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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
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Little Women (original 1868; edition 2004)

by Louisa May Alcott, Susan Straight (Afterword)

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21,32533864 (4.06)1262
Member:fuzzi
Title:Little Women
Authors:Louisa May Alcott
Other authors:Susan Straight (Afterword)
Info:Signet Classics (2004), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:To read, TBR/unowned, Recommended to me, Child/Youth Books
Rating:
Tags:young adult, classic

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

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» See also 1262 mentions

English (324)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (337)
Showing 1-5 of 324 (next | show all)
I believe I'm one of the few young women who didn't identify with, or want to be like, Jo. I felt for Beth, sweet and good. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
A classic tale of four girls struggling to survive as their beloved father is away as a chaplain in the army. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy Delightful still today! ( )
  creighley | Apr 9, 2015 |
Quite unexpected, I regret not having read this book before. I liked it a lot, where I expected to be bored to death.
But as dull as it might seem, a description of the lives of 4 girls and their mother, it was quite entertaining. Despite the many years that have passed by, it is still recognizable (at least for me), and for those younger than me maybe a window to a past with manners and values long forgotten.

It is with a bit of regret that I close the book, for I would have loved to read how they all fare. Especially Jo, though, for she really stole my heart :-)

This is a story of 'never judge a book by its cover', because I like it a lot. Will finish in the next few days, so this one will travel with me to Oxford.

And I can cross off yet another 1001-book as read :-) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 6, 2015 |
http://tinyurl.com/kqayfqc

Every decade or so I read this childhood favorite of mine. Every decade I get something more and something different out of it.

This decade I interspersed my reading with YouTube clips from the 1994 and 1949 movie retellings. If only to remind myself that my best and earliest memory of the book was via my own imaginings, not flavored by what I had seen at the theater. Despite Bale's rampant adorableness and Allyson's chewing of the scenery, the memories I do hold of the book are based on Alcott's own descriptions.

Cold winters described by those hot turnovers Meg and Jo would carry to work. Poverty described by the abject awfulness of the Hummel's abode (those broken windows stuffed with sacks!). Jo's struggles with her temper compared in detail against Amy's struggles to be a lady. Love and marriage described in decidedly simple terms - for this day and age - but replete with notions that will never be untrue or not resonate in any time. And those descriptions of 1860s Europe - like a balm to the soul.

So, this decade I recognize the value in a good, strong moralistic tale that doesn't demean or belittle any particular type of person or group of people. It may hold up Christianity as its basis for that morality, and that befits the time and place in which it was written. It's pretty hard to go wrong with: be kind to your neighbor, help those who have less than you do, and work on your character to be a better person. ( )
  khage | Apr 4, 2015 |
I can't remember how I felt about this book last time I read it, but listening to the audiobook with my kids this time while we reheated leftovers for lunch, or worked puzzles and built with Legos on the kitchen floor, or drove through the snowy Massachusetts countryside, I oscillated between loving it and just feeling bored with the book.

Part I of the book is definitely better than the second half and contains my favorite chapter of the book, where Marmee confesses to having a constant battle with her temper and counsels Jo about how to manage her own reactionary anger. As someone who can be a bit feisty, I always find that part hopeful. Maybe one day my kids will say, "We can tell you're angry, Mother, when you press your lips together and leave the room."

In general, though, the March women are too good to be true, particularly in the second half, and the book's a lot longer than it could be. There's a lot that could be cut, including the entire last chapter. I didn't care for the lengthy epilogue and think the book should have ended with Jo walking into her happiness. (I hope that's not a spoiler. Can there even be spoilers when talking about classic literature?)

Kate Reading did an excellent job as narrator, and I would seek out other audiobooks she's voiced. I do wonder about the accents, though. What's the evolution of the Massachusetts accent, and how would it have sounded during the second half of the nineteenth century? I didn't really hear any trace of it here except in the twins' toddler-speak (tacking R sounds at the end of words that would normally end with an "a", like "mama" and "papa"), but I would think it would have to be there in some way. Given the March family's "wealthy people fallen on hard times" story, mightn't they have had the aristocratic version of the Boston accent?

Maybe once my kids grow up, I'll do a study of the likely accents of characters in classic literature. Or if someone's already done such a study, I'll make the time to read their book. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Mar 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (126 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
Sumpter, RachellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Stockum, HildaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vielhomme-Callais, PauletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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
Dedication
First words
“Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
Quotations
...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)
Last words
(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.
ISBN 1613823444 is a Simon and Brown edition of Little Women.
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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.
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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 54 descriptions

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Audible.com

44 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143105019, 0141321083, 0141331747, 0451532082, 0143106651

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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