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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women (original 1868; edition 2004)

by Louisa May Alcott, Susan Straight (Afterword)

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20,69631270 (4.06)1155
Title:Little Women
Authors:Louisa May Alcott
Other authors:Susan Straight (Afterword)
Info:Signet Classics (2004), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Child/Youth Books
Tags:young adult, classic

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)


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English (299)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (312)
Showing 1-5 of 299 (next | show all)
I thought the first book, or part, merited 5 stars. The second segment was not as good. It could have been just as, but even so would have to make do with being as good in a wholly new and different way. Being groundbreaking, imaginative, incredibly adventuresome, of precise timing in terms of not outstaying the welcome, of never putting a foot wrong, all of this, together could have happened only once. This oeuvre is the product of an inspired writer punching above her weight. That's only an assumption, and I will put it to test one day when I'll begin reading Little Men.

But yeah, book 2's MO was simply to move one step ahead and move one, sometimes two steps backward. The major death in Little Women was done in such a way as to satisfy most readers, but disappoint people like me, because what followed thence cheapened the major event. I would have cherished the character that died. Maybe, who knows, on my own deathbed I would have remembered Little Women, and known that death happens in many ways and not only to me. The urge to wrench any atom of happiness from sad occurrences was the letdown of this part. It's more distracting than the preaching.

The resolution between Jo and Laurie and it's aftermath beggared belief. I thought my jaw would drop with Amy's love life. The penny certainly did. It looks like, from my current, alive eyes, that the writer didn't fully know her characters. I think that she doesn't know how true love is kindled and how it's kept alive. Her characters fall in love in the most burlesque ways. But enough of the negatives. Little Women is everything that I wanted to find in other classics. The words which Louisa May Alcott wrought made her name famous forever. She reached out from her historical times and touched our hearts, we who live in a world and read and listen to music in ways not guessable by her. I think she is an author who put pieces of herself in her books. And whenever the Little Women sang and dance and listened to the piano, I think how the author herself liked to do this. ( )
  Jiraiya | Sep 30, 2014 |
For Christmas, I ordered an mp3 player (Library of Classics) that was pre-loaded with 100 works of classic literature in an audio format. Each work is in the public domain and is read by amateurs, so the quality of the presentation is hit or miss. After sampling about a dozen more well-known offerings, I was left to try a number of works with which I was unfamiliar, and this novel, which I knew to be written for a somewhat different target audience.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is definitely a classic. Many generations of young girls have enjoyed the story of the March family, with its four, distinctly different young ladies, growing up in New England during the years of the American Civil War. While I was a little slow to get into the story, I must confess to finding myself enjoying the work by the time the girls reached an age to leave the family nest.

I can certainly recommend the book to any young reader and even to a broader audience than I had once thought. ( )
  santhony | Sep 18, 2014 |
Morality served pleasingly. ( )
  aeromaxtran | Sep 17, 2014 |
I liked the writing style of the book. It was fun to read, and terribly sad at times. Yes I cried a little. The story follows the lives of the for March women, their ups and downs and general merriment making. I was unsure of the ending; I do not know if I approved. But it was worth the read. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
I know that I cannot exactly consider myself a "fan" of romances, but this book took me to the extremes of boredom. Not only because it is a romance completely free of conflict, but because the story is just... BORING, with completely bland characters, who have absolutely no differential elements in their personalities. The only thing that allows you to know who's who is by their age, eyes and hair color and maturity level (and I'm not exactly sure about the last one).

And speaking of boring story, it is about four sisters. Their father is fighting in the Civil War and in order to make life less gloomy, they try all sort of stuff to make like seem less tedious. And that's where the boredom begins, because the entire book's purpose seem to be giving life lessons for little children. I'm not saying that they should spend the whole time crying over the absence of a dear family member, but their father is pretty much of an excuse for them to find all kinds of "fun stuff", like outdoor entertainment, balls (interesting thing that they were poor, but still went to every single balls in town) and housekeeping.

When you think the story is going to improve with their lovely neighbor's apparition, the story gets even more... stupid. Laurie adds up an initial conflict with a great potential to make the plot slightly more appealing, but ends up adding even more sugar to the already sugarish story that this book has.

Also, there is a point that the story gets so tedious that Louisa Alcott herself gets bored and starts to put some stories that don't make any sense and add NOTHING useful to the book. Like the part where they write that "newspaper". Or the picnic chapter.

I definitely hated that book. There are so many better options other than this book. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 299 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (127 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louisa May Alcottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
AlmineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Becker, May LambertonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danziger, PaulaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elberts, G.W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ShirleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jambor, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May Lamberton Beckersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merlington, LauralNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merrill, Frank T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitz, Henry C.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Stockum, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vielhomme-Callais, PauletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Go then, my little Book, and show all that entertain, and bid thee welcome shall, what thou dost keep close shut up in thy breast; and wish that thou dost show them may be blest to them for good, may make them choose to be pilgrims better, by far, than thee or me.
Tell them of Mercy; she is one who early hath her pilgrimage begun. Yea, let young damsels learn of her to prize the world which is to come, and so be wise; for little tripping maids may follow God along the ways which saintly feet have trod. - adapted from John Bunyan
First words
“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
...for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride. (p75)
You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long; even if it is, the consciousness of possessing and using it well should satisfy one, and the great charm of all power is modesty. (p82)
Learn to know and value the praise which is worth having, and to excite the admiration of excellent people, by being modest as well as pretty. (p110)
Money is a needful and precious thing, - and, when well used, a noble thing, - but I never want you to think it is the first and only prize to strive for. (p111)
Between Meg and Marmee:

"He's away all day, and at night when I want to see him, he is continually going over to the Scotts'. It isn't fair that I should have the hardest work, and never any amusement. Men are very selfish, even the best of them."
"So are women. Don't blame John till you see where you are wrong yourself." (Chapter 38, Gutenberg.org edition)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
This is a heart-warming story about the four lively March sisters; Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. It tells of their adventures and struggles while growing up in the 19th century civil war era. This is a story of love, heart-ache, triumph and family. Although the four girls have very different personalities, they help each other grow as they experience life's challenges. 

I particularly like this book because of the close bond between the four sisters. They seem to balance each other out and the love they have for each other and their "Marmee" seems very genuine. This book has been a favorite of mine since I read it and acted in a play version of it as one of the main characters, Beth.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451529308, Mass Market Paperback)

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy come of age while their father is off to war.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:17 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 55 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

Five editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143105019, 0141321083, 0141331747, 0451532082, 0143106651

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