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The Little Giant of Aberdeen County Paperback – Bargain Price, January 25, 2010

151 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Baker's bangup debut mixes the exuberant eccentricities of John Irving's Garp, Anne Tyler's relationship savvy and the plangent voice of Margaret Atwood. In an upstate New York backwater, Truly, massive from birth, has a bleak existence with her depressed father and her china-doll–like sister, Serena Jane. Truly grows at an astonishing rate—her girth the result of a pituitary gland problem—and after her father dies when Truly is 12, Truly is sloughed off to the Dyersons, a hapless farming family. Her outsize kindness surfaces as she befriends the Dyersons' outcast daughter, Amelia, and later leaves her beloved Dyerson farm to take care of Serena Jane's husband and son after Serena Jane leaves them. Haunting the margins of Truly's story is that of Tabitha Dyerson, a rumored witch whose secrets afford a breathtaking role reversal for Truly. It's got all the earmarks of a hit—infectious and lovable narrator, a dash of magic, an impressive sweep and a heartrending but not treacly family drama. It'll be a shame if this doesn't race up the bestseller lists. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

A gothic, macabre tale involving revenge, redemption, folk medicine, and magic, The Little Giantgarnered ample praise from critics, who were perhaps surprised that the story of a gargantuan woman captivated them so thoroughly. Although the first part, which focuses on the relationship between Truly and Serena Jane, contains elements of melodrama, it allows Baker to explore the contrast between all kinds of beauty and ugliness. Baker moves on to explore issues such as family, betrayal, love, and friendship (her attempts to tackle topics such as euthanasia, rape, and sexual orientation fall a little flat). A few critics also faulted Trudy's unrealistic first-person but omniscient narration, but this was a minor complaint in a compelling, emotional, and intelligent novel from an author to watch.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (January 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446194220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446194228
  • ASIN: B004IK9E6O
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tiffany Baker is the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children, and holds a PhD in Victorian Literature and an MFA from UC-Irvine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Love, hate, forgiveness, revenge, mystery, witchcraft - all the elements of a fine novel. When these elements become prose in the hands of Tiffany Baker the results are finer than fine.. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is memorable in every way, not only as an extraordinarily well written novel but also as a story rich with meaning.

We meet Truly Plaice who is an anomaly in the small town of Aberdeen. She would be an anomaly anywhere because Truly is a gargantuan woman, challenging the scales at 400+ pounds. There is little room in our world for those not seen as normal and Truly is reminded of her perceived abnormality every day. These reminders come in cruel ways, such as a schoolmate putting tacks on her chair to see whether or not she can feel the sticks through such generous flesh or in the astonished stares of the curious.

Her mother died in childbirth. Townsmen had placed bets on the weight of a baby who had added so much poundage to a woman. By the age of one and one-half years the only clothing that would cover Truly was one of her father's shirts. He was a perplexed miserable man who never recovered from his wife's death, and was totally unable to handle raising Truly and her older sister, Serena Jane, who was petite, beautiful, vain and a perennial May Queen. Such a contrast was painful for both girls.

After their father died the sisters were parceled out - Serena Jane went to the home of Amanda Pickerton where she and her minister husband doted on the girl. Serena Jane's future was bright until it was altered by Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest son of the Morgans whose men had been the town's doctors for generations.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Koch VINE VOICE on January 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
By the time Truly was born, she had already been big news. Truly's mother died giving born to Truly that it was speculated that Truly killed her mother. Dr. Morgan said Truly's size was a new record. Truly and her older sister, Serena Jane are complete opposites. Truly is a big gal, that when she was growing up she had to wear boy's clothing; where as her sister, Serena Jane looked like a china doll with her blond hair and petite frame. Truly turned out to be the star of Aberdeen but not the kind of star anyone wants to be. While Truly tries to get by day by day; her sister Serena Jane has caught the attention of Dr. Morgan's son, Robert. Robert thinks Serena Jane s the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and he wants her for his own. He will do anything to keep her.

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is a charming, endearing read. In my opinion Truly was the prettier of the two sisters. Truly is beautiful both on the inside as well as the outside. She had a big heart that reached everyone; no matter whether they liked her or not. Serena Jane could have sided with the rest of the town and rejected her sister but she loved her sister and it showed in the end. Tiffany Baker shows just how talented she is with her debut novel The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. Tiffany has just gained a fan in me.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By C. Collins on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tiffany Baker's The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is well written and Ms. Baker has a creative way of expressing herself as well as considerable command of the English language. However there are some weaknesses to the work that bear mentioning. There were so many references to Truly's giant size that eventually the reader gets tired of hearing how large Truly is. There are holes in the plot that make much of the book unrealistic. I think Ms. Baker should have spent just a bit more time editing and re-writing so that the plot holes were taken care of and resolved. Likewise, there are parts of the book that are too obvious, such as where Tabatha had hidden her book of spells and cures. Many characters were given too short a treatment in terms of character development. Many of the men were stereotypical and seemed to lack realism. Often we are told too much by Ms. Baker and she could have actually produced a stronger book had she said less rather than said more. A good example of this is the conversations Dr. Robert Morgan has with law enforcement and the coroner about notifying him whenever an unknown woman's body was located. We could have used a bit more mystery here. There were very few if any surprises in the novel, it was a just a bit too predictable. I did think there was some dark somber humor hidden in the book, especially in the odd characters of the school teacher and the preacher's wife, both of whom were hateful creatures. I wish I could say more positive aspects of the novel but Ms. Baker should have spent just a bit more time re-writing this novel. As it now stands, it is a bit too amateurish.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A real pageturner on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read The Little Giant of Aberdeen County because it came with blurbs from Sara Gruen and Stephanie Kallos, both of whom have written books I admired. Well, Gruen and Kallos may be excellent writers of fiction, but they're apparently not so hot as judges of other writers' fiction, because Little Giant doesn't belong on the same shelf with Water for Elephants, Broken for You, and Sing Them Home.

For one thing, many of the characters in Little Giant are almost cartoonishly unbelievable. I'm prepared to believe that a child who has the misfortune to be born with gigantism in a small town in upstate New York would be teased mercilessly by all the other children in the town, and that many of the adults in the community would behave in an uncaring way toward her. But I find it hard to believe that virtually all of the adults in the town -- including the doctor, the schoolteacher, and the minister's wife -- would be so repulsed by the child's appearance that they would be not just uncaring, but almost pathologically hostile to her.

For another thing, the book is badly written, with breathtakingly banal observations about life (which the author seems to think are original and profound) appearing on almost every page. The author's most annoying stylistic tic is her tendency to make up extremely strained metaphors (or, as she would probably describe them, metaphors as strained as a weak teabag). By the time I got to "Truth is like a blunt hoe", near the end of the book, I wished I had a blunt hoe to attack the book with. Where was the editor who could have nipped this metaphor-mania in the bud, like a gardener with a pair of secateurs? (Oh, no -- now she's got me doing it, too!)
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