The Cunning Man
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|Publisher||McClelland and Stewart|
The Cunning Man is the memoir of the life of a doctor, Dr. Jonathan Hullah, living in Toronto. Hullah is a holistic physician — a cunning diagnostician who can often get to the root of problems that have baffled others. A young journalist's query about the circumstances surrounding an Anglican priest's death at the high altar on Good Friday leads Hullah to reflect on his own life and career.
A fictionalised version of Toronto's Church of St. Mary Magdalene features prominently.
Unlike most of Davies' previous novels, The Cunning Man was not part of a trilogy. However, there is some speculation that, had Davies lived long enough, this novel and his previous one, Murther and Walking Spirits (1991), would have been the first two volumes in another trilogy. For example, "Gil" Gilmartin, the narrator of Murther and Walking Spirits, reappears in The Cunning Man as Hullah's godson. In fact, in his introduction to The Merry Heart (1996), a collection of Davies' writings published posthumously, Davies' publisher, Douglas Gibson, tells how Davies had been researching and preparing the novel which would have followed The Cunning Man and would have been the third in the series. Gibson speculates that this unfinished trilogy might have been called the "Toronto Trilogy".
- The Cunning Man at the Internet Book List