- Hardcover: 278 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; First edition (September 22, 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395294495
- ISBN-13: 978-0395294499
- Package Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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FIFTH SALLY Hardcover – September 22, 1980
"How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" by Sy Montgomery
“This is a beautiful book — essential reading for anyone who loves animals and knows how much they can teach us about being human.” ― Gwen Cooper, author of "Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat" Pre-order today
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If interested in this book, I would suggest looking in libraries, used bookstores, and maybe even thrift stores. I read this book in about two weeks, however, if time had permitted I would have finished it quicker.
I definitely recommend this book.
I'll admit I had my hesitations, it had been published once in 1980 and hadn't been published since. Evidently it hadn't even warrented a paperback edition. But after reading the novel, I can only weep that it seems fated to die in obscurity.
Without a doubt, The Fifth Sally was one of the best books I have ever had the fortune to read and it solidified my belief that Daniel Keyes is an excellent author and one of the greats of the twentieth century.
Strictly speaking, this book is not comparable to Keyes' Flowers For Algernon, the novel that he will be remembered by and for good reason, but The Fifth Sally is never-the-less excellent. The tale is of Sally, Bella, Nola, Derry, and Jinx. The interesting thing about these five women is that they all seem to be occupying the same body.
Keyes pays little attention to the controversy over whether Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a real disease and instead writes from the assumption that it is in fact very real. He hints at the controversy from time to time but ultimately that is irrelevent. You see, the tale is written from a first person point of view, Derry tells us the story. When she is in control, it is pure first person and when one of the others is in control, she is little more then an observer.
The style can be described as little more then simply fascinating. It's generally a cardinal rule not to mix multiple viewpoints, especially in a single scene, but Keyes slips between Derry's first person narration (and Derry is a great story teller!) to an impartial recording that you almost forget it is Derry telling that you never feel lost.
The book is riveting, all along we see Sally's more acceptable personalities: Sally the motherly type, Derry the tomboy, Bella the party-goer, and Nola the artist. But all along we know that Jinx, the maniac, is lurking just under the surface and we never know just what Jinx is going to do.
All I can say of this book is this: ordering a used copy of it will be the best thing you ever do. Pay exhorbatent prices (not too exhorbatent lets hope, I paid a modest $15 but it was well worth it) climb over hills, steal from libraries (ok, well maybe not that) Anything - just find a way to get a copy of this book. It is simply fantastic. Whether it is comparable to Keyes's more well known The Minds of Billy Madigan is hard to say, but I know this much: I won't forget Sally or the others for a long time to come.