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Little, Big by John Crowley
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Little, Big (edition 2002)

by John Crowley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,101821,827 (4.09)2 / 203
Member:martitia
Title:Little, Big
Authors:John Crowley
Info:Harper Perennial (2002), Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fantasy, fairies, strong sense of place, architecture, Midsummer Night's Dream, world-building

Work details

Little, Big by John Crowley (Author)

  1. 40
    The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (chrisharpe)
  2. 51
    From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury (isabelx)
    isabelx: Otherworldly extended families.
  3. 30
    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)
  4. 30
    Lolly Willowes, or The Loving Huntsman by Sylvia Townsend Warner (chrisharpe)
  5. 20
    Arcady by Michael Williams (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Literate, sometimes obscure, fantasies that centre around an extended family and their home. Atmospheric and mysterious.
  6. 20
    The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (britchey)
    britchey: Both books follow one family for several generations, chronicling the incredible events that comprise their destinies.
  7. 20
    The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt (Crypto-Willobie)
  8. 32
    Among Others by Jo Walton (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Similar style and approach to the world of faerie
  9. 21
    The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: A lively history exposing the tradition of theory behind the magic of Ariel Hawksquill.
  10. 54
    The Book of Lost Things: A Novel by John Connolly (antqueen)
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    Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (Marissa_Doyle)
    Marissa_Doyle: Winter's Tale is perhaps a little more muscular, but they both share a certain dreamy whimsicality that never descends into cuteness.
  12. 32
    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (britchey)
    britchey: Multi-generational epics about family, history, and destiny. Both books beautiful blend the ordinary with the fantastic.
  13. 33
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (ktbarnes)
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    Lanark by Alasdair Gray (chrisharpe)
  15. 11
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    The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever (fduwald)
    fduwald: Hier ist der Ursprung von Edgewood.
  18. 13
    Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip (craso)
  19. 15
    The Magicians by Lev Grossman (rarm)
    rarm: Fairy tale worlds that reveal a hidden darkness.
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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
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 |
  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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
The things that make us happy make us wise.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Book description
Haiku summary

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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