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The Little Friend by  Donna Tartt - First Edition - from Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh (SKU: 974)

The Little Friend

The Little Friend by  Donna Tartt - First Edition - from Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh (SKU: 974)
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The Little Friend

by Tartt, Donna

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • First
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About This Item

Bloomsbury, 2002. First Edition and Printing. Full Number Line. 0747562113. Hardcover with jacket. 8vo, 555pp. Slight crease to lower edge of front and very slight edgewear to jacket. Boards and contents very good. Please note this is a heavy book requiring additional postage. .


The Little Friend is a 1929 novel by Scottish writer Bruce Marshall.


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On Jul 9 2017, a reader said:
"It was the last picture they had of him. Out of focus. Flat expanse of green cut at a slight diagonal, with a white rail and the heaving gloss of a gardenia bush sharp in the foreground at the edge of the porch. Murky, storm-damp sky, shifting liquescence of indigo and slate, boiling clouds rayed with spokes of light. In the corner of the frame a blurred shadow of Robin, his back to the viewer, ran out across the hazy lawn to meet his death, which stood waiting for him – almost visible – in the dark place beneath the tupelo tree"

The Little Friend is the second novel by American author, Donna Tartt. Harriet Cleve Dufresnes is twelve. Her best friend, (Duncan) Hely Hull is eleven. It is the summer of 1976, Alexandria, Mississippi, and they have managed to avoid being sent to camp. Having exhausted their usual activities, Harriet becomes interested in the murder of her brother Robin, who at age nine was found hanging from the black tupelo tree on Mother's Day, twelve years earlier. It's something nobody talks about.

Tartt expertly captures feel of a never-ending Mississippi summer during vacation time. Her portrayal of twelve-year old Harriet beautifully illustrates the naivete and the single-minded self-absorption of youth which, coupled with the allure of a taboo topic, facilitates a fixation borne of an absolute conviction based on hearsay. Tartt brings together in one tale the genteel class who still have black servants and the residents of the seedier side of town, the poor "White Trash". The poverty mindset is well depicted, as is that of the more fortunate classes:

"She possessed, to a singular and uncomfortable degree, the narrowness of vision which enabled all the Cleves to forget what they didn't want to remember, and to exaggerate or otherwise alter what they couldn't forget; and in restringing the skeleton of the extinct monstrosity which had been her family's fortune, she was unaware that some of the bones had been tampered with; that others belonged to different animals entirely; that a great many of the more massive and spectacular bones were not bones at all, but plaster-of-paris forgeries"

At over five hundred pages, this is no fast-paced murder mystery, but rather, a slow burn Southern drama, in which the tension builds to an exciting climax. This novel is filled with some deliciously black humour and a good dose of irony as characters navigate their war through meth labs and drug-fuelled paranoia, snakes and preachers, summer camp and funeral parlours, trailers and decaying elegance, grief and guilt.

Tartt treats the reader to some marvellous descriptive prose: "The view had captivated her: washing fluttering on lines, peaked roofs like a field of origami arks, roofs red and green and black and silver, roofs of shingle and copper and tar and tin, spread out below them in the airy, dreamy distance. It was like seeing into another country. The vista had a whimsical, toy quality which reminded her of pictures she'd seen of the Orient - of China, of Japan" and "This isn't real, he told himself, not real, no it's just a dream, and indeed, for many years to come – well into adulthood – his dreams would drop him back sharply into this malodorous dark, among the hissing treasure-chests of nightmare" are examples. A brilliant read.

On Feb 13 2015, a reader said:
Now that I have completed all three of Tartt's books, it's going to be difficult waiting another ten years for her to publish another one.

"The Little Friend" was very enjoyable to me. Having lived in Mississippi for quite a while myself, I could literally FEEL and completely understand every bit of the atmosphere that Tartt was expressing and she does it to a frightening perfection. The people, the weather, the way of life, the sounds... they all radiate right out of the pages.

I adored Harriet. I could relate to Harriet; her curious, serious nature despite being so young. The childhood nostalgia of this book was welcoming as well, even in the most frightening moments when the evil adult world clashes with the innocence of youth. Tartt did a remarkable job portraying the feel of the transition from innocent childhood into awkward adolescence-- not realizing it's happening until it's too late and you're looking back at a sealed door.

There's mystery, sadness, wonder and terror laced through-out the entire novel. I could feel it in my bones.


Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh GB (GB)
Bookseller Inventory #
The Little Friend
Tartt, Donna
Book condition
Bloomsbury, 2002. First Edition and Printing. Full Number Line. 0747562113
Place of Publication
This edition first published
Fiction, First Edition First Edition

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Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh

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About the Seller

Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2015
Dingwall, Highland
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About Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh

Book store and Gallery with an eclectic mix of books. A specialist in Scottish Highlands, Illustrated and First edition books, but also Children's, Sporting,Cooking and Craft books. Also the gallery has a small range of modern and antique maps, paintings and prints.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
number line
A series of numbers appearing on the copyright page of a book, where the lowest number generally indicates the printing of that...[more]

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