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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
The wry, macabre, unforgettable tale of an ambitious orphan in Revolutionary Paris, befriended by royalty and radicals, who transforms herself into the legendary Madame Tussaud.

In 1761, a tiny, odd-looking girl named Marie is born in a village in Switzerland. After the death of her parents, she is apprenticed to an eccentric wax sculptor and whisked off to the seamy stree
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Riverhead Books (first published October 4th 2018)
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Rose (Traveling Sister)
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-unread
4.5 stars! Full review to come!
Little is a re-imagining of the woman behind the famous tourist attraction: Madame Tussauds, a wax museum that displays wax sculptures of famous people and popular characters. Loosely based, Little follows this resilient woman from birth as Anne Marie Grosholtz to age eighty-nine as Marie Tussaud, along with the transformation of an abandoned monkey house into the start of a wax empire. French culture, history, royalty, war, death, art, life, and all melts together in this lengthy piec ...more
(4.5) Little is Edward Carey’s deliciously macabre novel about Madame Tussaud, who starts life as Anne Marie Grosholtz in Switzerland in 1761 and loses both parents by the age of six. Known as Marie, she soon picks up the nickname “Little” at the studio where she helps Dr. Philip Curtius make wax anatomical models. When the indebted Curtius flees to Paris, Marie goes with him as his servant. Along with their landlady, a tailor’s widow named Charlotte Picot, and her son Edmond, they form a makesh ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The description of Edward Carey’s Little intrigued me. It sounded like something I would enjoy, and the GR reviews were terrific. I hadn’t, however, read any reviews from critics so I was still a bit wary and approached the novel not knowing what to expect. It took me by surprise and caught me totally off-guard. I was immediately captivated by the story of the orphaned Marie, known as Little due to her small stature, and the numerous hardships she faced as the apprentice/servant of a wax sculpto ...more
Cindy Burnett
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Little is the tale of Madame Tussaud (born Anne Marie Grosholtz) from her young life as an orphan through her time at Versailles with King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and then ultimately as the individual who established the wax museum she is still known for today. Carey includes clever drawings of various items throughout the book relating to the subject at hand, some fascinating and others at times a bit macabre, and each drawing adds depth to the book. My favorite part of the book is the i ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am astounded. I am charmed. I am awaiting the manifestation of pure joy this enchanting book will be for the ages. Anne Marie Grosholtz is as tall as the human heart but her outlook is to the moon. Orphaned at a young age, this child is apprenticed to a physician whose wax modeling lends a twist of the macabre and is a precursor to Marie’s wondrous involvement with French royalty, a revolution, and museums. Complete with elucidating illustrations, Little is a bold imagining of Madame Tussaud. ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
4,5 stars

This novel turned out to be such a pleasant surprise for me, the wonderful, strange and all around fascinating story of Little, later known to the whole world as Madame Tussaud. This book captivated me, made laugh and cry, I rooted for Marie so hard throughout the whole book because she's such an amazing and peculiar woman, you want her to succeed and be happy. This particular novel mostly tells in detail her life in France, before she opened her own business in London. And I'd love to
MaryannC.Book Fiend
4.5 Stars

I absolutely loved this! This was my first Edward Carey read and I was enthralled with it!
I loved Little's character, her narration as she grows up to become the famous historical figure known as Madame Tussaud. This was a little macabre, but so enjoyable and well written, also loved the sketches throughout which it added to the visualization of this story. Recommended
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I love her. Marie has such a wonderful, sharp, eccentric little voice (no pun intended), and she lives in an incredible time in French history. The art is a delightful addition—it fits right in with Marie’s personality. Just marvelous.
Claire McAlpine
I have been looking forward to reading this for a while and finally after telling a few friends about it and them reading it before me, I picked it up so I could join the conversation.

It's a wonderful read, following the extraordinary life of Anne Marie Grosholz, born in 1761 in a small country village in Switzerland, who moves to the city of Berne with her fragile and easily frightened mother to work for a young, reclusive, eccentric Doctor Curtius, a home-based Doctor obsessed with anatomy and
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Abandoned at 50%. Historical fiction based on the life of Madame Tussaud. I didn't like the writing style: it was all "telling", not "showing". Although there were a ton of quirky characters, I didn't feel like I got to know any of them. They just felt flat and lifeless. Even Marie ("Little") seemed very distant, and so I couldn't really sympathize with her. I did enjoy the illustrations in the book.
Cecily Sailer
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So delightful, absorbing, filled with oddities, morbidities, tenderness, and artistic achievement. In this fictional rendering of the life of Madame Tussaud, she is her own narrator, shifting between different homes, lacking agency but still infused with power. Suddenly orphaned at a young age, she begins to learn the art of molding and wax-casting early, under the tutelage of an eccentric and isolated man. This skill will place her in the path of the most prominent figures of late 1700s France ...more
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book so far in 2018. Gorgeously written.
Jackie Law
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Little, by Edward Carey, tells the story of Anne Marie Grosholtz, born prematurely in a remote Swiss village in 1761, who would one day become known as Madame Tussaud. Marie’s father was a soldier so she was raised by her mother, moving to Berne when she was six years old. Here she learns the art of modelling with wax from their employer, Doctor Phillipe Curtius. Curtius works for the local hospital creating models from body parts that are used to instruct trainee physicians. Growing depressed b ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
A captivating look at one of the most well known and talented artists of our time, Madame Toussard. Born Anne Marie Grosholtz, she had a strange fascination with medicine and to the human body. Marie or "Little" as she later became to be was known as, was orphaned after the death of her mother. She became an apprentice to Dr. Philip Curtis who was a master of recreating anatomical replications made from wax. There she was able to perfect her work with wax and her art. Within the pages of this st ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
2.5 to 3. It’s an alright book. It lost a star because no where did the author say this was loosely based on a real life person. So I can see someone wrongly thinking it was fact. Additionally it was so overly dramatic... the drawings were good though
Melissa Rochelle
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took Edward Carey 15 years to finish this book – in addition to writing it, he also illustrated it, and on his website he mentions that it can take a while to make the writing match the illustrations, well, it was worth the time, effort, and patience. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this book, but I was enchanted from the very beginning.

