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The Little Minister

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  130 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
First published in 1891, J.M. Barrie's The Little Minister was quickly identified, along with Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, as one of the two great literary events of the year. Within the space of two years the book had sold in excess of 35,000 copies. Set in 'Thrums', the fictional name for the author's native Kirriemuir, the story follows the wistful love aff ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published June 6th 2008 by Kennedy & Boyd (first published January 1st 1891)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 408)
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Jun 25, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this little book. It's so simple but extremely charming. The ending is suspenseful and action-packed, and even though the beginning is slower, it's worth it. The characters are fun to get to know, and by the end, I felt like I was another villager from Thrums who knew everybody and and everybody's business. Barrie's writing is engaging and fun. Peter Pan is one of my favorite books, and now so is this lovely book. The first-person narrator is flawed but admits his flaws and so seems perfe ...more
Aug 15, 2013 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was my favorite book for a while (before I read Tale of Two Cities). I don't know why I liked it so much, because it was a normal, old-fashioned romance, and I have probably read several dozen of those. But much of it was funny, and the story moved quickly but was deep enough to be enjoyable and not feel mindless. Revolving around a young Scottish minister who is sensitive about his height, or lack thereof, and around a mysterious gypsy girl who keeps stirring up trouble for the little ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
I was craving a children's book with grown-up characters and this pretty much fit the bill. My least favorite parts were the three continuously soggy chapters after the flood and the narrator dominie's lack of sympathy for animals. It was uncomfortable to have characters randomly stepping over dead birds and chasing off dogs... especially the collie named Snap (collies will be forever flawless in my mind). The little 21 year old minister was an interesting character, though J.M. Barrie might hav ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Yofish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because I saw the Katherine Hepburn movie.

It was a pleasant read, though a bit difficult getting through the Scottish dialect/language parts.

I actually don't remember how the movie resolved itself, but the book felt different, and definitely better. The characters felt less like caricatures. (Which is not to say that they were any less so, it just felt that way.)

We have the new, very young, minister in town, with his doting mother. And we have the wild "Egyptian", and it's always
Charlie Parry
Nov 18, 2013 Charlie Parry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps better known for a little story he wrote called Peter Pan, JM Barrie also penned this humorous tale about a young man who aimed to take his corner of the world by storm, but then fell in love.

Gavin Dishart is only 1 and twenty, and already is the minister of a 'kirk' in a small town, where he is idolized by nearly one and all. Kirk - you ask? Turns out that's "church" in Scottish brogue, which is simultaneously one of the most hilarious and also the most frustrating parts of this read.
Mar 07, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by the same James Barrie who is beloved for writing Peter Pan. In this quaint and old-fashioned story of the little minister (who is both young and slight of frame, and is sensitive about his height), one gets to know the small Scottish weaving village of Thrums and its inhabitants, chief among them Gavin Dishart and his shy mother who move to Thrums for his appointment as the new minister. The story that follows is almost naive in its simplicity, but so deep and rich in character develo ...more
Aug 28, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Amanda by: I saw the movie starring Katharine Hepburn and I liked it alot
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Babs M
Apr 21, 2015 Babs M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but a little difficult to follow due to the fact that much of the text was Scottish dialect among the characters although the narration was in normal language. It is the first book that I ever read with Babbie as a character which pleases me since that has been my nickname since I was born. Worth reading I just suggest brushing up on your Scottish Gaelic.
Karen Ullo
Nov 19, 2015 Karen Ullo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it weren't for the indecipherable rendering of Scotch accents, I would give it 5 stars. And yet, something would have been lost without those accents. It's a story as old as man, boy falls in love with the wrong girl, girl falls in love with the wrong boy - in this case, a minister and a gypsy. Barrie's treatment of their story is sweet and insightful, with an ending I did not expect.
Nov 06, 2009 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an entertaining read but not at all what I initially expected from the author of "Peter Pan". This book does not have the fantasy elements that Barrie encorporated in to "Peter Pan" but the humor remains. The book was engaging and had it all; action, romance and humor. Getting use to the dialect was also a source of entertainment for me for when it is read outloud it can sound quite humorous. I do not know that I would recommend this for the YA audience that my local library has it ...more
Jun 15, 2015 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful love story by the author of Peter Pan.
Mar 10, 2012 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book teeters on the edge of mawkishness throughout, but the strong characterisation and plot twists save it. The climax is truly thrilling and genuinely moving. Don't be put off by the dialect - read it quickly and the sense will be clear, it adds hugely to the sense of place which helps to make this so absorbing. It might help though if you Google 'Auld Licht' and UP before you begin unless you are already an expert in the history of Scottish non-conformism.
Feb 07, 2016 Lise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: barrie
A romance between a pastor and a gypsy girl
Jan 24, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a slow narrative, full of tough-to-decipher vernacular, but the plot was engaging in spite of all.
Nicole G.
Apr 04, 2014 Nicole G. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
It's really quite a simple love story at its heart, but its charming way of telling it really draws you in. It does take a little bit to get into the rhythm of the Scottish dialogue, but once you "hear" it, it just flows on.
Mary Beth
Apr 30, 2008 Mary Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The first page of this book is absolutely DELICIOUS. However, the rest of it is a bit on the boring side... it drags. It did have a certain cuteness to it though, which was enough to keep me reading. It's a relaxing book.
Sarah D
Jun 17, 2011 Sarah D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the wittiest most endearing novels I have ever read! Babbie is an unimaginable pleasure. I all but ate up her words. One of very few stories who has a likeable heroine.
Jan 24, 2015 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the time I was reading this book I loathed the key character. He puts me in mind of many public personas today - I didn't inhale and I don't remember having sex...
Dec 19, 2007 Lauralee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bekah!
One of my favorite classic books. Written by the same author as 'Peter Pan'. This is funny, serious, and has great characters. Bekah, you will love the heroine!
Kristen Landon
The style is just too old-fashioned for me. There actually is an interesting story in there, burried in page after page of boring detail and tangents.
Oct 21, 2009 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started this twice before losing interest. I'll come back to it again. I think I just had too many other books I really want to read.
Sep 03, 2012 Brittany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I didn't even get past page 100 - it was so difficult to read the language and follow the story line. Not fun at all :-(
Feb 27, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite enchanting, except for those portions where it was merely gripping.
Denesy marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
E. Anderson
E. Anderson marked it as to-read
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Katie marked it as to-read
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Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has
More about J.M. Barrie...

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“Let no one who loves be called altogether unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow.” 857 likes
“Life is a long lesson in humility.” 295 likes
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