j spilker, May 21, 2009 (view all comments by j spilker)
A childhood classic in our house too! I worried about Neil Gaiman's intro but it's appropriately humble and reverent. Everyone in my family owns one, and I bought five copies for Christmas gifts last year. Find a child and read it to them immediately.
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Patrick Cassidy, December 21, 2008 (view all comments by Patrick Cassidy)
I first heard it read aloud while leaning against my father's side, my sister leaning against his other, and I was really too small to understand it then. But the cadence was captivating and it was only the first of many readings.
So glad to see it in once again getting the attention it so richly deserves.
Get it, read it aloud to someone you love (of any age!) You'll be glad you did.
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New York Review of Books -
by Adam P.,
Like so many other fairy tales, The 13 Clocks has a wicked duke, a beautiful princess, and a prince in disguise. But I've never read another book that has a Golux. In fact, I've never read another book like this one. Adults will laugh at the wordplay, and kids will love the story. After being out of print for many years, this new version features an introduction by Neil Gaiman.
by Adam P.
by The Washington Post,
"The 13 Clocks is especially wonderful."
by LA Times,
"There are spys, monsters, betrayals....Thurber gives the proceedings his own particular deadpan spin...It all makes for a rousing concoction of adventure, humor and satire that defies any conventional classification."
by The Hudson Review,
"My exemplary Thurber fairy tale is The 13 Clocks...a small masterpiece of respectful travesty honors the whole spectrum of the traditions."
Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldnt go, there lived a cold, aggressive Duke, and his niece, the Princess Saralinda. She was warm in every wind and weather, but he was always cold. His hands were as cold as his smile, and almost as cold as his heart. He wore gloves when he was asleep, and he wore gloves when he was awake, which made it difficult for him to pick up pins or coins or the kernels of nuts, or to tear the wings from nightingales.
So begins James Thurbers sublimely revamped fairy tale, The 13 Clocks, in which a wicked Duke who imagines he has killed time, and the Dukes beautiful niece, for whom time seems to have run out, both meet their match, courtesy of an enterprising and very handsome prince in disguise. Readers young and old will take pleasure in this tale of love forestalled but ultimately fulfilled, admiring its upstanding hero (”He yearned to find in a far land the princess of his dreams, singing as he went, and possibly slaying a dragon here and there”) and unapologetic villain (”We all have flaws,” the Duke said. “Mine is being wicked”), while wondering at the enigmatic Golux, the mysterious stranger whose unpredictable interventions speed the story to its necessarily happy end.
James Thurber (1894—1961), one of the outstanding American humorists and cartoonists of the twentieth century, was born in Columbus, Ohio, and launched his professional writing career as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch in 1920. He began writing for TheNew Yorker in 1927 after his friend E. B. White got him a job at the magazine. Though hampered by failing eyesight, Thurber wrote nearly forty books, including collections of essays, short stories, fables, and children’s stories. He won a Tony Award for his popular Broadway play, A Thurber Carnival.
Marc Simont (1915-2013) illustrated nearly a hundred books. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss’s The Happy Day, and in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry. He is the illustrator for The New York Review Children’s Collection books The Backward Day and The Wonderful O.
Neil Gaiman is an award-winning author of novels, short stories, children's books, and graphic novels. Among his works are the children's books Coraline, The Wolves in the Walls, and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; the Sandman graphic novelsseries;and the fantasy novels Stardust and Smoke and Mirrors. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in the United States.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and eBooks — here at Powells.com.