MOBI John Crowley · · Little Big PDF ´

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 Drinkwater 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


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    I've given a lot of thought to this review how to begin how to describe this story how to explain my utter adoration for it and most importantly what words I might use to successfully make everyone read this book right nowAs you can probably imagine I've come up rather short on all counts How do you talk about a book which seems to either redefine or cause to shrivel all the normal descriptors one attaches to works of fiction? I mean strictly speaking you'd have to call this an epic fantasy I suppose Wait You didn't let me finish Because that's not it not really I mean it's not really just epic because it actually seems to encompass the whole damn world to cover all of time kind of And it's of an occult novel than a fantasy novel if anything I guess I mean it's a real story set in real life New York partly upstate and partly in our big bad city It just sort of so happens that well everyone in the story is part of the Tale which only some of them can understand an no one can predict not really See now wait again Because now you'll think it's some big silly meta thing which it is not not not Look Little Big is a novel about a family For real this time It's about Smoky Barnable our earnest humble erstwhile sometimes hero Smoky meets and falls in love with one of the most beautiful characters I have ever had the pleasure of traveling five hundred odd pages with Daily Alice Daily Alice lives in Edgewood which is in upstate New York and the book opens with Smoky making the trek upstate for his wedding He has been given a series of inexplicable instructions walk don't ride wear clothing borrowed not bought etc which he is doing his best to follow though he doesn't understand why he must He must because it is part of the Tale He has been promised to Daily Alice kind of maybe or well someone has been promised to her anyway and she hopes it's him but she has already decided that she will have him anyway she loves him that much even if he is not the one promisedThis is a taste of the world you step into in Little Big which goes on to follow Smoky and Alice and their families and their neighbors and their children and some of those children's children too for four generations backwards and forwards It may well be a fantasy but it is done with such a light touch with such subtle mentions of fairies and talking fish and worlds within worlds that you could easily miss or dismiss them you could write them off as the magic belief of children or the ramblings of old women who have spent too long abed And I haven't even told you this yet as this review draws longer and appallingly longer John Crowley could have spent all five hundred pages just describing a single tree and I would have followed him along every goddamn branch Which is to say this book is suffused constantly and shockingly with some of the most astonishingly beautiful prose I have ever read – equally as stunning when describing twilight falling over the City or the endless quest for loveHere are some other wonderful things about this book In the City the true oracles are the bums who lurk on the subway in broken shoes muttering to themselves At one point a maybe fake maybe evil baby who eats live coals is blown up The only tie to the world of 'them' – the creatures who may or may not know how the Tale will come out – is a deck of pseudo Tarot cards the reading of which takes at least an entire lifetime to begin to understand Included are some of the most powerful most potent descriptions of taking hallucinogenic drugs that I have ever read and that's not even what's happening in the story Did I mention the dialogue? It is so good so true so utterly believable This book made me – a sworn cynic a jaded literary snob a snarky bitch who doesn't even know what 'sentiment' means any longer – cry several times Everyone in the book is named for nature Violet Bramble John Drinkwater Marge Juniper Mrs Underhill George Mouse Lilac the Rooks the Dales and on and on And now look Because I know that I have done a woefully inadequate job of making you see I am going to here transcribe a long ish passage from the book This takes place very early on when Smoky and Daily Alice are still just falling in love She is telling him about a time when she was walking in the woods just after a storm and saw a rainbow off in the distance It was a rainbow but bright and it looked like it came down just – there you know not far I could see the grass all sparkling and stained every color there The sky had got big you know the way it does when it clears at last after a long rainy time and everything looked near the place the rainbow came down was near and I wanted than anything to go and stand in it – and look up – and be covered with colors Smoky laughed That's hard he said She laughed too dipping her head and raising the back of her hand to her mouth in a way that already seemed heartstirringly familiar to him It sure is she said It seemed to take forever You mean you – Every time you thought you were coming close it would be just as far off in a different place and if you came to that place it would be in the place you came from and my throat was sore with running and not getting any closer But you know what you do then – Walk away from it he said surprised at his own voice but Somehow sure this was the answer Sure That isn't as easy as it sounds but – No I don't suppose He had stopped laughing – but if you do it right – No wait he said – just right then They don't really come down now Smoky said They don't not really They don't here she said Now listen I followed my dog Spark I let him choose because he didn't care and I did It took just one step and turn around and guess what I can't guess You were covered in colors No It's not like that Outside you see colors inside it so inside it – You see colors outside it Yes The whole world colored as though it were made of candy – no like it was made of a rainbow A whole colored world as soft as light all around as far as you can see You want to run and explore it But you don't dare take a step because it might be the wrong step – so you only look and look And you think Here I am at last She had fallen into thought At last she said again softly See? See? They're just ordinary people to whom maybe? maybe not? extraordinary events are always happeningWell anyway there you are If I can't convert you and Mr Crowley himself can't convert you then you are just unconvertable and I'm done trying But if you are even the tiniest bit intrigued by my very long rambling adulatory speech here please I beseech you go get this amazing astonishing riveting spectacular book It really will blow your mind It did mine