Monday, February 16, 2015

Little Big Man in Action

Thomas Berger is a serious storyteller. His novel, "Little Big Man," was both an excellent novel and movie starring Dustin Hoffman.

In the story, we read the reminiscences of Jack Crabb, plainsman who dictated the story when he was age one hundred and eleven.

Jack Crabb was captured by Cheyenne Indians and raised by them after they massacre the members of Jack's family's wagon train.  In a humorous manner, he describes being raised by the Indians and meeting many famous people that populated the west. He is the narrator who stands apart when Indians are being massacred by Union Cavalry, when the Civil War occurs and in great detail, the Battle of Little Bighorn where Gen. George Armstrong Custer met his end.

Jack returns to white people after a battle between soldiers and the Cheyenne. He marries a blond haired German named Olga,  and they have a son, Gus. After a time of happiness, another raid kills people around Jake but Olga and Gus are taken by the Indians.

In one humorous and entertaining segment, Jack assumes that Olga and Gus are lost and marries an Indian named Sunshine.  They have a son and come to believe that a child should be able to choose their own name. While out walking, their son made a motion toward a certain scene and was given the name, Frog Lying on a Hillside.

Jack meets and befriends such famous historical figures as Wild Bill Hickok and Wyatt Earp.

He also details the last days of Gen. Custer and the Company G of the 7th Cavalry.

Jack also meets a bar girl who introduces her to a younger woman who worked at the bar. She convinces him that she is his niece and he sends her to a school for young ladies and marries a wealthy man.

I enjoyed the reading and was sorry to see the story conclude.


Steve Oerkfitz said...

Thomas Berger was one of my favorite writers. little Big Man is probably his best book. Unfortuately the sequel was disappointing. Other favorites-Sneaky People, Arthur Rex and the Reinhardt novels.

Kelly said...

Another one of those movies I never really thought about being a book first. (and I've never seen the movie!)

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