Number of pages: 273
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 1
Fifth Business is the second book I was forced to read for my English class, and if I had the option to time travel and chose to not read it, I would.
I hate this book with a passion. It’s filled with grammar mistakes, horrible characters, and a non-existent plot. The crazy thing is, all I have seen is praise for it. This book is absolutely horrendous.
Fifth Business is supposed to be a letter, yet it is a 300 page novel. If I were to receive a 300 page letter in the mail, I would not hesitate to burn it. Also, this novel is Dunstan writing his life story to the headmaster, yet we get no details. There are few descriptions and explanations given. This novel would (I assume) have been rather easy to read when it was published in 1970, as people would have understood some of the things Dunstan talks about, but living in the 21st century, I don’t understand a lot of abbreviations used in this book. An example of this is when Dunstan writes “the late Boy Staunton D.S.O., C.B.E. […]” (6). What is that supposed to mean? The lack of explanations puts barriers between the reader and the content, as it impedes the reader from becoming immersed and invested in the story. This book was not written to stand the test of time.
I have seen letter writing used in literature many time before, and it is very hard to do correctly. Fifth Business would have been a far better book if each chapter had been a new letter, rather than being one large letter split into chapters/ sections or parts/ chapters (see, even the chapters are confusing). The book should also be significantly shorter. With little to no descriptions, this book is filled with information that is not necessary to the plot, which is how it’s 300 pages long.
Overall, I hated Fifth Business with a passion, earning it 1 star out of 5.