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The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books)

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307271686
ISBN10: 0307271684
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

FIRSTLY: dont touch the hands of your cuckoo-clock heart. SECONDLY: master your anger. THIRDLY: never, ever fall in love. For if you do, the hour hand will poke through your skin, your bones will shatter, and your heart will break once more.

Edinburgh, 1874. Born with a frozen heart, Jack is near death when his mother abandons him to the care of Dr. Madeleine—witch doctor, midwife, protector of orphans—who saves Jack by placing a cuckoo clock in his chest. And it is in her orphanage that Jack grows up among tear-filled flasks, eggs containing memories, and a man with a musical spine.

As Jack gets older, Dr. Madeleine warns him that his heart is too fragile for strong emotions: he must never, ever fall in love. And, of course, this is exactly what he does: on his tenth birthday and with head-over-heels abandon. The object of his ardor is Miss Acacia—a bespectacled young street performer with a soul-stirring voice. But now Jacks life is doubly at risk—his heart is in danger and so is his safety after he injures the school bully in a fight for the affections of the beautiful singer.

Now begins a journey of escape and pursuit, from Edinburgh to Paris to Miss Acacias home in Andalusia. Mathias Malzieus The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is a fantastical, wildly inventive tale of love and heartbreak—by turns poignant and funny—in which Jack finally learns the great joys, and ultimately the greater costs, of owning a fully formed heart.

Review:

"Set in late-19th-century Europe, this slim, melancholy, and sometimes thin novel affords considerable escapist pleasures. At 14, Jack, a misfit orphan with a cuckoo-clock installed in his chest, treks across Europe in search of Miss Acacia, 'a little singer... who's always bumping into things,' he met four years before. In Paris, he finds a companion in Mlis, a lovesick, quixotic magician, and as their journey unfolds, Malzieu sketches European landscapes and crafts figurative language with irresistible relish: Miss Acacia's laugh, for instance, is 'as light as beads tumbling over a xylophone.' After Jack reaches Spain and finds Miss Acacia, he embarks on a tumultuous relationship with his beloved that will alter his life forever. Despite a few too-cutesy sexual metaphors and coming-of-age tropes, the novel's sentimentality only rarely devolves into treacle. Calling to mind a host of cultural touchstones, from Pinocchio to The Wizard of Oz, this kaleidoscopic picaresque will enchant many adults and young people alike." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Mathias Malzieu is the lead singer of the French band Dionysos. The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart is the basis for an album that Malzieu wrote, and he is codirector of an animated feature-film adaptation optioned by Luc Besson. This is his third novel and the first to be translated into English. Born in 1974 near Montpelier, Malzieu now lives in Paris.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Denise Morland, July 2, 2010 (view all comments by Denise Morland)
This book starts out as a magical fairy tale with a childless witch doctor saving the life of a new born baby by installing a cuckoo clock to keep his heart going. The charming and ecentric cast of characters protect Jack as he grows, with the doctor warning him of the dire consequences of falling in love. Naturally, Jack ignores her warnings and from there the tale gets much darker and more sinister.

I loved the writing style of Boy With a Cuckoo-Clock Heart. The flowery, imaginative descriptions worked well in this type of story, really transporting you into another world. Unfortunately the plot seemed to trail off towards the end and I lost the feeling of direction. The darkness and violence all seemed a bit pointless. In the end it was an entertaining book to listen to, but not as amazing as the beginning had me hoping for.

I listened to the audio version of Boy With a Cuckoo-Clock Heart and that is what really made the book for me. It is read by Jim Dale.......Jim Dale! What a great narrator! He has all the accents and nuances down. As soon as he starts talking you are in the heart of the story, smack in the middle of Edinburgh, Paris, or Andalusia, hearing the tick-tock of Jack's heart. Once again, Jim Dale does not disappoint!
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MindyBuchanan, April 19, 2010 (view all comments by MindyBuchanan)
I have to say that it has been a long time since I've read a book through in one sitting. Truthfully though, this isn't a super long book.

I'm having a hard time describing what I loved about it. Malzieu weaves a strange tale like a Tim Burton/Roald Dahl/Shel Silverstein mash up with a hint of Neil Gaiman. Its written like a read-out-loud storybook, but it's for grown ups. There is a lot of sexual innuendo and adult themes, yet it's whimsical like something from childhood.

So I guess, I just have to say I loved it, and that's that. I don't think it would be for everyone, but if you normally like an unusual tale, this is an excellent book.
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Jillian, March 16, 2010 (view all comments by Jillian)
This story is wonderful your heart will melt for little Jack and his struggles to win Miss Acacia's affection. Translation has created a few awkward sentences but they're minor and forgettable once you get to know the characters and caught up in the story.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307271686
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literary
Translator:
Ardizzone, Sarah
Author:
Malzieu, Mathias
Author:
Ardizzone, Sarah
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Magic realism (Literature)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Series:
Borzoi Books
Publication Date:
20100302
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.66x5.84x.82 in. .74 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 192 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307271686 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Set in late-19th-century Europe, this slim, melancholy, and sometimes thin novel affords considerable escapist pleasures. At 14, Jack, a misfit orphan with a cuckoo-clock installed in his chest, treks across Europe in search of Miss Acacia, 'a little singer... who's always bumping into things,' he met four years before. In Paris, he finds a companion in Mlis, a lovesick, quixotic magician, and as their journey unfolds, Malzieu sketches European landscapes and crafts figurative language with irresistible relish: Miss Acacia's laugh, for instance, is 'as light as beads tumbling over a xylophone.' After Jack reaches Spain and finds Miss Acacia, he embarks on a tumultuous relationship with his beloved that will alter his life forever. Despite a few too-cutesy sexual metaphors and coming-of-age tropes, the novel's sentimentality only rarely devolves into treacle. Calling to mind a host of cultural touchstones, from Pinocchio to The Wizard of Oz, this kaleidoscopic picaresque will enchant many adults and young people alike." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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