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The Fifth Sally

Daniel Keyes

4 Reviews

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Classic science fiction

The powerful, moving and turbulent novel of Sally Porter and the multiple personalities she has no idea she lives with... From the award-winning bestselling author of FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON: 'Heartbreaking, and utterly, completely brilliant' GUARDIAN

Sally Porter is perfectly 'ordinary'. A waitress, divorcee, and loner in the great city. But, though she is unaware of it, she is also four other, quite different people: Nola, the cold independent artist who has a studio in Greenwich Village; Derry, the happy-go-lucky tomboy; Bella, the highly-sexed live wire with a talent for singing and dancing; and finally Jinx, the hate-filled killer.

Whenever events put too much of a strain on Sally Porter, she feels a headache and a blackout coming on - and a new character takes over. If there is a man to be fascinated, she will become Bella. If there is an intellectual problem, she will become Nola. And - as happens in the opening scene of the novel - if there is a rapist to be dealt with, she becomes the vicious Jinx.

It is the task of the wise and patient psychiatrist, Dr. Roger Ash - a man who nevertheless has severe problems of his own - to deal with this case of multiple personality and, through painstaking therapy, to try to fuse the four disparate personalities into "the fifth Sally."

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Praise for The Fifth Sally

  • A masterpiece of poignant brilliance ... heartbreaking - GUARDIAN on FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON

  • Daniel Keyes has demonstrated a fine sensitivity to the pain of a damaged and disordered personality, and is firm and lucid in presenting what is far more than merely case history. As in Flowers for Algernon, he has made apparent the suffering of a damaged person through a clear reporting of the particulars. I congratulate him for the seriousness of his intent and the skill of its execution

  • Keyes has shown himself as a master craftsman. He moulds words like a woodworker works with wood. ... What Keyes has pulled off with this new book is the creation of a new point of view - CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

  • This is a compelling novel about a fictional Sybil. The story, though imagined, is convincing as the case history of a multiple personality. There is a true rendition of the volatile, divided, and conflicted self, by turns dull, tough, brilliant, cheerful, and depraved. The portrait of the psychiatrist, combining professionalism with a capacity for human suffering and compassion, also has the ring of truth. A tale of a multiple personality, this is also a modern morality novel, revealing five facets of everywoman. And it is a good read

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Daniel Keyes

Daniel Keyes (1927-2014)
Born in Brooklyn in 1927, Daniel Keyes worked as a merchant seaman, editor and university lecturer. He published four other novels, including Flowers for Algernon, originally a short story, for which he won the Hugo Award, later expanded into the Nebula Award-winning novel and adapted as an Oscar-winning film (Charly, 1968). Daniel Keyes had a Master's degree in English and American literature and was a Professor of English and Creative writing. He died in 2014.

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