The Little Book

The Little Book

Audio CD(Unabridged, 13 CDs)

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Unabridged CDs - 12 CDs, 15 hours

An irresistible triumph of the imagination more than thirty years in the making, The Little Book is a breathtaking love story that spans generations, ranging from fin de siècle Vienna through the pivotal moments of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143143512
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 08/14/2008
Edition description: Unabridged, 13 CDs
Pages: 12
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Selden Edwards began writing The Little Book as a young English teacher in 1974, and continued to layer and refine the manuscript until its completion in 2007. It is his first novel. He spent his career as headmaster at several independent schools across the country, and for over forty years has been secretary of his class at Princeton, where he also played basketball. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A soaring thing of joy whose only purpose-and I mean this as a compliment-is to delight and entertain."
-Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

"Delightfully mad. . .a thrilling adventure."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"The product of a writer in full command of his gifts."
-Louisville Courier-Journal

"A wide-ranging novel of grand ideas. . .a graceful waltz of a book, spinning at times at dizzying speed, but leaving behind a haunting, unforgettable melody."
-New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Back to the Future for the intellectual set."
-Entertainment Weekly

"Inventive, bracing, poignant and well written. . . it should be at the top of everyone's summer reading list."
-Tucson Citizen

"It's hard not to be thoroughly taken with such an approach to both the real and imagined past."
-New York Daily News

