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Little Big Man

A Novel

Berger, Thomas

(Book - 2005)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Little Big Man
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"The truth is always made up of little particulars which sound ridiculous when repeated." So says Jack Crabb, the 111-year-old narrator of Thomas Berger's 1964 masterpiece of American fiction, Little Big Man . Berger claimed the Western as serious literature with this savage and epic account of one man's extraordinary double life. After surviving the massacre of his pioneer family, ten-year-old Jack is adopted by an Indian chief who nicknames him Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne, he feasts on dog, loves four wives, and sees his people butchered by horse soldiers commanded by General George Armstrong Custer. Later, living as a white man once more, he hunts the buffalo to near-extinction, tangles with Wyatt Earp, cheats Wild Bill Hickok, and fights in the Battle of Little Bighorn alongside Custer himself--a man he'd sworn to kill. Hailed by The Nation as "a seminal event," Little Big Man is a singular literary achievement that, like its hero, only gets better with age. Praise for Little Big Man "An epic such as Mark Twain might have given us." --Henry Miller "The very best novel ever about the American West." -- The New York Times Book Review "Spellbinding . . . [Crabb] surely must be one of the most delightfully absurd fictional fossils ever unearthed." -- Time "Superb . . . Berger's success in capturing the points of view and emotional atmosphere of a vanished era is uncanny. His skill in characterization, his narrative power and his somewhat cynical humor are all outstanding." -- The New York Times
Publisher: New York : Dial Press Trade Paperback, 2005
Edition: Dial Press trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780385298292
0385298293
Branch Call Number: FICTION Ber
Characteristics: xxxii, 440 p. ; 21 cm

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The story of Jack Crabbe, raised by both a white man and a Cheyenne chief. As a Cheyenne, Jack ate dog, had four wives and saw his people butchered by General Custer's soldiers. As a white man, he participated in the slaughter of the buffalo and tangled with Wyatt Earp.


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Aug 05, 2014
  • geezr_rdr rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

While I found this to be an interesting portrayal of the settling of the west and expansion of the American Dream (colonization of the native Americans), at times it seemed drawn out. The major insight concerns the plains Indian consciousness as opposed to Caucasian pragmatism.

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