have been a delightful human being. Anyone able to convey so much wit, heart and humanity must surely be a helluva guy. Tempest-Tost, published in 1951, feels fresh and timeless. Set in a small town in Ontario, it follows the lives of a group of amateur thespians during a production of The Tempest. Davies perfectly captures the idiosyncrasies of the characters, effortlessly imparting his wisdom - yes, wisdom! - in the process. Just ...more
I'm a fan of the "Hey Let's Put on a Show" genre, and Davies is a great author to attempt it. His gentle social satire shines as he tells the story of a community theater group in a small Canadian city putting on a production of The Tempest. In this book, Davies reminds me a lot of Jane Austen. He has an ability to create characters who are very realistically irritating, yet he never gets cynical. His warmth toward humanity and his faith that the good people among us will triumph in spite of pet ...more
Rafa Sánchez
Divertidísima comedia, entorno al proyecto de una función teatral para aficionados, durante el verano. La obra elegida es La Tempestad, de Shakespeare, lo que da pie a un repaso a la sociedad de un pequeño pueblo canadiense (Salterton). La elección de una directora profesional le da un toque exquisito para contrastar la calidad de la función. En resumen, se puede decir que la lectura es muy divertida, con continiuos golpes de humor sutil, no exento de profundidad psicológica en algunos pasajes.. ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in October 2004.

In some ways, the staging of an amateur theatrical event must seem to be an ideal focus for a satirist. The inflated egos, naked ambition displayed over so small an achievement is an obvious tool to dissect the vanities of the world. Its very obviousness is the problem: how do you use this subject without coming across as trite? Here, then, we see that to choose this as the background for his debut novel Robertson Davies was actually showing a
Jul 10, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Davies, Canadian Literature Fans
Recommended to Sarah by: Prof John O'Connor (Canadian Lit teacher)
Robertson Davies truly has a knack for capturing the quintessential small town. I read this novel as part of the required reading in my second year Canadian Lit course at the University of Toronto. I entered into the Salterton Trilogy with skepticism, fearfully remembering the awful reading of Fifth Business back in high school (I loved the novel, hated the teacher)

Tempest Tost is remarkably humorous, and each character is highly neurotic, ignorant, and naive--but that's all part of their charm
This was the first Robertson Davies novel I read. It was loaned to me by my friend Tom, who highly recommended it to me. He was SO right!!!! Great characters, lyrical prose, wit, true-to-life situations, compassionate world view, and a fabulous sense of humor. Reading this prompted me to immediately go out and read the next two in this trilogy, and three other trilogies by the same author. He is now one of my all time favorite novelists. All his books get 5 stars from me, except maybe for Cunnin ...more
Nov 13, 2007 Sabrina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robertson Davies fans
Not so good as the Deptford Trilogy, this first tome of the Salterton Trilogy. Still, Davies is an exceptional writer, and "Tempest-tost" is a witty, funny, interesting read. Probably best for those who have read "The Tempest" by Shakespeare, as it revolves around that particular play.

