The Return of Little Big Man

Thomas Berger, Author
Thomas Berger, Author Little Brown and Company $24.5 (432p) ISBN 978-0-316-09844-1
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-86046-709-7
Hardcover - 648 pages - 978-0-7838-8600-8
Hardcover - 978-0-7531-0864-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-62354-4
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4804-0089-4
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Thirty-five years after the hapless, endearing Jack Crabb narrated the early years of his life among the Cheyenne Indians and Wild West ruffians in Berger's Little Big Man the riotous epic continues. Picking up the story after Custer's Last Stand, Crabb (now an improbable 112 years old) is the only white survivor of the Little Big Horn and the only one equipped to straighten out the history books. Through coincidence, design or luck (not all of it good), Jack meets a passel of frontier notables and witnesses many famous events: Wild Bill Hickock's gunslinging stunt at the Deadwood saloon; savage Wyatt Earp's provocation of the slaughter at the O.K. Corral; the tragic 1890 murder of his friend Sitting Bull by reservation police. Jack's on hand in London when the queen emerges from over a quarter century of mourning to see Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Annie Oakley and Mrs. Libby Custer look lovely from Jack's whiskey-blurred point of view, but in the end he gives his heart to an educated, literary, ""modern woman."" Bergman's authority as a historian never takes itself too seriously. With masterful use of dialect and utter narrative confidence, he fully inhabits his idiosyncratic hero to create a hilarious and touching classic. Time Warner audio. (Mar.)
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