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"The truth is always made up of little particulars which sound ridiculous when repeated."
So says Jack Crabb, the 111-year-old narrator of Thomas Berger's 1964 masterpiece of American fiction, Little Big Man
. Berger claimed the Western as serious literature with this savage and epic account of one man's extraordinary double life.
After surviving the massacre of his pioneer family, ten-year-old Jack is adopted by an Indian chief who nicknames him Little Big Man. As a Cheyenne, he feasts on dog, loves four wives, and sees his people butchered by horse soldiers commanded by General George Armstrong Custer. Later, living as a white man once more, he hunts the buffalo to near-extinction, tangles with Wyatt Earp, cheats Wild Bill Hickok, and fights in the Battle of Little Bighorn alongside Custer himself--a man he'd sworn to kill. Hailed by The Nation
as "a seminal event," Little Big Man
is a singular literary achievement that, like its hero, only gets better with age. Praise for Little Big Man
"An epic such as Mark Twain might have given us."--Henry Miller
"The very best novel ever about the American West."--The New York Times Book Review
"Spellbinding . . . Crabb] surely must be one of the most delightfully absurd fictional fossils ever unearthed."--Time
"Superb . . . Berger's success in capturing the points of view and emotional atmosphere of a vanished era is uncanny. His skill in characterization, his narrative power and his somewhat cynical humor are all outstanding."--The New York Times