Little Big Readalong update

Little Big by John Crowley

little big pbkI had such good intentions back here joining in with the Little Big readalong, but already I’ve got seriously waylaid by Shiny New Books and other things, not the least of which is that I’m now behind on Anthony Powell because I started my Annabel’s Shelves project. I once did one of those personality tests and came out as a Creator-Innovator – which means that I’m bad on following through… Yup! That’s me.

This is my excuse for saying that I’m putting re-reading Little Big on hold having made it only to page 75. The key reason for this is that I’m struggling to get into it. There is just so much description – it’s like Donna Tartt with added parentheses. It’s not that the language or style is difficult, it isn’t, but it is leisurely and I’m less time-tolerant of this quality in a text these days. Mea culpa.

However, there were bits I loved – in particular Edgewood having a multiplicity of fronts to it:

“This used to be the front,” Daily Alice said. “Then they built the garden and the wall; so the back became the front. It was a font anyway. And now this is the back front.” She straddled the bench, and picked up a twig, at the same time drawing out with her pinkie a glittering hair that had blown between her lips. She scratched a quick five-pointed star in the dirt. Smoky looked at it, and at the tautness of her jeans. “That’s not really it,” she said, looking birdwise at her star, “but sort of. See, it’s a house all fronts. It was built to be a sample. My great=grandfather? Who I wrote you about? He built this house to be a sample, so people could come and look at it, from any side, and choose which kind of house they wanted; that’s why the inside is so crazy. It’s so many houses, sort of put inside each other or across each other, with their fronts sticking out.”

Pop -up books from Smithsonian Institution's Libraries Movable books collection

Pop -up books from Smithsonian Institution’s Libraries Movable books collection

That image is amazing, but rather than the sides of a star or polygon, it made me think of pop-up books… turn the page and a new structure pops up from the folds of the book.

I hope to find another time when I’ll have the patience to savour Little Big


4 thoughts on “Little Big Readalong update

  1. I must be a Creator-Innovator too, because I seem incapable of keeping up with any challenges I set myself….. Love those pop up books!

  2. there are times when it’s just not the right moment for a book. If I think that it’s more about what I want to read next, then I’ll put a book aside and try it again later.

  3. I would suggest that Little, Big is difficult. Highly allusive, indirect, and with a lot of detail to pull along. Comparable to One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Hamlet in difficulty, less difficult than Ada, to mention some cousins of Little, Big.

    Maybe we did not do a good job of signalling that the novel is difficult.

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