Synopses & Reviews
The truth is always made up of little particulars which sound ridiculous when repeated.
So speaks Jack Crabb, the 111-year-old narrator of Thomas Berger's masterpiece of American fiction, Little Big Man. Berger claimed the Western as serious literature with this part-farcical, part picaresque, part-historical account of the life and adventures of a poor orphaned boy who came to be the son of two fathers -- one white, the other a Cheyenne Indian chief who gave him the name Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne Jack Crabb feasted on dog, loved four wives, and saw his people butchered by horse soldiers commanded by General George Armstrong Custer. As a white man Crabb helped hunt the buffalo into near-extinction, tangled with Wyatt Earp, cheated Wild Bill Hickok -- and lived through the showdown that followed. He also survived the Battle of Little Bighorn, where he fought side by side with Custer himself, even though he'd sworn to kill him. The basis for a popular film directed by Arthur Penn, Little Big Man is a singular literary achievement that, like its ancient hero, only gets better with the years.
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.
About the Author
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Thomas Berger was in Europe with the U.S. army, and then studied at the University of Cincinnati and at Columbia University. He worked as a librarian and a journalist before publishing his first novel, Crazy in Berlin, in 1958.