LITTLE, BIG Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1 1983
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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).Read more ›
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!
Most recent customer reviews
I read a review that prompted me to buy this but I never finished it.Published 20 months ago by Bettyjane Wylie
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 morePublished on Dec 9 2008 by Lauren B. Davis
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 morePublished on June 8 2004
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 morePublished on Sept. 18 2003
...to 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 morePublished on June 15 2003 by Vince Scoggins
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 morePublished on June 4 2003 by Michael Cain
This is an absolutely fabulous book; my favorite book of all time. The prose is breathtakingly beautiful, a joy to read. Read morePublished on Dec 12 2002