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The Little People

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  28 reviews
"An engaged couple, British, become the owners of a castle in Ireland and turn it into a hotel. They find their love for one another disturbed, nearly shattered, by the guests they have taken in and in whose lives they become entangled. But more disturbing, more shattering, are the haunting suggestions of an intrinsic evil in the castle, of a presence that is hostile and m ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Cosmos Books (PA) (first published 1966)
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Average rating 3.04  · 
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 ·  137 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Grady Hendrix
The Hector Garrido cover is, unfortunately, the best thing in this book. Despite the Nazi Leprechauns on the cover (Gestapochauns? LepreNazis?) this is a book of quiet horror in which author John Christopher slowly draws his tapestry of flawed characters into a situation that starts out uncanny and then gradually darkens into pure terror. With Leprechauns.

Considering that the main characters in this book are a gorgeous secretary who inherits an Irish castle from a distant relative, her patronizi
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
I remember picking this up from Chapters bookshop in Dublin when I was a Young Teenager in the 80's. I was fascinated and it was quickly passed around my friends that summer. Its highest recommendation came from my best Friend's older brother who was in a band and read it in one sitting - stating it was excellent!

Totally weird, and mostly unrealistic trash, parts of this outrageous story stuck with me right up to watching Buffy the Vampire on TV where a particular scene about two lovers could h
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Not bad, for an Irish-nazi-dwarf story.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you judge the book by its cover but sometimes the books cover judges you. No, that's not quite it.... I stumbled across this odd little volume in a used bookstore and grabbed it up because it had one of the most over-the-top gonzo covers I'd ever seen. Even the guy at the cash register commented that it was of the most striking he'd ever noticed. The crazy whip-wielding Nazi leprechauns aren't precisely as they are described in the text, but they're close enough. It's the story of a yo ...more
To get into the Saint Patrick’s Day spirit, I watched the first three Leprechaun movies yesterday – those terribly fun films that are a staple of any healthy Horror Holiday diet. My mind started wondering: what would be the book equivalent of these films? Surely there should be something out there...

And then I remembered seeing a book a while ago (with a cover such as The Little People has it’s quite hard a picture to forget) and the description: Nazi Leprechauns with ESP…

I mean, goddam.

That s
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea here is fascinating...unfortunately the execution of the idea falls flat. Most of the book consists of half a dozen different internal monologues...long, long monologues. About things that COULD be tied together, but ultimately never really are. I went into this with very low expectations, so I stuck through until the end and it wasn't TERRIBLE, but it's just so anticlimactic. There are so many directions this book could have gone and it didn't really go anywhere. There's not much terro ...more
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well written book with a plot you would not think would make for a good story. I liked the diversity of the characters as well as their depth. It was hard sometimes to know whether to laugh or cringe, but I think it is well worth the read for 60's-80's horror novel enthusiasts. ...more
D.M. Ritzlin
This review previously appeared on the DMR Books Blog.

This book has a whip-wielding Nazi leprechaun on the cover. I thought this would be one of the trashiest novels I’ve ever read, but hopefully it would be some good dumb fun, too. Neither expectation was met. Instead of the wild, pulpy “novel of pure terror” the cover promises, we get a psychological drama. The tale takes place at an old house in the remote wilds of Ireland. Bridget Chauncey, an Englishwoman, has inherited the place from her u
I picked this up because it's mentioned in Grady Hendrix' Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction. Unfortunately, the Library has the hardcover, so I didn't get the joy of seeing the twisted paperback cover image. I cannot say that I was lured in by a lurid cover, and so I have no good excuse for reading this. It is not really a horror story, it is a comedy of manners. Several people gather in a castle-turned-inn far from the beaten path, we are given their back ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel came into my awareness because of the Hector Garrido cover art and description provided in PAPERBACKS FROM HELL. A friend was enticed to pick it up and read it. Upon completion, they pressed it into my hands because “I deserved it” -- although that sounded vaguely like a threat.

