The Little Friend

Narrated by: Donna Tartt
Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Fiction, Chick Lit
3.5 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

WAYYYYY too abridged!

Any additional comments?

Editing 23 hours down to 6 hours means basically you're just listening to someone read a long list of chapter titles! It's a pity, too, because Donna Tartt reads it SO much better than that awful overdramatic warbling uptalker who reads the full version. Even Tartt's version of narration wasn't perfect though--it was very fast, she rushed through it--it sounds like she reads the whole thing as the character Edie! (OMG, is Edie based on herself?) Anyway. Off to go download and listen to the whole book / brave the other narrator.

I like this book, though. Harriet is fantastic, and the atmosphere is lovely.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A very abridged version of the original

I got so annoyed by the narrator of the full 25h unabridged of “The Little Friend “ that I switched to this audiobook. The author’s narration is much smoother and I was quite pleased by the first part of the book. That is, until the departure of Ida. The other part is less enjoyable,: somewhat convoluted and confusing. As for as the denouement, it is really unacceptably lame. Harriet may be satisfaite, but I don’t buy it. Compared to “The secret History” I was terribly disappointed.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

ABRIDGED MEANS SHORTEN

This audiobook is shorten to 6 hours rather than the entire 20 hours. If you would rather go about this than listen to the entire audiobook, I would recommend you review chapter summaries on Google because this audio cuts out plenty of important details that are key to the plot.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Very surprise not to like this book – one of my favorite authors

I’m very surprised not to like this book as Donna Tartt is one of my favorite authors.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Skip It, Read The Goldfinch

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The audiobook was well-narrated and the author's vaguely accented southern voice for me, contributed to the authenticity of the novel. Altogether, however, the novel felt unsatisfactory. Having read her other two books, The Goldfinch (winner of a Pulitzer) and The Secret History (which she wrote in college, and initially garnered her attention from readers), I felt that The Little Friend was lackluster and disappointing, especially in juxtaposition.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I was disappointed. I felt the ending gave us no conclusion to the story, the book more or less just "stopped".