Leonore's Reviews > The Manticore

The Manticore by Robertson Davies
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's review
Mar 04, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

Spell-binding second book that follows "Fifth Business" in trilogy. The Manticore is a mythical figure that has the body of a lion, the face of a human, and a dangerous, dagger-like tail. David, the son of Staunton, the rich, spoiled industrialist of the first book who dies under mysterious circumstances of the end of "Fifth Business" seeks Jungian psychoanalysis in Zurich Switzerland to solve the "psychological" murder of his father. David is a successful criminal lawyer/emotional cripple and a tough nut to crack, but his female psychoanalyst is tougher than he is, getting David to complete 1 year of full-time psychoanalysis several times a week. The protagonist of "Manticore" connects up with the protagonist of "Fifth Business" toward the end of the book, as David discovers that his father was both murdered and killed himself, as he was under hypnosis at the time he died. At the end of the book, David is trying to decide how best to enter the next stage of his psychological self-discovery. I liked the book because it is an adventure story that looks inward, as David tries to understand himself and evolve as a person who is not afraid to feel. He has relied on perceived rationality and thinking and avoided his emotional life prior to psychoanalysis, and at the end of the book one can see positive changes in his ability to feel and express fear, a function of his abandoning much of his defensiveness.

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