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The Dwarf Later Printing Edition
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
The dwarf lives as a servant and confidante to a Prince during the time when the Black Death was effectively wiping out the population of Europe. There occur many instances in this book when the dwarf must commit the most vile and heinous crimes at the behest of the Prince, and the dwarf does so with a relish that is unconscionable. Ultimately, his crimes force him into eternal imprisonment in a fortress dungeon where he spends his days writing daily recordings of the wickedness of his life and hopes to be called again to duty by the Prince.
From the very beginning, the dwarf condemns human beings as "a pack of ingratiating cows" who value such useless things as nobility and beauty and who babble about virtue, honor and chivalry. Believing human beings to be "shrouded in mystery," the dwarf exclaims, "...nothing ever comes up from my inner depths." Nothing but hate, that is.
Despite his vile and repulsive nature, the dwarf is loyal to and respectful of the Prince. His most prevalent views of disgust are engendered by those of his own race and by himself.Read more ›
The book is permeated with the notion of evil at a distance, and the idea that evil has a mind of its own, never to be controlled by a master, and to be unleashed only at peril. The dwarf is supposedly the king's agent, and may conduct an assassination or two at the king's bidding, but is remote from the king, as if the king were sending a rocket-launched missile to a distant land, and would not feel the consequences of the explosion himself. Unfortunately, the dwarf always manages to cause enough trouble that the king might wish he had not launched his agent in the first place. The rocket always manages to blow back shrapnel, one way or another. Despite orders, the dwarf has his own agenda, arrogant and sadistic, and will interpret his tasks to suit his fashion.
Another attribute of the relationship between king and dwarf is that the dwarf is taken almost as an extension of the king himself.Read more ›
Lagerkvist won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1951, and rightfully so. This book is an excellent example of his masterful treatment of the duality of humans and, in particular, their evil side, which the dwarf personifies. It truly makes one think about the "ape-like" man/dwarf within.
The narrative, while purposely biased by the dwarf's extremely negative view of the world and the humans he serves, grips the reader from the beginning as Piccolino (the dwarf) describes himself and the world around him. The secret lives of the courtiers (the Princess, in particular), the wars and battle scenes, the visits to the Prince (to whom the dwarf is a sort of "right-hand man" at times) by condottieri and intellectuals alike, and the dwarf's personal trials and thoughts on these matters are all fascinating, both as a history lesson in disguise and as a look at human nature from a refreshing point of view. Granted, that point of view comes from a man who identifies with Satan himself, but it is interesting, nonetheless.
This book was completely different from anything I've read before and I have been completely taken by it. If you are interested in the duality of humans, God, and nature, in learning more about oneself, or even just the Italian renaissance period, this book is a must-read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book became a repetitious rambling about the failings of man. Quite uninteresting and and finally a bore.Published 1 month ago by Mark Buckley
I thought I would find this book dark and foreboding when I read about it, but au contraire, I found what it essentially a diary by the dwarf who is the court favourite and... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Roger Allen
An amazing insight in to humanity when seen from the eyes of an outsider. Our barbarianism, crude cultural beliefs and practices.Published 18 months ago by Avinesh
The Dwarf is second only to Machiavelli in terms of sinister fascination and shocking commentary. Not perhaps the most politically correct in its title, it examines a truly... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Kyle Willey
"When they look at me, they grimace. They hate me. What they're really hating is themselves." By hating me, they're really just hating the dwarf within themselves. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jack The Dreamer
Lagerkvist's dwarf shows us the good and bad of humanity by commenting on it (often with considerable confusion) from a slightly removed perspective. Read morePublished on June 26, 2014 by H