2007: 122.  The Rebel Angels

“Parlabane is back.”


“Haven’t you heard? Parlabane is back.”

“Oh my God!”

The Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies

So, this book is the first book in Davies’ Cornish trilogy - as you may remember, I already read the second book, What’s Bred in Bone.  I have to say that the Cornish trilogy doesn’t thrill me the way the Deptford trilogy did.  Where the Deptford trilogy told the story of people’s lives, with a little bit of psychology (which seemed to my untrained mind to run along Jungian lines) thrown in, this series seems to be all psychology with a little bit of plot thrown in.  Everyone is some sort of archetype to someone else, and the problem is that it reads like New Age bosh, not real truth.  The notion of Dunston Ramsey being a fifth business in life worked, because it rang true.  The notion that Clement Hollier is Maria Theotoky’s rebel angel is just goofy.  

I am so disappointed, because the Deptford trilogy just blew my mind last year.  And now I find with this book, and with Murther and Walking Spirits, that other Davies’ is disappointing at best, and goofy at worst.  When he tells his stories they are so, so good, but I am just turned off by his world view with the archetypes, and the eternal mother, and oh, the sexism in his essays.  Darn it, I wanted to like him so.  Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead, but I gather I’ll at least finish the trilogy before I give him the heave.  

Recommended for:  People who want to read metaphysical books about academics and gypsies.

Date/Place Completed: 8/5/07; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017