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The Little Friend | [Donna Tartt]

The Little Friend

"Tartt's second novel confirms her talent as a superb storyteller, sophisticated observer of human nature and keen appraiser of ethics and morality," says Publishers Weekly. A revelation of familial longing and sorrow, The Little Friend explores crime and punishment, as well as the hidden complications and consequences that hinder the pursuit of truth and justice. A novel of breathtaking ambition and power, it is rich in moral paradox, insights into human frailty, and storytelling brilliance.
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Publisher's Summary

In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dusfresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who - when she was only a baby - was found hanging dead from a black-tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family recovered from the tragedy.

For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised, in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard about in stories. Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her 12 years, and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling, and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge. Harriet's sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely, is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child's play: it is dark, adult, and all too menacing.

A revelation of familial longing and sorrow, The Little Friend explores crime and punishment, as well as the hidden complications and consequences that hinder the pursuit of truth and justice. A novel of breathtaking ambition and power, it is rich in moral paradox, insights into human frailty, and storytelling brilliance.

©2002 Donna Tartt; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"An exceptionally suspenseful, flawlessly written story fairly teeming with outsize characters and roiling emotion." (Booklist, Starred Review)
"Tartt's second novel confirms her talent as a superb storyteller, sophisticated observer of human nature and keen appraiser of ethics and morality." (Publishers Weekly)
"A ruthlessly precise reckoning of the world as it is...filtered through the bright colors and impossible demands of childhood perception." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (54 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.0 (9 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Story
4.0 (10 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda TierpSweden 10-10-03
    Linda TierpSweden 10-10-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Disappointed"

    Slow, very slow, with an annoying story deficiency. Beautiful descriptions of details, feelings and places, but that isn?t quite enough to keep me listening.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delia West Hartford, CT, USA 03-04-05
    Delia West Hartford, CT, USA 03-04-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Couldn't put it down!"

    (Can you say that about an audiobook?) I don't understand the negative reviews of this, my boyfriend and I brought it along on a trip to Montreal and found it fascinating. Maybe you need a long stretch of time to listen to it. Donna Tartt has a wonderful reading voice with an ear for accents that brings every character to life. The story is a very moving coming-of-age tale with a lot of touches of dark humor that make for a compulsively listenable story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Giorgio Illinois 09-06-03
    P. Giorgio Illinois 09-06-03 Member Since 2001

    TheWriter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    431
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    308
    89
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    81
    0
    Overall
    "too cute for me"

    Too many elements here, Nancy Drew among them. it was okay, it had potential, but didn't deliver for me.

    chick-lit

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Schmidt Pennsylvania 02-11-04
    Sandra Schmidt Pennsylvania 02-11-04 Member Since 2003

    6459sandra

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "A Real Snoozer"

    I made it through the entire book. I'm not sure why. This book was so descriptive, that there was little space for anything else. Just when it started to get interesting, it ended. What a terrible ending ... it just dropped off. You never found out who or why made this story take place in the first place. I don't want to ruin it for others by giving too much away ... but unless you can handle total boredom, I'd make another choice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rivers Marana, AZ 07-02-10
    Rivers Marana, AZ 07-02-10 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    "Almost Great"

    This book held my interest and was very well written until the ending suddenly came. The problem was it wasn't an ending. The book just stopped.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurent Belmont, CA, USA 06-15-04
    Laurent Belmont, CA, USA 06-15-04
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Good (audio)Book !"

    I see all those negative reviews, I for one enjoyed the audio cd. It being read by the author is I believe a nice plus too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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