Little Gods
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Little Gods

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An adventure, a fairy tale of sorts, a black comedy and a love story, "Little Gods" is the story of Eugenia (Jean) Clocker, whose birth challenges the balance of nature and her mother's capacity for punitive cruelty. Though her name is swiftly shortened, Jean's body resists all attempts to curb it and she grows into a girl of unusual size and strength. With the unwitting p...more
423 pages
Published 2009 by Picador
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For anyone choosing to be different, life can be extremely difficult to negotiate at times, but it’s just that: a choice. However, for those who are born different, life is even more difficult: it was not of their making, just a fateful throw of the dice. Little Gods takes this premise of accidental difference and weaves a tale of a unique woman in search of (and coming to terms with) herself, looking for acceptance and purpose in a world not geared to non-conformity, set against the tragedies o...more
Gareth Lewis
I’m bailing on this at page 254 (of 423). It’s simply too long for what it’s worth. And it’s far from worthless. There are some beautiful sentences in Little Gods, but the length of the book leaves them too few and far between. There’s a lesson in debut novel writing here. Unless you’re some sort of prodigy, keep it short. The story of Jean is compelling, and as a character she’s hugely likeable (hahahahahaha). But there are inconsistencies aplenty. She goes from being a sort of mute, to a sort...more
I've been thoroughly absorbed by this for the past few days. It constantly surprised and delighted me, full of empathy, pathos and humour. It's one of those books that you are sorry to finish, because of its ability to transport and involve the imagination.

Richards writes beautifully - although there were a few lines here and there that I had to reread, and still didn't quite get what she meant (hence not quite a 5 star rating). But on the whole this first novel is a marvel. Lines like "Ermeline...more
Fiona Tavernier
I really enjoyed this book. Written by my friend, Anna Richards, the story is beautifully unusual both in plot and character development. The main character Jean, is so atypical of a main character, yet is so likable and interesting to follow. I think what was most intriguing about the character of Jean is how Anna Richards has captured the evolution of a personality over time, specifically that of an abused child and how she comes into her own as an adult. Fascinating. You will not guess the wa...more
Ermy Rukmana
The story of Jean is highly compelling and her character is a marvel in itself. Little Gods is depressing from the get-go but I guess that just contributes to engaging the reader. Richards' writing is impeccable and her flair for language is beautifully and amazingly displayed in Little Gods.

While many may criticise the lengthiness of the book, I assure that you will not regret reading it to the end. (The middle of the book somewhat 'lost steam' but it was not overly draggy in my opinion.) The v...more
Helensvale Library
Jean is a big baby, a large child, and a huge woman - not fat - but a human with Amazonian proportions. Some people treat her like a freak. Her mother treats her as a waste of time and space.- in other words - very badly. The abusive relationship with her mother will colour all her days, and even when her mother dies, Jean hears her speaking, pouring down verbal abuse like waste from a garbage truck.
Jean has one friend Gloria, who befriends her and becomes the one bright light in her otherwise b...more
Hannah Purcell
I loved this book so much, it has definitely become a favourite. Jean is such an engaging character, I couldn't help but pity her, root for her and experience bouts of overwhelming sadness right along with her. Impeccably written with a flair for language most writers can only dream of, Little Gods challenges preconceptions of the 'abnormal' on a grand scale. While some may find the sheer length of the book a little off-putting, all I can say is to stick with it, that even the slow parts are cen...more
I just couldn't finish this! My feeling was it could have been so good - it had an interesting premise...a biologically overgrown girl who finds her place in the world through the chaos of the Second World War, and Richards really has an eye for a quirky simile, but it just didn't grab me - I felt that it kept wasting its opportunities to be a really good page turner. May try to finish it as Jean was just about to head off to America as a GI bride, but for now I need something more gripping!
Lauren Cowan
One of the most engaging first chapters I've read in a while. The novel is full of truely original imagery and a cast of rich characters with an enjoyable dark humour running through the story's core. However, I felt as if the first half promised more than the latter half could deliver; although there are still gems to be found later on in the story, by and large I felt as if it could have been at least 200 pages slimmer. I am excited to see what the author will produce next.
I really liked this book, right up until about 50 pages near the end that I felt dragged. Those 50 pages seemed like they didn't have any purpose but the beginning of the book was excellent in its strangeness and brilliancy. The ending, whilst wasn't exactly what I wanted to happen, could be appreciated. Overall, a very good, enjoyable book that I would recommend.
I liked the writing style, I would read another by this author... but this book felt like she lost her way a bit after a great first half. Ultimately disappointing, I'm sorry to say.
Sep 13, 2010 Beejay marked it as to-read
Weekend magazine review makes this sound like a great read - "grown-up fairytale leaves you with the feeling of having hitched a ride with a travelling circus".
Penny Little
Interesting. I felt sorry for Jean but she managed to get by and seemed happiest when helping others.
The first half of this book was great. I loved the writing. Then it just went on and on and on.
Fantastic opening chapter that after almost the halfway mark seemed to just lose steam.
Kris Fleitz
I really like the characterization of Jean.
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