Customer Reviews for

The Little Friend

Average Rating 3
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Brilliant. Fascinating. Disturbing.

I sort of want to scream when I read lukewarm reviews of this book. Admittedly, people may get the wrong idea when they read the back jacket, or the first few pages, and anticipate some sort of murder mystery thrill.
The death of Harriet's brother is merely background ...
I sort of want to scream when I read lukewarm reviews of this book. Admittedly, people may get the wrong idea when they read the back jacket, or the first few pages, and anticipate some sort of murder mystery thrill.
The death of Harriet's brother is merely background for her character. The skill with which Tartt explores the inner workings and thought processes of a virtually abandoned 12 year old girl whose older brother's murder has never been solved cannot be praised highly enough. Do you remember what your thought processes were like when you were 12? I sure as hell don't. But Tartt seems to have magically leaped over that crevasse that separates us from our youth, and from understanding the mysterious social workings of 12 year olds.

I found this book, though lengthy, to be absolutely riveting.

Donna Tartt uses her extensive knowledge of the South to create a book that isn't so much a story as a look into someone else's culture (me not being from the South). The book mainly focuses on a little girl growing up in the aftermath of her dear brother's unsolved murder, and the impact that level of tragedy can have on a family.

It took me a little while to get into it, but once I did I really enjoyed this book. It took me about a month to read it, but overall I found it very satisfying. Tartt has a nice way with words, able to explain and detail things at length but in an easy-flowing kind of way. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a long comfortable summer read.

posted by steamyfan on April 19, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

WORST BOOK EVER

I was so angry after finishing this book that I threw it on the floor and ranted for about 15 minutes. Not only do you not find out who killed the little boy, but the story just ends at random. No resolution of the story or the characters. It was like having the powe...
I was so angry after finishing this book that I threw it on the floor and ranted for about 15 minutes. Not only do you not find out who killed the little boy, but the story just ends at random. No resolution of the story or the characters. It was like having the power go out fifteen minutes before finding out the end of CSI. Does the huge amount of evidence left behind get Harriet, or does she get away with it simply because she's a kid? I felt cheated and robbed. Don't bother reading this book. EVER.

posted by Anonymous on January 17, 2005

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Page 1 of 5
  • Posted April 19, 2010

    Brilliant. Fascinating. Disturbing.

    I sort of want to scream when I read lukewarm reviews of this book. Admittedly, people may get the wrong idea when they read the back jacket, or the first few pages, and anticipate some sort of murder mystery thrill.
    The death of Harriet's brother is merely background for her character. The skill with which Tartt explores the inner workings and thought processes of a virtually abandoned 12 year old girl whose older brother's murder has never been solved cannot be praised highly enough. Do you remember what your thought processes were like when you were 12? I sure as hell don't. But Tartt seems to have magically leaped over that crevasse that separates us from our youth, and from understanding the mysterious social workings of 12 year olds.

    I found this book, though lengthy, to be absolutely riveting.

    Donna Tartt uses her extensive knowledge of the South to create a book that isn't so much a story as a look into someone else's culture (me not being from the South). The book mainly focuses on a little girl growing up in the aftermath of her dear brother's unsolved murder, and the impact that level of tragedy can have on a family.

    It took me a little while to get into it, but once I did I really enjoyed this book. It took me about a month to read it, but overall I found it very satisfying. Tartt has a nice way with words, able to explain and detail things at length but in an easy-flowing kind of way. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a long comfortable summer read.

    24 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Better than A Secret History

    I've read both of Tartt's books (and eagerly await the 3rd), and while both are beautifully written, I am surprised by the number of people who prefer The Secret History to The Little Friend. This one I want to read over and over and over. Tartt has the ability to make each page lush, vibrant and moving.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Big character development smack-down

    With this book Donna Tartt simply throws down the gauntlet on character development. This, her second, book was a long time coming and you can see why...these characters have been simmered and cooked down to the kind of flavor meld of a spaghetti sauce that has been on the stove all day.

    As a voracious reader I am so happily suprised when a book like this falls into my hands. It's long, the story is compelling, I adore the characters, and I lose DAYS to reading.

    Harriet easily makes it to the top of my alltime favorite hot 100 characters. I highly recommend this book.

    Be forewarned if you have a small child that the first part of the book is definately a punch to the gut. But don't let it deter you -- it's fiction, and it's a fantastic book.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2005

    WORST BOOK EVER

    I was so angry after finishing this book that I threw it on the floor and ranted for about 15 minutes. Not only do you not find out who killed the little boy, but the story just ends at random. No resolution of the story or the characters. It was like having the power go out fifteen minutes before finding out the end of CSI. Does the huge amount of evidence left behind get Harriet, or does she get away with it simply because she's a kid? I felt cheated and robbed. Don't bother reading this book. EVER.

