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Little, Big by John Crowley

Little, Big (edition 2006)

by John Crowley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,132831,794 (4.09)2 / 204
Title:Little, Big
Authors:John Crowley
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2006), Paperback, 538 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites, Recommendations
Tags:speculative fiction, _paperback, families, faeries, memory, fiction, urban fantasy, fantasy

Work details

Little, Big by John Crowley (Author)

  1. 40
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    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (kethorn23)
    kethorn23: The fairies in both these books operate behind the scenes, which preserves the sense of magic. The fairies in Little, Big are elusive even while they play a major role in the story. Likewise, in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, the fairies are responsible for major parts of the story that affect the humans who are unaware of their existence.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
Brilliant. I've only read one Crowley novel before this, Aegypt, and while I enjoyed that, I found it never quite caught me, it required a slowing down and immersion that I wasn't able to do at that time. So when I picked this up I made the decision to take my time and savour it. It was worth it. This has to be a contender for one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read, as well as the best book I've read this year (although it faces stiff competition from some of the shorter (non-genre) stuff I read earlier this year...).
It is, as another reviewer mentions, a family saga. But they're an odd family, with secrets they don't even know they're keeping. The whole thing flows like an enormous river, sweeping you along in its deceptively swift current. There is an air of melancholy to the whole affair, something I noticed in Aegypt but which works better (for me...) here, that lends a poignancy that never oversteps the line into sentimentality.
In short: read it, you won't be disappointed. I'm going to go and read everything else by Crowley. ( )
  deeronthecurve | Jan 19, 2017 |
Is there anything to this besides world-building and poetic language? Probably - but I don't have the patience to find out.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Crowley has created a fantasy that sings with a unique realism. People seem to either love or hate this novel for some reason. I tend to prefer the people who love it..."Is your mind so big that it can encompass galaxies or is the universe little enough to fit in one's head?"
( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Do not read this book unless your feet are firmly nailed in reality lest you get lost in Edgewood and lose yourself. I wish that last sentence was just a flourish but it is, for me, way too close to the truth. There are times that reading this book feels outright dangerous. It is always disorienting and haunting, sometimes cloying like going to visit an old aunt that lives surrounded by things from the past that shape her world and that unexplainably claw at you. This book is unlike any other I have read perched between this world and some other.

I had to take breaks from reading Little, Big. (Timeouts to reconnect to the quotidian.) Having finished Little, Big I am not sure exactly what it is. Fantasy? Doubtful. Marginally. Maybe. Its genealogy seems though more in line with books like Fowles' The Magus and Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, works that leave characters and readers off balance, believers one moment and doubters the next. I am a believer; that is, I am a believer in Little, Big. I am sure as Harold Bloom's blurb suggests this book will reward multiple readings, but this soul, for one, may be too fragile to sustain overhearing one more conversation between Smokey and Daily Alice or Auberon and Sylvie.

Little, Big uses small events and familiar objects that populate our world to conjure a world elsewhere as palpable and ephemeral as our own. None of this would even begin to work without Crowley, the true magician with language, the Prospero of this tale, of The Tale. ( )
3 vote tsgood | Nov 29, 2015 |
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crowley, JohnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canty, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carr, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, John AnsterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, YvonneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippincott, Gary A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malczynski, ElizabethCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A little later, remembering man's earthly origin, 'dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return,' they liked to fancy themselves bubbles of earth. When alone in the fields, with no one to see them, they would hop, skip and jump, touching the ground as lightly as possible and crying 'We are the bubbles of earth! Bubbles of earth! Bubbles of earth!'
- Flora Thompson,
Lark Rise
For Lynda
who first knew it
with the author's love
First words
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.
The things that make us happy make us wise.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061120057, Paperback)

John Crowley's masterful Little, Big is the epic story of Smoky Barnable, an anonymous young man who travels by foot from the City to a place called Edgewood—not found on any map—to marry Daily Alice Drinkawater, as was prophesied. It is the story of four generations of a singular family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. It is a story of fantastic love and heartrending loss; of impossible things and unshakable destinies; and of the great Tale that envelops us all. It is a wonder.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

John Crowley's masterful "Little, Big" is the epic story of Smoky Barnable, an anonymous young man who travels by foot from the City to a place called Edgewood--not found on any map--to marry Daily Alice Drinkawater, as was prophesied. It is the story of four generations of a singular family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. It is a story of fantastic love and heartrending loss; of impossible things and unshakable destinies; and of the great Tale that envelops us all. It is a wonder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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