Unfortunately, that cover art sets a very difficult bar for fiction to rise to. Particularly when the book wants to be quiet horror instead of gonzo exploitation. The pacing is a bit off, but it’s an easy read.
Apr 26, 2021 rated it liked it
John Christopher carefully sets up a bizarre variation of a haunted house scenario: At an isolated B&B in a remote, ancient castle in rural Ireland, the guests capture a tiny woman, about 12" tall. The guests all have competing interests, relationships and antagonisms. Initially, they believe their discovery proves that the Irish legends of "little people" are real. Further investigations reveal something much more twisted and evil. The main menace has so much potential for a chilling horror nov ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in a charity shop, along with a few others by Christopher, and bought them on the strength of a mention in a book about horror paperbacks of the 70s and 80s. It was the first book mentioned, and promised a weird tale of Nazi Leprechauns hell-bent on terror. The cover promises a "nerve-rending terror" so I was convinced.

So the book gets a low rating largely because it is not a horror story, and it does not deliver in terms of horror, terror or, even, titillation. It was enjoyabl
Brent Winslow
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes a novel crosses the threshold of creative into crazy - and The Little People by John Christopher definitely crosses that threshold. A tale of a secretary who inherits a mansion off the beaten path in Ireland, converts it into a hotel, and discovers a group of 1 foot tall little people sounds quaint. However, crazy enters when the story of the little people is explained, originating in WWII concentration camps, and their growing psychic powers are used to destroy relationships. Ultimate ...more
Marsha Valance
Bridget's inheritance from an Irish relative is a a crumbling house and tower on the edge of a bog in County Mayo. When she decides to run it as a hotel, she and her guests discover the previous inhabitants: seven miniature people inhabiting a room of dollhouses. But why do they only speak German, and what mysterious powers do they possess? A Science Fiction Book Club selection. ...more
Jason Payne
Dec 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The cover is phenomenal and phenomenally misleading. Not really Gestapochauns as much as Mengele-esque experiments gone wrong. Mostly the horror in the book is from the "normal" people at the hotel, with their own f-ed up pasts and presents. As such it falls pretty flat. So disappointed. Caveat emptor, indeed. ...more
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's... odd. Really odd. But, not quite the schlockfest that cover art promises. ...more
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
More a 3.5 out 5, and that is being generous.

It started off well, got really bizarre, and then ended.
Ralph Carlson
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as good as many of his other books, but still an entertaining read.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nazi leprechauns! It may sound strange, but parts of this are actually considered and thoughtful. In fact the main issue is it never really kicks into full-on "nerve rending terror" the cover promises.
So overall, I did not find it trashy enough, despite it featuring sado masochistic nazi leprechauns.
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not saying it's bad at all, it's just not my cup of tea. Premise is interesting (bunch of people find these pathetic little creatures) and pretty sad (nazi experiments...) with some interesting ideas thrown in (like how to preserve their human rights) but everything takes ages to start and complete. There are pages and pages of semi-philosophical crap intertwined with way too much personal/family shit to keep the reader focused. At least this reader.

More here (review includes spoilers!):
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Christopher has such a natural voice, even a ponderous bore of a book like this is still an ok read. It was just ok though. He may have been able to pull something off in a story a quarter the size, but instead he decided to antagonize us in long form with abrupt mood switches and an under baked “mystery.”
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Saw this in Paperbacks From Hell and look at the description and thought, "I need to see this!" Did, and well for Nazi sadomasochistic mutant midgets who are born from Jewish women from a concentration camp that terrorize English people living in a old Scottish castles, I thought it was not as boring or not worth to read as this book. Not recommended in my opinion. ...more
Delores Alger
Jun 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Nov 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
An odd little story - a castle in Ireland haunted by little people, who seem to be leprechauns but are in fact something quite other, and nothing you could probably imagine. Sinister tale.
Aug 04, 2011 added it
Creepy but a little rough around the edges. Could use a little less of the Drama..and a lOt more of the creepy. But otherwise an amusing little read.
Oct 11, 2016 marked it as lemmed  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Gave up on this odd book, but the cover art by Hector Garrido is sensational.
Phil Stutt
rated it it was ok
Apr 05, 2020
Chris Diaz
rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2020
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2016
rated it liked it
Apr 22, 2018
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