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2007

    A beauiful book to get lost in.

    You feel you are in this book and don't want it to end. this is a book to lose yourself in.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2005

    ARRGGH!!

    Ok, yeah, I am really ready to fight. Why did I spend all this effort forcing myself to read this book when the ENDING WAS JUST RANDOM??? If it had had a spectacular ending, I may have felt justified. I just wish I could get the 2 days I spent reading this blather back!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2005

    book diagnosed with ADD

    I was extremely disappointed in this book. i can usually read a book in 2-4 days, this one took me 3 weeks because i was so not interested in finishing. The only reason i did complete it was because i had to work 2 hours to afford it. This book reminds me of a little kid with ADD. This book constantly goes off on tangents that have no relation to the story: girl trying to find brother's killer. THe above is the plot which is basically lost in the book. i would almost say this was a high school essay that required 600 pages and the content was only 300, so extra stuff was thrown in to meet the quota. I had a friend read it because she couldn't believe it was as bad as i said. she got as far as page 50 and quit.I DO NOT recommend this book to anyone.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Disappointing

    Started with Tartt's The Goldfinch and was motivated to read her 2 earlier works. The middle one, The Little Friend, was tedious, a pseudo Southern Gothic and I found myself skipping pages just to see if it would improve by the end. Grotesque characters, contorted plotting and situations that strained credulity in a book that wasn't billed as science fiction. Skip it unless you are a masochist.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2004

    the best book I read this year

    Wow! From the first sentence I was hooked. I thought I would be reading to solve the mystery of the lynching, but I became so engrossed in the characters and the subplots that the mystery became secondary. This is a great Southern gothic novel -- a combination of To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn. I'm giving this to everyone on my Christmas list.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2004

    get lost in the storytelling

    This is in my top 10 list of all time best stories. Every character described is a whole, complex and complete individual. It is a fascinating character study and the prose is a pleasure to savor. Have no preconceived notions before you start. Don't try to rush through it. If this was a movie, it would deserve an Academy Award. Thank you Donna Tartt!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    If John Irving, Dickens, & Stephen King had worked together,,,

    If John Irving, Charles Dickens, and Stephen King had together written about small town Mississippi from the point of view of a 12 year old girl, this is the book they would have written• There are odd characters, a longing to be finally happy, & a thread of real menace running through the story• It's A Prayer for Owen Meany meets David Copperfield, with a bit of Breaking Bad, in a southern Castle Rock•

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Save your money....

    Longest, most boring book ever. Took me over a month. I was determined and didn't want to be a quitter. I am an avid reader, reading many off the wall books, best sellers, crime, romance....This is the second book Of Tartts I have read, in my opinion a waste

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    200 Pages Too Long

    The Little Friend is interesting and well written but definitely needed an editor to excise 200 pages of extraneous information.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    At first, I was enthralled by this novel. Tonally, it reminded

    At first, I was enthralled by this novel. Tonally, it reminded me a great deal of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', and not just because the protagonist is a little girl; there are allusions to race and the youthful realization that there is a divide that is ugly and about which people don't want to speak (among other things). However, as pages turned and time elapsed, I found this book to be a bore. I hung on for a mystery that was of no consequence and instead got sucked into an implausible and exhausting plot that didn't really explore racism much at all, and didn't really capture the south particularly well; it just ping-ponged between Harriet and a cast of characters who were at times charming, but for the most part didn't make a difference one way or another. Harriet was a strong character with nowhere to go and no one to go there with. Stylistically, Ms. Tartt would leap out at us at times with brilliant turns of phrase, but at other times metaphors seemed forced, like contrivances in an old noir detective novel. It felt like a prosaic skip down familiar territory with an author who could wordsmith admirably.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2011

    6 years and counting

    I've had this book for 6 years and have started reading it 3 or 4 different times. Very difficult to follow. Don't know if I'll ever get through it.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Incredibly boring, couldn't finish

    A promising backdrop of murder and coming-of-age with a dash of racial tension degrades into a detailed account of daily life during a slow Southern summer, where absolutely nothing happens. Maybe the last 300 pages are better than the first, but I gave up.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2014

    I read "The Goldfinch" and "The Secret History&qu

    I read "The Goldfinch" and "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt and I absolutely loved them. This was awful. I can't believe it's the same author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Creepy cover

    Looks like chucky!!! The third with jason and freddy cougar!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Great beginning, terrible ending

    Just don't bother, you'll bemoan the time you wasted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Njgephart@comcast.net

    Aadd me

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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