Little, Big

John Crowley
Little, Big Cover

Little, Big


I didn't quite know what to expect, jumping into Little, Big. I had this prevailing thought that it'd be intimidating, and much like the majority of Gene Wolfe's work, enigmatic, allusive and dense. That it might be too intellectual or rhetorical for me to enjoy it as much as I could. To confirm, it is allusive, enigmatic and dense, but I was shocked at how emotionally resonant and genuine it was, and it never felt at any moment, for lack of a better word, pretentious.

For the fantasy-enthusiast in me, it struck the right chords-- subtle genre elements that are strange, but ever-present, with Crowley displaying a vast appreciation and understanding of mythology and folklore... traditional in a sense, but never predictable. For the style-enthusiast in me, it doesn't get any better than this-- Crowley is an absolutely phenomenal writer and crafter of feeling, dialogue and mood, and I'm convinced that he's one of the very best the genre has produced. How Crowley manages to handle a wide array of characters that all feel fully believable, and have the book paced so incredibly well, while also being beautifully written, is not a mere feat.

Little, Big is a special book, deserving of being called one of the genre's finest achievements. The way it weaves the themes of memory and legacy, secrets, love and grief (all common themes in their own right, but they feel so fresh and well-developed here) makes it one of the most powerful things I've ever read. An undeniably and hugely creative and moving work of fiction.