"Required reading."
-New York Post

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Little Book 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
MikeS More than 1 year ago
For a historical fiction fan this is a good book. Its placement in late 19th Century Vienna with descriptions of life and morals is interesting and escapist. For that it should get five stars. The time travel aspect supports that rating. The plot is at times hard to pin down, straining comprehension, at times beyond the limits of good fiction, and merits only three to four stars. The characters were, for the most part, stereotyped, like an Austrian melodrama, and rate only a three rating at best. Overall the book was fun, but at times incredulous. It is not for the analytical, more for the escapist. What started out for me as compelling became at times tenuous. The whole seemed to be better than the sum of its parts, but not to the degree to make this a great work. A decent read, yes, a top notch one, not for me.
Alt_Vox More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because it contained elements of history, an interesting plot and some great characters. Probably not for everyone due to the fantastic premise of time travel but a great book club choice as it would prompt any number of discussions. I would reccomend it to anyone who enjoyed The Life of Pi.
michaelsean More than 1 year ago
Do you ever see a book and just know that you are going to enjoy it? Well The Little Book by Selden Edwards was like that for me. I picked up the book as the cover looked intriguing to me (Yes! I was judging a book by its cover!). I knew I was probably in good hands when the two author endorsements were from Richard Ford and Pat Conroy. Both gentlemen are among my all time favorite writers. After quickly reading the inside of the dust jacket, I was sold. I was not to be disappointed. The book is set during the turn of the 19th century in Vienna. Mr. Edwards weaves in some amazing cameos of people who play a role in the story (Sigmund Freud is a pivotal figure). Whilst I don't want to give the plot away, be ready to explore several time periods from 1897 to 1988. There are some shocking moments in the book that make sense, will still surprise you. The tome wraps up with a flourish that will leave you smiling. If you have an interest in 19th century Europe, prep school, and larger than life heroes, this is the book for you. Although written over a period of 30 years, the prose and dialogue are seamless. Cheers to Selden Smith for a book well-done!
plennander More than 1 year ago
This book was an incredible journey. There were so many twists and turns you never knew what was coming. The backstory of the author is great as well. I can't wait until his next book is published.
Dianne13 More than 1 year ago
This book is fascinating. It has an air of mystery and absolutely charming. It is just The Best Little Book! I highly recommend it. A very relaxing read. I have just finished this book and could not put it down. My only hope is that it does not take Selden Edwards thirty years to bring back Wheeler Burden. A wonderful book. Outstanding. Reminds me of A Winter's Tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book brought me such pleasure with its finely drawn characters and evocation of times and places past. There were twists and turns to keep you reading. But more than that there was joy and romance and history brought together beautifully. Time travel is a hard subject to do well, but Edwards has done magnificently. This book speaks to your heart. It is the author's lifelong project and he has given us a book to cherish for a lifetime. I loved Jack Finney's Time and Again and From Time To Time and now I have found something to compare. Bravo!
Mouser More than 1 year ago
This time travel was a little easier to follow than some. Enjoyed the idea that the characters cross in different time frames. Was a little let down with the ending, but overall and absorbing story.
bookheaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an intricately plotted time travel book that is complex and satisfying. The author obviously put a lot of research into it since it took him 30 years to write the book. I enjoyed the real life people woven into the story, including Sigmund Freud, Mahler, Winston Churchill and Samuel Clemens. A must read for time travel enthusiasts.
zina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unusual, remarkable, fast and fascinating. Historical, varied.
fidchivers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written and cleverly plotted, this book will keep you reading and guessing throughout. Wheeler Burden, the main character, a rock star, intellectual, and celebrity of the 1980's, finds himself in Vienna in 1897 - a place he is familiar with through various family stories and connections through the ages. That these connections all start to play out around him is an understatement. Intricately plotted, the book often seems in danger of collapsing under its own weight - but it does not. And in that tension is much of its charm. If you like historical fiction with a smidgen of fantasy thrown in, this is an enjoyable read, to be sure.
kageeh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was either a masterful example of interrelated time-traveling people and events or a very contrived exercise in complexity. I am glad I read it but it was not easy-going. Even after discussing this in book club, I cannot say it all makes sense.
thetometraveller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dilly Burden was a legend and a hero. He excelled at his Boston boys' school and at Harvard, was a star baseball player and gave his life in World War II when he was tortured and killed by the Gestapo in France. His only son, Wheeler, has no memory of his Dad but has spent his life living up to the legend. Where Dilly was an icon, Wheeler is more eccentric. He followed in his father's footsteps to the Boston boys' school and despite guidance from a much beloved teacher, the Haze, (who had also taught his father), he was an average student. He did show talent in baseball but his real love was music. He found great success in his life and was quite a music star in the late 1980s but never stuck to anything, or anyone, for any great length of time. He was always looking for something he couldn't put his finger on.But that's not where the story begins...Suddenly one day Wheeler is walking along and begins to realize that he is somewhere he does not recognize. He soon discovers that he is in 1897 Vienna, in his modern clothes and with all of his memories intact. He doesn't know how he got there or how long this visit will last. But as one day stretches to two, he realizes that he is going to need some help. Thanks to the Haze, Wheeler speaks German well and knows a bit about this part of European history. After much consideration he approaches Sigmund Freud, a little known figure at the time, for help. Their discussions and the journal Wheeler starts to keep help him to begin to understand this amazing thing that has happened to him.During his stay in Vienna, Wheeler discovers his past in a way that is entirely surprising and leaves you hoping that Selden Edwards has somehow really figured out the way the universe works.There are many well developed characters that appear in the story. The reader gets to know them all and will realize that this book isn't just about Wheeler or even most importantly about Wheeler but about his loved ones and the patterns that life weaves.This is an absolutely wonderful book. It has layers of meaning and an interconnectedness that make it a breath-taking read. It's a history lesson and a love story, a mystery and a psychology lesson. I can't recommend it highly enough. The Little Book will be published in August, 2008 by Dutton.
njmom3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am giving up on this book after about 100 pages. Even 100 pages in, I am still trying to figure out who is who. Main new characters are still being introduced. The primary character is referred to by multiple names (a given name, full family name, nickname) making it more confusing. The writing is also very verbose and unnecessarily ornate. Here is a one sentence example..."Vienna was, and had long been, as the Haze described it, a community of contrasts in which the privations and squalor of the proletarian mass contradicted the splendors of an affluent minority."I picked up this book based on a recommendation and because the "blurb" was interesting. Perhaps, it still might have been if I had kept going. I don't like to give up on a book, but when I find myself not reading for a few days, it's an indication that the book is not for me. So, unfortunately an abandoned book.