As I read, I could so easily see this being adapted into Tim Burtonesque film. Marie’s unique voice, Marie’s little illustrations scatter
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Who could imagine that the life of Madame Tussaud could be the basis for a big hearted and truly wonderful novel, filled to the brim with voice and historical imagination? I didn't, but Edward Carey has brought his love for things -- no other novelist has so deep of love of the physical world and the language that describes it -- and a sense of macabre, mixed them with Marie's sense of wonder, passion, humor and anger, her love and her mission to create an engrossing book that is a joy to read. ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss and Riverhead Books for the Advanced Reader Copy of Little. It was wonderful! I am likely not the first nor will be the last to term this historical fiction novel as charming. Marie/Little is a fabulous creation and I’m now going to research which parts of her story have a basis in fact. I felt like I was reading a Dickens novel, and the illustrations added so much. I highly recommend this title. I would deem it a 4.5 stars Goodreads title.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book about the girl who became Madame Tussaud is charmingly bizarre (think Wes Anderson at his oddest), a little gruesome, and absolutely fascinating. It's my favorite kind of historical fiction -- I became fully immersed in the setting (mostly pre- and post-revolutionary Paris) and kept thinking, "Surely that didn't really happen!" only to find, yes, it really (basically) did. I haven't enjoyed a historical fiction novel as much as this since I read THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT. I loved every pa ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a treat for the senses, I was expecting a typical historical fiction tale, but I had the audio and the kindle and loved both. This is a touching bittersweet story, filled with drawings and history galore. This book was addicting for me, I stayed out the entire day to hear it, rushing in for refreshments only to page through the book for sketches. Such an interesting story, five fat stars from me!
Jaclyn Crupi
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Perhaps my expectations were too high but this really did not live up to the hype for me. As a reimagining of the life of Madame Tussaud it is, well, quite silly. The voice was strong but I felt the narrative had no gravitas. Despite my fascination with the French Revolution I had no interest in that section. I’m honestly scratching my head about why so many people are loving this book.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding!! Creepy, weird and delightful. Plus... the illustrations! Loved this book.
Dave Brown
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Didn’t expect it but one of the best I’ve read this year. I don’t know how much is based on fact (yet!)...but this story of Madam Tussaud is fascinating. Edward Carey creates a plucky Little heroine and pulling for her made for a compulsive read . I was loving it so much - I read a chapter twice before continuing. Recommended.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a marvel! It was eccentric, fascinating, hilarious, and riveting. It tells of the life of Marie Tussaud and how she came to become the artist and storyteller we know more than 250 years later. The tone of the book was downright jovial in spite of the many trials Marie endured. As others have noted you root for Marie (aka Little) the whole way. I loved the illustrations too. Highly recommended!
By the way I read the advanced reader copy. Thanks, Riverhead Books!
Jamie Burgess
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I will admit, first of all, that I have never in my life been even slightly interested to visit Madame Tussaud's until I read this book. And, as someone who is very homesick for Paris at the moment, it was nice to dive into a story that took place in my beloved city but not in this time. I did feel that it captured certain things about Paris and about being an immigrant that were authentic. I do not wish to get into Foucault but I do have some problems with women who are written by male authors, ...more
Lady R
I have just finished this wonderful book & now I am bereft. A top read of 2018 it’s also going on my best ever list! It really is that good..... and now I want to go and devour anything else Edward Carey has ever written!
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very original novel which tells the life story of 'Little', a servant girl from Switzerland who finds herself in Paris during the French Revolution. An apprentice to a wax model maker, the mild-mannered Doctor Curtius, she learns the trade herself, although her talents and work are not appreciated for many years. Embellished with a range of drawings throughout, this often macabre and tragic story retains a slightly comic undertone, even as Little becomes an art teacher to the Princesse ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating novelization of "Little" - Anna Maria Grosholtz Tussauds and her wax heads and figures. Her humble and sad beginnings as a housekeeper to Dr. Phillipe Curtius led to her unusual career. Molding wax models of internal organs for teaching purposes eventually led to her craft of molding heads and bodies in wax for public viewing. Edward Carey has woven a piece of history into a tale I could not put down.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful historical novel, so full of emotions and entertaining.
I really loved it and I strongly recommend this book.
Many thanks to Riverhead Books and Edelweiss for this ARC
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Edward Carey is a writer and illustrator who was born in North Walsham, Norfolk, England, during an April snowstorm. Like his father and his grandfather, both officers in the Royal Navy, he attended Pangbourne Nautical College, where the closest he came to following his family calling was playing Captain Andy in the school’s production of Showboat. Afterwards he joined the National Youth Theatre a ...more
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“What casual monsters we are. What calamities we are capable of.” 0 likes
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