THE LITTLE MAN by Erich Kastner
Kirkus Star


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The Little Man is Maxie Pichelsteiner, offshoot of the village of Pichelstein, in Bohemia, a community of very small people. When he was quite young his parents, performers in a travelling circus, were swept into space from the top of the Eiffel Tower, whereupon Maxie was adopted by their colleague, Professor Hokus Von Pokus. At the age of ten or twelve, he only measured two inches precisely, but he was determined to become an artiste. He practiced his tricks on Winsome Waldemar Blockhead, a display dummy, until he was proficient enough to be the Professor's Invisible Right-Hand Man. While Hokus engaged a skeptic in conversation, Maxie lifted the victim's watch and wallet, untied his shoelaces, and removed his suspenders. The audience howled and the act was a tremendous success; Maxie woke up the next day and found himself famous. The people of Pichelstein wrote to express their pride; Hollywood cabled lavish offers; King Bileam of Breganza sent a mansion scaled to Maxie's size. And then the Little Man disappeared. How Maxie found himself makes a fitting conclusion to a wild and witty fantasy. It blends elements of satire and pathos to become a commentary on the human condition in the Chaplin manner.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Knopf