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Extended Audio Sample The Little Friend Audiobook, by Donna Tartt Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donna Tartt Narrator: Karen White Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2002 ISBN: 9780736698894
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Bestselling author Donna Tartt returns with a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence, and evil.

The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother’s Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents’ yard. Twelve years later Robin’s murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin’s sister Harriet—unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson—sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town’s rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family’s history of loss. Filled with hairpin turns of plot and “a bustling, ridiculous humanity worthy of Dickens” (New York Times Book Review), The Little Friend is a work of myriad enchantments by a writer of prodigious talent.

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Quotes & Awards

  • This extraordinary book [has] a main character, a twelve-year-old girl named Harriet Cleve Dufresnes, who ranks up there with Huck Finn, Miss Havisham, Quentin Compson, and Philip Marlowe, fictional characters who don't seem in the least fictional . . . If To Kill a Mockingbird is the childhood that everyone wanted and no one really had, The Little Friend is childhood as it is, by turns enchanting and terrifying. Malcolm Jones, Newsweek
  • Breathtaking . . . A sublime tale rich in religious overtones, moral ambiguities, and violent, poetic acts . . . From its darkly enticing opening, we are held spellbound. Lisa Shea, Elle
  • Readers are easily swept up in [a] darkly comic novel that . . . broadens to examine Southern racial and social strata, religious and generational eccentricities, and the passion of youth that gives way to the ambivalence of age. At times humorous, at times heartbreaking, The Little Friend is most surprising when it is edge-of-your-seat scary. Dennis Moore, USA Today
  • A sprawling story of vengeance, told in a rich, controlled voice . . . Tartt has written a grownup book that captures the dark, Lord of the Flies side of childhood and classic children's literature. James Poniewozik, Time
  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cat | 2/2/2014

    " Like 'The Secret History' this novel is also somewhat of a mystery, drama, pseudo-philosophical piece of work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J K | 1/29/2014

    " I liked this, I hadn't read anything by her before and picked it up free at a garage throwout. I liked the slow buildup of sweaty Southern atmosphere and the ever growing threat that the wonderful lead character, a girl who doesn't want to grow up, must face. Enjoyed it even though the ending which didn't necessarily provide closure, but made sense as life moves on. Which I don't usually like in a book ending, either, but it didn't feel wrong in this as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andrea Engh | 1/25/2014

    " I have never not finished a book after I was over half way through, but that is what I did with this book.... Dont watse your time, I was in the 400 page range, and just could not take reading about nothing anymore. I am not even curious about what happened (although I did read a spoiler review, which just let on about what you never find out, it didn't give away anything that actually happened).... While I was still reading it, I found that I was dreading reading it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wesley Blixt | 1/22/2014

    " A little disappointin after The Secret History. Big yuck factor. Love the meth . . . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sydney | 1/21/2014

    " The main character, Harriet, was fascinating and I enjoyed learning more and more about her. It wasn't as fast paced as I thought it was going to be but still enjoyable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dorothee | 1/16/2014

    " This book was a total disappointment following the gripping read of "The Secret History"! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 mickiegoc Cathers | 12/30/2013

    " Tartt does have a great talent for creating a place and putting the reader in it. I didn't like how she tends to introduce events or people and then just when you're getting interested in them, drops them. You may hear of them briefly again in the story but only marginally. Still, a pretty good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry Sidwell | 12/20/2013

    " The ending isn't as strong as it could have and should have been after such buildup, but this book is amazing for it's characterizations and mood setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 12/4/2013

    " This book is a masterpiece. It is so beautifully written and funny and exciting that it makes me never want to write another word. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karolina | 11/25/2013

    " What a shame... This is beautifully written and grabs your attention right at the beginning but it only goes downhill from there. I actually didn't manage to finish this book! Way too slow, way too much detail in setting the scenes... Only 2 stars, sorry, Donna. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat | 11/16/2013

    " I liked this, but found myself wanting more information at the end; it didn't tie up the loose ends, however it kinda suited the theme of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paige Layno Winn | 9/16/2013

    " I was disappointed by Tartt's second novel. I loved Secret History, but this one was lukewarm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerman | 9/14/2013

    " this was fantastic summer reading. it breaks 500pgs, tho, and not enough closure for my taste.. but you can tell Harriet is just like Donna. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 8/11/2013

    " I'm anxiously awaiting more from Donna Tartt. A unique, engrossing literary voice. Can't put her books down! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Whidden | 7/22/2013

    " The story kind of dragged on and really didn't end. Not my favorite read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ela | 11/21/2012

    " Not nearly as good as The Secret History. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie Farnam | 10/28/2012

    " I was really not so happy with this book. It was anti-climatic. I wanted more, I wanted a better ending. It was sort of a let-down. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jac S. | 9/22/2012

    " How disappointing after the wonder of The Secret History. Deeply boring. Unsatisfying ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam Baber | 7/21/2012

    " Suffused w/phenomenal passages but ultimately underwhelming as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brennan | 7/15/2012

    " Donna Tart delivers a great story about a young girl and her summer adventures. These adventures are a lot more adult than most 12 year old kids as she tries to make sense of the murder of her older brother several years earlier. I liked this book quite a lot. If only Donna Tart wrote more books! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zeeaapjae Blackburn | 7/3/2012

    " This is one that comes back and haunts you (in a good way) many years later, and then you go and read it again, not dissapointed. Terrific!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 6/30/2012

    " Wonderful book that just kind of ends. But that's OK. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki Mollenauer | 5/20/2012

    " The character of Harriett is worth reading this novel. Excellent character development and portrayal of this rebellious, yet insightful and deeply caring little girl. The onlly problem I had with the novel is that it ended abruptly; I felt like the story wasn't finished yet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zinna Eitapence | 1/15/2012

    " This book has the kind of ending that just pisses me off. Can I get pass that anger to admit it was an enjoyable, well-written, thickly layered tale? Probably not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris O'Brien | 12/11/2011

    " A wonderful read, as good as her last, though I the ending didn't quite deliver in the way that I had hoped. But still, highly recommended. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kagama-the Literaturevixen | 10/22/2011

    " I am afraid I didnt like or understand it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 5/19/2011

    " Another great read from Donna Tart. Her brilliant descriptive style sucks you in so you are with her characters every step of the way

    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adele | 4/25/2011

    " I read it all hoping for a bigger payback. There are many wonderful Southern gothic elements and the book seemed to promise a lot, but it didn't deliver. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 4/20/2011

    " What happened to this book? At the beginning it was great. Spooky, southern gothic in the style of Faulkner (a little). And then it became a book about a girl having a boring summer? But I could handle that even if the ending hadn't been so . . . existential? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Syzygous | 4/7/2011

    " This book badly needs a ruthless editor. The beginning was good, then I slogged through the rest because I was trapped on a plane, then I finished it because I was too close to the end not to. It's 20% plot and 80% logorrhea. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 3/28/2011

    " Good story but it's one of those that you want to throw across the room when you're done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 3/17/2011

    " This was an odd but compelling book. Very different from her first and yet engrossing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridget | 3/11/2011

    " I liked everything but the ending. "

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About the Author
Author Donna TarttDonna Tartt is a novelist, essayist, and critic. The Secret History has been translated into twenty-four languages and is available in hardcover from Knopf.
About the Narrator

Karen White is a classically trained actress who has been recording audiobooks since 1999. An Audie Award finalist, she has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. Her reading of The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed was named one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2009.