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Little Big Man Paperback – 1 Feb 2005


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Paperback, 1 Feb 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; 25 Anv edition (1 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385298293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385298292
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,716,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A seminal event in the most significant cultural and literary trend of the 1960s... Few creative works of post-Civil War America have had as much of the fibre and blood of national experience in them" (Nation)

"One of the best novels of the decade and the best novel ever about the American West" (New York Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

‘An epic such as Mark Twain might have given us… a delicious, crazy, panoramic element…’ Henry Miller --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. James A. Newton on 21 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
I got this book as an Easter present from my parents when I was ten years old, back in the late 1970's, so the book was at least 15 years old then. I think I had not long before seen the film with Dustin Hoffman. I'd always had a fascination with American Indians as they were known then and at that time was just about beginning to read/ see more than what I had been exposed to through John Wayne style westerns - about the same time one of my uncles bought me 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'.

The book is - as usual- far more broader in its scope than the film, although the film is excellent too. It begins with an amateur researcher tracking down a survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The 111 year old survivor begins the story in 1852 when as a ten year old boy he (Jack Crabb)and his elder sister end up living with a small group of Cheyenne who have killed his father and the other men on their wagon train during a drunken mistake. The elder sister runs away the first night leaving the young Jack with in his own words "newly joined a pack of barbarians".

The book takes the reader through Jacks life up to the age of 34 in 1876 when indeed he survives the Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custers Last Stand) - saved by a complex relationship to a Cheyenne playmate from his youth. Throughout the intervening years between 1852 and 1876 Jack oscillates between living with the Cheyenne and frontier society. Often feeling fundamentally 'white' when among the Cheyenne, and feeling fundamentally 'Cheyenne' when among the whites.

The book is laced with great humour, great characterisations (Caroline Crabb, Old Lodge Skins, Little Horse, Younger Bear, Lavender, Reverend Pendrake, Sunshine, Allardyce. T.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
A superb historical novel which weaves the fictional character of Jack Crabb into key moments in the history of the Wild West. As a child, Crabb is captured by Indians and brought up as Little Big Man. Later, returning to life as a white man, Crabb is involved in gold rushes, buffalo hunting, gambling with Bill Hicock, fighting with Wyatt Earp and fatefully became the only white man to survive the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Brilliantly told - buy it now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a classic fictional account of a 111 year old man recounting his adventures in the Wild West. Later made into a great movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Little Big Man tangles with all the heroes and villains of the West. The novel encompasses more of the great American Novel than any other book I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
This entertaining book tells the tale of the post civil war conquest of the American West through the eyes of adventurer and opportunist Jack Crabbe. Taken captive by the Cheyenne at the age of ten, his life is spent alternating between the European invaders and the retreating native Americans. On the way he meets up with a number of key historical figures, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickock and George Armstrong Custer.

I'm not sure how authentic the account of life with the Cheyenne is, it feels a little romanticised, but that apart I thoroughly recommend this book. In style it feels like Peter Carey might have read it before writing some of his saga-like novels.

Oh and it's impossible to read without hearing the voice of Dustin Hoffman.
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By The Outsider on 5 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
Along with True Grit, Little Big Man demonstrates what a great narrative voice can do for bringing alive the 'Old West' to readers divorced by more than a century from the events depicted. Like Charles Portis, Thomas Berger seems capable in matching the matchless Mark Twain in creating an unforgettable narrator, one Jack Crabb. He tells his tall tales with economy, wit and an original slant on things.

It is a long, tall tale indeed - that begins from Jack's family wagon train being destroyed by Cheyenne Indians in a bizarre incident involving whiskey and violence. Jack is adopted by the Indian Chief of this clan, and spends his early life going back and forth from Indian to white society. His wives and children are kidnapped, killed, re-married by and to redskins. He mingles with the famous - Wild Bill Hickock and Custer among the best known and most colorful. The ending set piece is Custer at Little Big Horn, and this is very well told. The novel is both incredible and highly engaging.

For those satisfied by the film version, you are missing out on a great read. Thomas Berger is a fantastic writer, and this book is one of many that demonstrate his craft skill and imagination. For those looking to give a young person a glimpse of this at once familiar, but somehow distant world, I can think of no other books but Huck Finn, True Grit and Little Big Man that fit the bill perfectly.

Buy and enjoy.
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