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Little, Big by John Crowley
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Little, Big (edition 1982)

by John Crowley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8301072,567 (4.03)3 / 255
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)
Member:chezwhen
Title:Little, Big
Authors:John Crowley
Info:Gollancz (1982), Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:fantasy, modern lit

Work Information

Little, Big by John Crowley

Recently added byprivate library, kristiederuiter, tecniferio, c12marin, eroga, winterbadger, SkuliSael, Minionsama
Legacy LibrariesTerence Kemp McKenna
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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Fine Press Forum: Little, Big 25th Anniversary Edition53 unread / 53bookstopshere, Thursday 11:27pm
 Hogwarts Express: Little, Big25 unread / 25sisterphonetica, April 2013
 Name that Book: Fantasy Novel6 unread / 6infiniteletters, October 2010

» See also 255 mentions

English (105)  German (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Mögnuð fantasía sem John Crowley hefur skapað. Í henni segir frá fjórum kynslóðum íbúa sem búa í húsi sem ekki finnst á korti, er raunar mörg hús í einu og á mörkum mannheima og álfheima. Þetta er ástar og harmsaga íbúanna sem búin eru mikil forlög og alltumlykjandi er sambúðin við íbúa álfheima með kostum og göllum því þá verður að umgangast með varúð og virðingu. Stíllinn er lágstemmdur og draumkenndur auk þess sem töfrar og verur álfheima eru bakatil í sögunni en fjallað er fyrst og fremst um fjölskylduna.
Fallegur prósi og mikil dýpt. Crowley fékk World Fantasy Award 1982 fyrir söguna auk þess sem hún var tilnefnd til margra af helstu vísindaskáldsagna- og fantasíuverðlauna ársins. Vel þess virði að lesa. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
I wanted to like this book, but just could not get into it.
  sunqueen | Mar 5, 2022 |
I've put off reviewing this book because I don't think I can well articulate my thoughts on it. I vacillate between rating it as mediocre and as excellent. Ultimately, for its poignant final paragraphs, for its untiring imaginativeness, for the quantity of cleverness—of which, no doubt, a great deal was lost on me—and for its evocation of the wonder and mysteries of make-believe, I have to give it close to my highest rating.

Little, Big is a multigenerational family saga, of a family with a close but complicated relationship to Faery, though the glimpses of that magical land are only out of the corner of the eye, perhaps dreamed. Though the action spans (I guess) from some time around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries until (I guess) some time later in the 20th, there is an odd, anachronistic feel to the more modern parts, as though they were suspended in time, in some imaginary steampunk era. "The City" from which some of the characters hail and to which some of the characters migrate, though presumably New York, is unrecognizable as such, and almost unrecognizable as a modern city at all.

The story ultimately assumes mythic proportions, but it is told simply through the everyday events and actions of members of the Drinkwater clan. Some of those descriptions are so apt and familiar that I could immediately relate with them, some so well-put that I immediately recognized experiences or emotions that I could never have put into words, so that by the time some of the more outlandish events took place, I was transported right along with the characters. For example, there are some of the most accurate descriptions I have ever read about being in love: what it actually feels like, how it is experienced and unfolds in one's day-to-day life. And I am firmly convinced that should I ever be transported to a make-believe land, I will experience it exactly in the way George experiences his trip to the Woods.

After writing this, I think that whatever misgivings I have about this book that made me want to rate it less highly are probably not worth mentioning. Their source is, I think, the same dreamy (and distancing) quality that makes the book succeed at what it does so well. The un-pin-down-able quality that kept me Somehow confused, that kept my feelings about the characters Somehow vague, that made the narrative seem Somehow out of focus, also made the magic possible and is rather the point of the whole book. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
An urban fantasy novel about a family with a mystical connection to the world of Faerie.

I found the novel to be pretty tedious and the climax was not worth the long slog to get there. In the first part of the book, very little actually happens as the author establishes the history of the family and their magical house. In the latter part of the book the plot accelerates but the characters are so boring, unlikable, and vague that I didn't really care what happens to them.

A few specific gripes:
- The characters all have stupid names like "Smoky Barnable" or "Ariel Hawksquill".
- The book's characters constantly hype up how magically indescribable the faerie world is, but when we actually get there its pretty mundane.
- The entire subplot with Russell Eigenblick was basically irrelevant to the main plot line.

I thought a few ideas were intriguing, like the concept of magical architecture and the advice-giving fish, but they couldn't save the book from it's overwhelming dullness. Not recommended. ( )
  gcthomas | Jul 3, 2021 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
This August marked the 40th anniversary of the release of John Crowley’s fantasy masterpiece Little, Big (1981). ... Crowley had already published three remarkable novels—The Deep (1975), Beast (1976) and Engine Summer (1979)—which established him as an exciting author unafraid to bring both beautifully crafted prose and highly original ideas to his own peculiar mix of science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy. However Little, Big would eclipse them all.
added by elenchus | editTor.com, Jonathan Thornton (Nov 3, 2021)
 

» 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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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.)
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Canonical LCC
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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