Deborah Fochler, August 19, 2007 (view all comments by Deborah Fochler)
If you want a book to read fast - this is not the one for you. I am an avid reader and had to stop and drag out a dictionary at least twice. Ms. Tartt loves big words and lots of them. But this story is worth the effort. It is not what I expected at the beginning but still delves into the psyche of children and adults alike. It is emotional, scary and at times extremely disturbing and yet at moments you feel the "love" of this family and their hurt and pain and search for the revelations of all the secrets - the need to know what happened to a loved one. And that is the saving grace of this novel - the love of family.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
cmeerdink, January 10, 2007 (view all comments by cmeerdink)
This is a very richly written book that draws you into the life and legends of a small town. If you are looking for a linear plot (introduce characters - develop story - resolve conflicts), this may not be the book for you, but I liked it quite a lot.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (3 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
Vintage Books USA -
by Tom Chiarella, Esquire,
"Tartt is able to quietly transform the book from a patient study of a family's disassembly and despair to a gut-thumping story of a little girl seeking a measure of understanding and well-deserved revenge....Though absent of the twisted sexual tension of East Coast blue bloods that so thoroughly inhabited The Secret History, Tartt's first novel, The Little Friend is a more focused read, a deeper exploration of the dark manner in which the past never leaves us alone." (read the entire Esquire review)
by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times,
"A far more emotionally resonant novel than its predecessor....[Ms. Tartt] makes palpable the losses that the family has sustained over the years."
by Laura Miller, Salon.com,
"In this review, I can tell you that The Little Friend — her second novel, arriving 10 years after The Secret History — is overlong, its writing occasionally precious and its resolution murky; and I can also praise the book's vital characters, its supple conjuring of mood and place, and its dry, dark humor. But I can't explain how it is that this is a novel you sink into, or how Tartt casts her weird spell. I suspect, however, that it has nothing to do with acquired technique or any understanding of real life; no doubt she picked up the knack during a lifetime of obsessive and probably unhealthy reading. Wherever she got it, she sure knows how to write the sort of book that people who want to get lost in a book get lost in."
by Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Yorker,
"[L]anguidly atmospheric....[B]y the time you get to page 543, you're so engrossed in just about everything but the murder that you no longer care who dunnit....[I]t takes you somewhere worth going."
by Malcolm Gladwell, Newsweek,
"The Little Friend is a terrific story....By now it should be obvious what Tartt's been up to since The Secret History came out: she's been slaving away on this extraordinary book."
by A. O. Scott, The New York Times Book Review,
"[D]estined to become a special kind of classic — a book that precocious young readers pluck from their parents' shelves and devour with surreptitious eagerness..."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[V]ery long, very overheated, yet absorbing....Despite an overload of staggered false climaxes, it's all quite irrationally entertaining....Tartt appears to have struck gold once again."
by James Poniewozik, Time,
"[A] sprawling story of vengeance...told in a rich, controlled voice that can come only from long effort....[A] grownup book that captures the dark, Lord of the Flies side of childhood and classic children's literature."
by Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist (Starred Review),
"[W]ell worth the long wait....[A]n exceptionally suspenseful, flawlessly written story fairly teeming with outsize characters and roiling emotion."
by Publishers Weekly,
"[C]onfirms [Tartt's] talent as a superb storyteller, sophisticated observer of human nature and keen appraiser of ethics and morality....The Little Friend flowers with emotional insight, a gift for comedy and a sure sense of pacing."
by Natasha Walter, The Guardian (U.K.),
"Because of Tartt's mastery of suspense, this book will grip most readers all the way through to its bitter end....Although this is a large novel, Tartt has created a claustrophobic world in which there is little possibility of freedom for any character."
by David Hare, The Observer (U.K.),
"[F]rankly frustrating. For most of its length, The Little Friend lacks the drive of a book that needs to be written, even if it offers the considerable pleasures of being the work of someone who knows how to write."
by Lisa Shea, Elle,
"Breathtaking....A sublime tale rich in religious overtones, moral ambiguities, and violent, poetic acts....From its darkly enticing opening, we are held spellbound."
by Dennis Moore, USA Today,
"Readers are easily swept up....At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, The Little Friend is most surprising when it is edge-of-your-seat scary."
by J.D. Suntan, Willamette Week (Portland, OR),
"[A] slow wind-up to a big finish....While no one would confuse the writing style of Donna Tartt with that of Harper Lee, the theme each explores — the dissipation of childhood — is powerful, compelling and moving."
by The New Yorker,
"[B]y the time you get to page 543, you're so engrossed in just about everything but the murder that you no longer care who dunnit. And, by that point, you suspect that Tartt doesn't care, either....[The Littel Friend] takes the shape of a murder mystery, but it's not really about a death at all. It's about a way of life....The fact that The Littel Friend turns out to be quite different from the thriller that the reader...may have expected is a serious flaw. And yet as a novel of Southern manners it succeeds remarkably well....The Little Friend doesn't get where it was headed..., but there's no question that it takes you somewhere worth going."
A grandly ambitious and riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil.
The hugely anticipated new novel by the author of The Secret History. Even more transfixingly suspenseful than its predecessor, this is a dark work of lost childhood, rich in moral paradox, as a 12-year-old Mississippi girl sets out to find her brother's murderer.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.