Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Little Minister
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Customer Reviews

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on October 24, 2001
I recently picked up a copy of this book at the Lenox used book sale. My copy was inscribed by someone who gave it as a present in 1941. The book jacket says that it is a "children's book" but that's along the lines of saying that Gulliver's Travels is a children's book. The author is the same one who wrote Peter Pan.
It was written around the turn of the century and its style is a little bit more Victorian. However, it is a very interesting book, and I was fascinated by it. (Not quite fascinated enough to read it in one sitting, but fascinated enough that it was hard to tear myself away.)
The narrator is a man who was in love with a woman and circumstances separted them. Now, about 20 years later, she moves not far away from him with her son. The focus is on the circumstances involving the son, which is basically a simple love story.
Nothing original here, but some of the language is very poetic, and he tells a gripping story. Those who are interested in such things will enjoy the Scottish dialect and description of the lifestyle of a small Scottish weaving town.
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While I couldn't find the World Syndicate 1933 hardback edition that I read of J.M. Barrie's tale first copyrighted in 1891, I did get caught up in the events of the story. The protagonist is a minor character in terms of involvement that recounts the events of the little minister Gavin Dishart. At age 21, Dishart has graduated from university and assumes his first church of the Auld Licht, moving to Thrums with his mother Martha. There with housekeeper Jean they move into the parsonage. The story is told through the eyes of the schoolmaster, who we learn is a biological relative unbeknownst to Gavin. The people of the district are primarily weavers. Their thick brogues are written into the dialogue with unusual words (ken, syne, dominie) that take a bit of time to get used to for the modern reader. For instance Rob Dow talks about the upcoming rain with this response: "Ay," said Tosh eagerly, "but will it be a saft, cowdie sweet ding-on?" You get the sense that they're considering whether it'll be a hard or soft rain, but the specifics zoom past the modern reader not used to the brogue. (I found it interesting that one townsman is named Peter Tosh whose name would be today better known to me as a reggae singer from Jamaica!)

A strike squelching by the military and police is outmaneuvered by the information spread by a gypsy referred to as "the Egyptian." After the opening salvo, the events of the story become less political and more personal as Gavin slowly falls in love with the Egyptian, Babbie, who hides a false identity. With complications made by Lord Rintoul who also wants to marry Babbie for her beauty, the story becomes a romance between money and love. Barrie throws in a bit of adventure with a major flood that rearranges the landscape before bringing the story to conclusion. I found the story to be charming with themes and characters that still speak to us today. This story is a little diamond, well worth dusting off by the modern reader. Enjoy!
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on July 13, 2016
I heard of it in the fascinating girl (a book on femininity I definitely recommend though unavailable on kindle) I thought it sounded interesting so what the heck. I found it a good read though sometimes it gets a little dull. A new minister, a beautiful gypsy who no one knows and a strike in the town. How could you go wrong? However I only recommend it for a persevering reader for though the story is fast pace you have some pretty dull chapter sections in between
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on June 19, 2016
This was a favorite book of mine over 50 years ago and I wanted to read it today to see if it still affected me the same way. It did but more in hindsight than looking to the future.

It was still interesting experiencing the strange words and ways of speaking or ways of thinking in those times.
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on January 3, 2014
Who knew a little minister could show such bravery & heart?
I started reading this book because I kept seeing excerpts from and references to it in another book. I am definitely taking some lessons from Babbie about how to be fierce, yet kind.
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on February 17, 2012
I just finished this book. It was very good. The easiest way to describe the book is it is about a Minister that falls in love with a gypsy girl to the dismay of his congregation and the town. The movie, starring Katharine Hepburn and John Beal stayed true to the book up till the end. It would have been too hard back in the 30's to film the real ending. This book is awesome and I would highly recommend it to all. The only problem with the book is that the story takes place in Scotland and the dialog is written in Scottish accents which made it hard to read. I could understand the gist but I didn't always understand everything. I would not, however, let that hinder you from reading this classic.
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on April 29, 2013
I only had an old hardback copy that was falling apart. I have read this wonderful book at least half a dozen times. Now I have it safe to read another half dozen times more. Just read the first couple of paragraphs and you will fall in love with it as well.
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on December 10, 2007
I have read "The Little Minister" by J. M. Barrie in the past, and the story itself is wonderful.

However, I do have a complaint with the company (The Book Jungle) that published this edition.

Apparently this edition was not proof read, because there were countless errors.

1. Many spots where whole blocks of paragraphs were missing from a chapter, or interspersed in another chapter altogether.

2. Several spots where there were duplicated blocks of paragraphs in the same chapter.

3. Many inappropropriate spelling errors.

4. Punctuation errors, for example periods in inappropriate places, breaking up the sentence structure in the wrong spots.

Overall, I was very disappointed in this particular edition. I have to say it was the worst publication of a book that I have ever read.

And the sad thing was, it cost almost $20.00

Buyers beware!
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on March 18, 2014
I enjoyed this book , but, at times it was a little hard to read ,owing to the old way of speaking , however, I found it worthwhile to persevere with this ,as the story is good & quite different.
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on September 15, 2013
Story of a minister who falls in love with a gypsy. Early fore-runner of a romantic novel, with a story within the story. I enjoyed reading it very much.
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