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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 Drinkawater, 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.
an endless land, down the twists and turns of a long, long story, a boundless and-then, toward a place something like the place Sophie at Edgewood contemplated in the dark-etched trump called the Banquet: a long table clothed in just-unfolded linen, its claw-feet absurd in the flowers beneath twisted and knotty trees, the tall compote overflowing, the symmetrical candelabra, the many places set, all empty. BOOK FOUR: THE WILD WOOD CHAPTER ONE They neither work nor weep; in their
The Wild Wood: yes. There had been a time, he knew, say when Frederick Barbarossa was emperor of the West, a time when it had been beyond the log walls of tiny towns, beyond the edges of the harrowed land, that the forest began: the forest, where there lived wolves, and bears, witches in vanishing cottages, dragons, giants. Inside the town, all was reasonable and ordinary; there were safety, fellows, fire and food and all comforts. Dull, maybe, more sensible than thrilling, but safe. It was
halts and backward glances, having at last to say out loud to himself that it wasn’t her, wasn’t even his name that had been called, just forget it; and curious passersby would covertly watch him reason with himself. Mad he must have seemed, but whose God damn fault was that? He had only tried to be sensible, not to become fixated and obsessed with the imaginary, he had struggled against it, he had, though he had succumbed in the end; Christ it must be hereditary, some taint passed down to him
“Maybe,” Auberon said to no one, “warning them it’s about to rain.” It was. They didn’t care. More conga artists were passing, nearly swamped by throngs, all chanting to their beat: “Let it fall, let it rain; let it fall, let it rain.” Fights were breaking out, shoving contests mostly, girl-friends shrieked, bystanders pulled apart contestants. The parade seemed to be turning into a swarming culture, and growing a riot. But car horns honked, insistently, and the millers were parted by several
out of his hideout. “Do you want to tell me what happened?” He turned from the window, his shoulders bent with the weight of it. For so long he had dreaded this exposure, the crowd of ill-dressed characters he had been impersonating caught out, made to stand forth in all their inadequacy. “It was all my fault, first of all,” he said. “You shouldn’t hate Sophie.” “Oh?” “I … I forced myself on her, really. I mean I plotted it, I … like a, like a, well.” “Mmm.” All right, ragamuffins, show