"Leaven of Malice," the second book in this threesome, is already proving to be a better read, though of course one must get through "Tempest-tost" first, for a bit of background.
Robertson Davies was over his life time an actor (educated at Queens U. & Oxford, acted at the Old Vic) playwright, a newspaper editor, critic, essayist, the first Master of Massey College (having helped establish a school of journalism at Univ. of Toronto)and emeritus to all of that. At the same time he was writing novels. He is a prime example of "write what you know" but then look at what he knew.
The Salterton Trilogy came out in the fifties with Tempest Tost being the first. Tempest Tost
Margaret McCamant
Having read this in a couple days, I'm about to start the second book in this Salterton trilogy, Leaven of Malice. This was my introduction to Robertson Davies, and I've really enjoyed his sense of humor and his Canadians, whom I'm somehow predisposed to be very fond of.
Apr 05, 2007 Casey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested more in character- than plot-driven stories.
An early work of Davies', nothing really happens in this first book of the Salterton trilogy. However, the characters are terrific and you can't help feeling emotion toward them as you would real people.
First of the Salterton Trilogy, this stands proudly as an examination of the character defects of a group of Canadian amateur dramatists. All the middle class insecurities are here and there is a great range of convincingly flawed contributors, from the middle-aged maths teacher hopelessly in love, Hector Mackilwraith, the military lothario Roger Tasset, the bouncy good time girl with an equally good heart known as "The Torso" and the girl whom everyone admires, not least because her father is r ...more
Had to read it in college, reread it a couple years ago and still thought it was hilarious. I think the characters are just so well written.
Raül De Tena
La primera publicación de “A Merced de la Tempestad” (publicada en nuestro país por Libros del Asteroide) data de 1951, un momento histórico en el que sorprende leer cómo Robertson Davies se aferra a cierta tradición literaria del melodrama social que mucho (muchísimo) tiempo antes ya había sublimado una genealogía de escritores que van -cronológicamente- desde Jean Austen hasta E.M. Foster. El autor, sin embargo, con un pico y una pala tremendamente silenciosos, consigue abrir ciertas brechas e ...more
Margaret Pinard
The writing and humor in this first book were well enough executed, and the setting gave me a good sense of what being Canadian must be like in this town, but it wasn't my type of book. It was very literary, with extra comic bits and narrative judgements thrown in. I liked it, but I had to drag myself through it... sorry Rob! A quicker-moving, more linear story with less exposition might have suited me better.
Frances Sawaya
This should be a 4.5 but I don't now how to generate partial stars! I was introduced to Davies by a Lit teacher in the middle school where I taught; she started me on the Deptford trilogy which I still, after all these years, regard as an outstanding work! After reading those I did a backtrack and read the Salterton trilogy. This book (reminding me a lot of the humor in David Lodge) had me in stitches. What a clever opening --- a practical joke that becomes the basis for a set of novels with fan ...more
Janet Berkman
It was lovely to begin this trilogy again. It's probably been decades since I read it the first time. Davies is intelligent and gently humorous, a titan of CanLit, and I look forward to listening to Leaven of Malice next.
Very funny. Old fashioned. The reader did not voice the women well. He had an annoyingly insipid falsetto and it was difficult to distinguish one from another.
Vivienne Strauss
Very different from the other books I've read lately and a fun break. Really witty and fun !
Amy Rose
The only criticism I have about this book is that I would have liked to see more Freddy.
This is Davies trying his hand at comedy. I can't tell how well he succeeded for the general public, but I've enjoyed it immensely.
It's full of bits like "Mr Adams [the English teacher] had been an indifferent student of mathematics himself, and had a grudge against Hector [the Math teacher] because he gave too much homework to his pupils who might otherwise have been writing essays for Mr Adams", which tickle my fancy way too much.

It does quit being a comedy about a third of the way though, but
This is one of those great books that combines a pretty good story with great little pearls of philosophical wisdom. Davies constantly makes neat little observations about the nature of people and the world in a way that is both clever and wise.
The plot of the novel is a really interesting one, especially for someone with experience in amateur theatre. The novel follows an amateur out-door production of Shakespeare's The Tempest in Salterton, Canada, and it explores all the petty personal squabb
An old fashioned little gem of a novel.
This book is an amusing look at a small town amateur theater group putting on the Shakespeare play, The Tempest. The production was simply a backdrop for the author to develop his characters. The funny personalities and situations makes me want to read the other two books in the trilogy.
I love Roberston Davies' works. Nothing particularly breathtaking happens in this book, but it's so beautifully and humourously written that it draws you in and draws you along like nothing else. Each character walks onto the page in 3D, and moves with purpose throughout the plot. This was a book that I looked forward to returning to each time I put it down. Sometimes I would re-read passages just to savor the subtle character development and wit.
Berta  Viteri
Robertson Davies me tiene totalmente cautivada. No he leído nada suyo que no me guste.
Definitely didn't like this as much as I did the books in the Deptford Trilogy, but I enjoyed the characters in this one and have heard that the second book in the series is much better, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. Even so, there were a couple things in this one that had me laughing out loud, so there's that!
Good first effort by Robertson Davies! Humourous, thought-provoking, and filled with great characters. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. For more, read my blog post at Reader of the Stack.
A sweet, beautifully written story of a Canadian town and the experiences of locals as they put on a production of Shakespeare's Tempest. As someone who once participated in a community theater production of same, I can attest this is an embarrassingly accurate portrayal of these types of people (guitly!)
Having grown up in a community-theatre family, I enjoyed this novel about a small Canadian town's pastoral production of Shakespeare very much. Davies good-naturedly (and accurately) lampoons the world of amateur theatre. Not in the same league with the Deptford Trilogy, but a charming story.
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William Robertson Davies, CC, FRSC, FRSL (born August 28, 1913, at Thamesville, Ontario, and died December 2, 1995 at Orangeville, Ontario) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best-known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", a term Davies is sometimes said to have detested. Davies was the founding Ma ...more
More about Robertson Davies...

Other Books in the Series

The Salterton Trilogy (3 books)
  • Leaven of Malice
  • A Mixture of Frailties
Fifth Business The Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders What's Bred in the Bone (Cornish Trilogy, #2) The Rebel Angels (Cornish Trilogy, #1) The Manticore

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