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Little, Big

by John Crowley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,6971052,486 (4.05)2 / 248
"Little, Big" tells the epic story of Smoky Barnable -- an anonymous young man who meets and falls in love with Daily Alice Drinkwater, and goes to live with her in Edgewood, a place not found on any map. In an impossible mansion full of her relatives, who all seem to have ties to another world not far away, Smoky fathers a family and tries to learn what tale he has found himself in -- and how it is to end.… (more)
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    From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury (isabelx)
    isabelx: Otherworldly extended families.
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    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 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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    Lolly Willowes, or The Loving Huntsman by Sylvia Townsend Warner (chrisharpe)
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    britchey: Multi-generational epics about family, history, and destiny. Both books beautiful blend the ordinary with the fantastic.
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    Marissa_Doyle: Winter's Tale is perhaps a little more muscular, but they both share a certain dreamy whimsicality that never descends into cuteness.
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    The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt (Crypto-Willobie)
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    Arcady by Michael Williams (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Literate, sometimes obscure, fantasies that centre around an extended family and their home. Atmospheric and mysterious.
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    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (antqueen)
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    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.
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    The Art of Memory by Frances A. Yates (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: A lively history exposing the tradition of theory behind the magic of Ariel Hawksquill.
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    fduwald: Hier ist der Ursprung von Edgewood.
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    Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip (craso)

(see all 21 recommendations)


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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Hogwarts Express: Little, Big25 unread / 25sisterphonetica, April 2013
 Name that Book: Fantasy Novel6 unread / 6infiniteletters, October 2010

» See also 248 mentions

English (102)  German (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
A curious title with an implied “and everything in between.” Close, far; natural, supernatural; rational, irrational—and everything in between, represented throughout the book by the Germanically-capitalized Somehow, is what one encounters once the title page is turned. John Crowley has appropriated the fantasy novel and made it his own. He has razed the boundaries between literary and genre fiction, chastening my former distaste for fantasy. In Little, Big everything is alive, everything possible, and what is perceived by the adult reader as bad is yet good when viewed through the eyes of a child.

Read the full review here: http://www.chrisviabookreviews.com/2017/09/25/little-big-1981/ ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
I gave up. It isn't awful, just not very compelling. I don't hate the characters; I simply don't care enough about any of them to continue spending time with them. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
A massive, epic book that spans decades and generations of a family that lives next door to fairies and magic. Fascinating and sharply drawn, and yet obtuse enough that I am not quite sure what to glean from it. ( )
1 vote unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
This is one of those books that, when I finished it, I made a Noise. (This is something that happens from time to time when I read something that blows a few fuses in my brain.) The Secret History produced a loud, full-throated f-bomb, Idoru was this sort of contented sigh/hum...Little, Big was this weird sort of exhalation noise I make sometimes to simulate an explosion. (There is only one explosion in Little, Big and it is not at the end of the novel.)

John Crowley grabs onto the sort of idea that makes Neil Gaiman money - young love, magic, old-timey houses - and runs with it like you would not believe. This is the first time that I've ever read a novel that had me wanting to highlight passages for the beauty of the language (I have this thing about highlighting books).

Do the five stars above mean that this book is perfect? No (I think that there are some sections of this where Crowley's tendency to embroider and add detail screws with your enjoyment of the novel), but this is a book that really got a rise out of me, if you will, and I figure that that kind of thing should always get five stars.

(I think I mention myself a lot in this review which is kind of weird but in my defense I just finished reading the densest book I've read in a while.) ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
This is not an easy book to read. It sneaks up on you. Image being in a
room and seeing something move out the corner of your eye. By the time you turn, it is too late. What ever you saw is gone. The events of the book are much like that. Things happen, words are said, and events too
queer and strange to be common place happen when you least expect it. Read this book on a hot summers day with a thunder storm coming and
be amazed at a world that may be not that far away. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Crowleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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"Little, Big" tells the epic story of Smoky Barnable -- an anonymous young man who meets and falls in love with Daily Alice Drinkwater, and goes to live with her in Edgewood, a place not found on any map. In an impossible mansion full of her relatives, who all seem to have ties to another world not far away, Smoky fathers a family and tries to learn what tale he has found himself in -- and how it is to end.

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Average: (4.05)
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1 19
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2.5 19
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4 180
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