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LITTLE, BIG [Mass Market Paperback]

John Crowley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $14.43  
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Mass Market Paperback, Sept. 1 1983 --  
Audio, CD CDN $44.95  

Book Description

Sept. 1 1983
Edgewood is many houses, all put inside each other, or across each other. It's filled with and surrounded by mystery and enchantment: the further in you go, the bigger it gets. Smoky Barnable, who has fallen in love with Daily Alice Drinkwater, comes to Edgewood, her family home, where he finds himself drawn into a world of magical strangeness. Crowley's work has a special alchemy - mixing the world we know with an imagined world which seems more true and real. Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Little, Big is eloquent, sensual, funny and unforgettable, a truly Fantasy Masterwork.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

SALES POINTS No.5 in the Millennium Fantasy Masterworks series, a library of the most original and influential fantasy ever written Winner of the World Fantasy Award 'A book that all by itself calls for a redefinition of fantasy' Ursula K. Le Guin 'I think Crowley is so good that he has left everybody else in the dust' Peter Straub 'Ambitious, dazzling, strangely moving, a marvellous magic-realist family chronicle' Washington Post --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
On a certain day in June, 19-, a young man was making his way on foot northward from the great City to a town or place called Edgewood, that he had been told of but had never visited. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical in Every Sense June 30 2004
Little, Big is no easy read, but is well worth the time. To summarize the plot briefly just to give an idea of the backdrop, Little, Big tells the Tale of Smokey Barnable, an ordinary man who leaves the City to visit with the family of one of his coworkers at their country house, Edgewood. There he meets (and marries) Daily Alice Drinkwater and her family, who all are Somehow part of a larger tapestry bridging the world as Smokey knows it and the world of the faerie. Be forewarned, though -- for a book about Faerie, don't expect little people with pointy ears on each page a la Lord of the Rings (which I love, btw, that is not meant disparagingly). On first read, there won't seem to be a lot of Faerie in it at all. But, the Faerie are mostly hidden on each page of Little, Big just as they are in Edgewood, and thoughout the read the sense of magic is everywhere.
Little, Big is at once epic in scope and deeply personal, magical and commonplace. That is part of the wonder of the book, the sense of magic that Crowley works into the quotidian, the feeling that something so unplausible really could be. Crowley's prose is incredibly rich, atmospheric and moving -- I often found myself wondering how he could write so many rich and beautiful lines in one book without ever feeling artificial.
There is not a lot of action, although so many things happen. There is not a lot of dialogue, although there are at least 8 major characters and scores of supporting players. And, as mentioned, there's not a lot of faeries, although they are everywhere (read it and you'll understand!). But, Little, Big is easily one of the best books I've read in the past ten years, the kind of work that is as magical as its subject matter and makes you long for more works this grand. It is a crime that Crowley has not found a wider audience, he is truly one of the most talented writers I've read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge & Gorgeous (& a bit too long) April 5 2004
The anonymous young Smoky Barnable leaves the City to marry into a very strange family occupying the very strange manor at Edgewood, where a war, or a merging of worlds, or something like it, may or may not be happening.
Little, Big is a huge, gorgeous piece of work populated with some of the most endearing characters and touching episodes I've read in a long while. Each of Crowley's characters is affected - sometimes quietly, but always deeply - by the mysterious Something happening at Edgewood. There is a definite force at work, but whether it's good, evil, or indifferent is all part of the mystery. Crowley does have a tendency to be verbose; with a bit of snipping the book could have been 100 pages more to the point. Though the ending wasn't as illuminating as I would have liked, the tale itself was highly satisfying, with many smaller beginnings and endings along the way, and enough triumph and sorrow for all four generations of Edgewood.
I didn't think of it until just now, but Little, Big is similar to Mervyn Peak's Titus Groan. Think of Edgewood as a contemporary Gormenghast driven by otherworldly forces rather than ancient tradition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Dream Come True Oct. 15 2000
By A Customer
You don't have to like science fiction or fantasy to love Little, Big. Anyone who appreciates beautifully crafted writing and books that touch the deepest part of soul should find what their looking for here. John Crowley is one of the most wonderful writers in existence and Little, Big is certainly his best effort to date. His wonderful (and wondrous) books do unfold without a lot of John Grisham action, so if that's your idea of great literature, Little, Big probably wouldn't be for you.
About half of this gorgeous story takes place in New York City, although Crowley never actually calls it that, he just writes, "the City," while the other half takes place at Edgewood (you will find as you read that none of the names in this book are chosen at random, each has a special significance that eventually becomes crystal clear). Edgewood is an unsurpassingly complicated house, built around the turn of the century, by an architect whose wife could see...faeries.
Although we never meet the faeries directly in this novel, their presence is felt through almost all of the book. They are the faeries of A Midsummer Night's Dream, embodying the qualities of mischievousness, whimsy, capriciousness and untrustworthiness. The faeries are also an odd mix of power and vulnerability, but their spirit is in decline. Much of what happens in Little, Big happens because the faeries must rejuvenate the old with the new. Far from being a simple tale of magic or fantasy, this a highly complex one; Little, Big is a mammoth work of more than 600 pages in length.
The story begins with Smoky Barnable, an ordinary man who marries into an extraordinary family (the architect's great-granddaughter).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Big is a big hit!!! Jan. 22 2004
I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was totally lost in the whole story. The fairies, the talking fish, the many-sided house....
I am not a big fantasy book fan, but when I read this book I was fascinated. Just the thought of all that was happening and all the pictures in my head....I was lost in Crowley's world from page 1. My dad gave me this book to read and I loved it so much that he ended up giving it to me. I will treasure this book always and forever.
I recommend this book to all fantasy fans. This is a must read book. May you read it and get lost as I did!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical doorway...
A magical doorway of a book, whose interior, like the house where much of the novel is set, is larger than its exterior, by which I mean, its rewards and wonders are vast. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2008 by Lauren B. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars If there is a god...
then this is the Bible... well, it works for me at least! It is one of the most momentous and gorgeous books ever written, and god strike me down, I shall stand by that statement... Read more
Published on June 8 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written but over-rated masterpiece
Well, yes, this is a good book. It's been hailed as a literary masterpiece and it probably is. However, the book has no plot. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars with all due respect... Crowley and his fans (both in general) ((I am one)) (and fans of LITTLE, BIG in particular)--I have to confess I found LITTLE, BIG a grave disappointment, both in comparison... Read more
Published on June 15 2003 by Vince Scoggins
1.0 out of 5 stars I just don't get it
I picked this book up based upon all the raves. Crowley was linked with Mieville and Neil Gaiman, whom I both love. So I was set to really get into Little, Big. Read more
Published on June 4 2003 by Michael Cain
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous!
This is an absolutely fabulous book; my favorite book of all time. The prose is breathtakingly beautiful, a joy to read. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last: A TRUE Masterpiece of Late 20th century Fiction
I first read 'Little,Big' in the late 1980s because I noticed the following fascinating pattern: amongst the most rigorous reviewers in places such as The Washington Post, NY... Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait Of Our Lost Spiritual Legacy
Forget the usual trappings of fantasy, this is a modern masterpiece centering on two of the greatest themes in world literature: faith and remembrance. Read more
Published on July 28 2000 by Mr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Portrait Of Our Lost Spiritual Legacy
Forget the usual trappings of fantasy, this is a modern masterpiece centering on two of the greatest themes in world literature: faith and remembrance. Read more
Published on July 10 2000 by Mr.
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