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The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
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The 13 Clocks (1950)

by James Thurber

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,313595,926 (4.09)150
  1. 60
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (_Zoe_)
  2. 40
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Bookshop_Lady)
    Bookshop_Lady: "Coraline" is creepy and might be too creepy for some kids. "The Thirteen Clocks" has a few creepy moments but overall is a light-hearted fairy tale. They're very different books and tell very different stories. But for all that, I believe older children/young teens who enjoy one of these books will probably enjoy both.… (more)
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    The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: Delightfully magical adventures.
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» See also 150 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
A wonderful fantasy for children and adults alike. There is humor and more in this classic. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jul 9, 2017 |
I listened to the audio version of The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber and was rewarded with a children’s tale whose unique style made it perfect for listening or reading aloud. I loved it’s constant wordplay, rhyming couplets and interesting phrasing but I wished that the musical score hadn’t been added to this audio as I found it distracting and at times it almost drowned out the story.

The story itself was a fantasy about a prince who must complete an impossible task in order to win the hand of the Princess Saralinda from her uncle, the evil duke. He is aided in his quest by the strange and wonderful Golux. Like all great children’s tales this one is a whimsical play on both light and dark themes.

I found The Thirteen Clocks to be witty, playful and it brought a smile to my face. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 11, 2017 |
This is one of the coolest children's books I've ever read, and I read a decent amount (you wanna fight about it?).

While a simple tale on the surface, clever wordplay and interesting ambiguity leads to a fantastic read.

I read the edition with an introduction by Neil Gaiman, who is quite the wordsmith himself. Even he had trouble saying what kind of story this is. It's a hard one to pin down, so all I can really say about it that will make any amount of sense is how it made me feel.

This book made me feel exactly how I always thought I was supposed to feel when I finally read Alice in Wonderland, but didn't.

Alice in Wonderland, I was always told, is filled with clever wordplay. It's a book that's not about the story, it's about what's beneath the story. It's about a clever man having fun toying with the English language. Unfortunately Alice in Wonderland may have been written too long ago, because I experienced little of that when I read it.

This, on the other hand, is from the fifties. Still not new, but new enough that I was able to get that second layer of meaning from it which made it engaging and thought-provoking. This all on top of the tale itself, which is a lot of fun all on its own. ( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
In a castle filled with clocks that no longer run lives the most evil Duke there's ever been with a princess whom he loves to torture by killing her various suitors. One day a threadbare minstrel comes to town who turns out to be a prince who might just foil the Duke's evil plots.

I added this book to The List after reading Neil Gaiman's [The View from the Cheap Seats] where he sung its praises. The book is charming and as a children's book its not a painful read as an adult but my socks remained firmly on my feet when I had expected them to be knocked off. Possibly more enjoyable if you are a child or have a child to read it to. ( )
  MickyFine | Apr 21, 2017 |
I liked it. Wordplay was fun, and the illustrations were charming, but it felt a bit slight to me. C'est la vie. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Thurberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaiman, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simont, MarcIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ustinov, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Jap and Helen Gude who have broken more than one spell cast upon the author by a witch or wizard, this book is warmly dedicated.
First words
Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn't go, there lived a cold aggressive Duke, and his niece, the Princess Saralinda.
Quotations
"I am the Golux," the Golux said, "the only Golux in the world, and not a mere device."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The 13 Clocks is written in a unique cadenced style, in which a mysterious prince must complete a seemingly impossible task to free a maiden from the clutches of an evil duke.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440405823, Paperback)

How can anyone describe this book? It isn't a parable, a fairy story or a poem, but rather a mixture of all three. It is beautiful and it is comic. It is philosophical and it is cheery. What we suppose we are trying fumblingly to say is, in a word, that it is Thurber.



There are only a few reasons why everybody has always wanted to read this kind of story, but they are basic:



Everybody has always wanted to love a Princess.



Everybody has always wanted to be a Prince.



Everybody has always wanted the wicked Duke to be punished.



Everybody has always wanted to live happily ever after.



Too little of this kind of thing is going on in the world today. But all of it is going on valorously in The 13 Clocks.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In a cold, gloomy castle where all the clocks have stopped, a wicked Duke amuses himself by finding new and fiendish ways of rejecting the suitors for his niece, the good and beautiful Princess Saralinda.

» see all 3 descriptions

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