tiffwick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who would think that time travel, pre-Nazi occupation Vienna and the arts would come together in one novel to create such a captivating and mind boggling story? I remained puzzling to the end... is it time travel or something else? Highly recommended.
craso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wheeler Burden is an eccentric individual from a long line of exceptional ancestors. His grandfather was an athlete in the first modern olympic games, his father was an athlete and war hero and his mother and grandmother were strong willed women. Wheeler is a chip of the old block, he is a hero on the pitching mound, a rock idol in concert halls and the editor of an influential book. He also time travels to Vienna and meets all the artists and great thinkers in the city at that time. The most important person Wheeler meets is the beautiful Emily James, the love of his life. He tells himself that he can not interact to much with these people, especially Sigmund Freud, but he can't help himself.This novel was written as an historical fiction about a modern man traveling through time to 1897 Vienna, but the time travel aspect lends the novel a spiritual element. All of our lives are inter-connected and we meet one another many times.I enjoyed reading this novel. I learned a lot about Vienna and how the political and social conditions influences europe during World War I and II. The only problem I had with the story was the excessive use of foreshadowing. I always saw the twists and turns coming from a mile away.
markflanagan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure I even have it in me to review this one. It seemed promising at first, but perhaps that was partially wrapped up in Pam's recommendation - she loved it. Me, not so much.
ironinklings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Little Book is not really little, but it¿s about the making of a ¿little book¿ about Vienna and the focal point of this circuitous tale about family, psychology and history. Edwards upends our notions about all three. He creates and recreates a cast of interesting characters - the domineering father, the heroic son and the rebellious grandson. Cameos by historical figures like Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler and a young Adolf Hitler provide interesting but neccessary diversions. Time itself is almost a character in the novel and Edwards moves back and forth between time periods with ease. This is a fascinating story not to be raced through, but contemplated. It¿s not your average time-travel book and that¿s part of the joy of this novel. Edwards like his character, Wheeler Burden, never does what you might expect him to do.
bibliojim on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't like this book very much, though I wanted to. The language is fine, really very nice, but the characters did not capture me, and the plot did not intrigue me. I wouldn't say the plot was predictable, but I began to get the feeling that there was some sort of circular time loop going on and just didn't care about where that was going. I read the first 40% of the book and finally decided it wasn't interesting enough to finish. I bet it would have gained some added interest later, but if there isn't enough in the first 40% to read the rest, then it's lost out. Others may appreciate that first 40% more than I. I just kept waiting for something especially interesting to me to happen, and finally I decided to move to a book I liked more.
majorbabs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd call this a must-read, it's so well-done. It's got just a bit of everything -- time travel, romance, history, military strategy, music, sports and, oh yes, Vienna. Not a beach book, unless you're considered an intellectual, but definitely worth the read.
dgmlrhodes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was highly unique and original. In fact, it was quite mind bending! The premise is that a father and son go back in time and ultimately meet up with the grandparents in Vienna in 1897. To make it more interesting, the son had never actually known his father as he had died when he was three years old. The family is one of historical significance and how they achieved this status is ultimately revealed through the pages of this book.
SaraPoole on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m a sucker for time travel novels going all the way back to Jack Finney¿s classic ¿Time and Again¿. They¿re tricky to do but when they work, wow! Selden Edward¿s debut historical works. Wheeler Burden, resident in San Francisco in 1988, suddenly finds himself strolling Vienna¿s Ringstrasse in 1897. Why and how he has come to be there is the crux of a fascinating story beautifully conceived and executed. Without getting into spoilers, I¿ll say only that Wheeler¿s relationship with his late father is particularly moving. Edwards worked on this story for thirty years; I¿m hoping selfishly that his next book will be here sooner and be every bit as good.
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The blurb on the back promised a really exciting story about time travel and it began really strongly. But I have problems with the author's writing style and I don't think it's a positive sign that he spent three decades labouring over different drafts. There were too many digressions into baseball for this British reader as well, distracting from the more interesting Viennese chapters. On a flick ahead, it didn't look like this would change, so have given up after 80 pages.
freddlerabbit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book somewhat in spite of myself - the main character is a character thoroughly convinced of his own rightness, who never engages in introspection or suffers doubt about his ability to do something the way he wants - and that kind of character always drives me crazy. So I kept wanting to be able to roll my eyes and say, "ugh."But I just couldn't. Edwards' clever plot was engaging and surprising - even for someone who's read a bunch of time travel stories. And the prose, though it reflected some of the protagonist's character, could be unexpectedly charming. It's an engaging read, and a clever story - you won't be sorry you picked it up.
nycbookgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a nutshell...not too thrilled with it. I finished it, so that says something. Actually I was pretty annoyed that I couldn't just quit reading I finished it. But not my favorite read of the year. And since I wanted to love it was disappointing..but mainly since I had such high expectations. But I love the cover darn it all. See...I'm torn.Here's the synopsis:Legendary musician, baseball player, and perfection embodied, Frank Standish Burden III, known as "Wheeler," is in his forties when he somehow gets transported back in time to Vienna, circa 1897. There he meets his father, whom he never knew since he died in WWII, and a slew of other characters of Vienna's elite including Freud, Mark Twain, and other intellectuals. He also meets his grandmother and old professor, the "Venerable Haze," who were in Vienna at the time. Oh and Hitler as a boy is somewhere in there. The books flashes between his time in Vienna in 1897 and detailing his life's accomplishments. And the book is supposedly written by Wheeler's mother.Ok. First I'll say the good things.1) The writing was pretty good. Definitely a lot of research. Selden Edwards was an English teacher and began writing this in 1974. So a lot of years went into this book. And it shows.2) The history aspect of Vienna. I took Eastern European classes in college so not a lot of the information was new but still very interesting.Ok. That's it. Here's why I was annoyed.1) If I saw the word "legendary" or "venerable" or whatever again I was going to scream. I understand that Wheeler was a legend...the perfect game, the perfect pitch, his band became the epitome of 1960's music and he wrote the anthem for the age. AAAARRRGGG.2) It was written by his mom. HIS MOM! Mom's are notorious about perhaps glorifying or hiding the negative.3) His love affair. I'm not saying anything...but it was creepy. That's all I'm saying. You'll have to read it to judge for yourself.But just because it wasn't my cup of tea, I can understand if people like it. And a lot of people really do.
mlilleeng on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wasn't sure I'd be able to finish this book, but got hooked. Amazing turns throughout. It takes incredible mental agility to loop this altogether credibly, and the author did just that.