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Little, Big: Keith Phipps' comments

Join us for a live chat about the book today at 4pm ET/3pm CT

I'll be brief since we're getting late in the week and want so save some topics for the chat today. Also, I've been tardy finishing this book, which took longer to get through than I'd expected. Not because I didn't like it. I did. It's savory; I savored. But I also found myself backing up, like Smoky when he the word "elf," to make sure I read what I thought I'd just read. Crowley's prose is ornamented almost to the point of obscurity at times, but in a way that felt right. His is a world of secret causes and hidden movers. It's not meant to be perfectly clear.


It fit, too, in with a story that mixed the ethereal with the flesh, sometimes uncomfortably. Auberon (the elder's) photography might not have raised the eyebrows in his era that it does in the modern world. Do we have a better grasp of what it means now? Or has the world shifted from under it?

And it is a book about, among other themes, changing times. Between Smoky's departure and Auberon's return, the City changes from something we recognize to something that's become tired and run down. The Edgewater Smoky first sees has changed quite a bit from the time of its founding. And truly profound shift happens at the end, which seemed much sadder to me than to Donna. Maybe it's because I just finished the book and haven't let it settle, but I read the end of the Tale as The End. The faeries have left a world with little left to offer anyone, with nothing really left to tell. In a book that favors ambiguity, maybe it makes sense that I could see apocalypse where Donna saw rapture.

Tasha's still planning to weigh in and we've got the live chat later today, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a couple of things:

- Crowley as an entertaining LiveJournal page. (It includes a mention of our little club here, too.)


- If you fell in love with the book, or know someone who did (hint, hint, Noel), a limited, 25th anniversary edition supervised by Crowley is coming out this fall, complete with a long essay by Crowley admirer Harold Bloom.

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