The Thirteen Clocks

The Thirteen Clocks

4.6 9
by James Thurber, Marc Simont
     
 

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One of the most prolific literary figures of the 20th century, James Thurber wrote countless stories, poems, satires, and fables, and he created thousands of drawings. The 13 Clocks mixes puns and nonsense in a story complete with a princess, prince, and happy ending--put together in incomparable Thurber style. See more details below

Overview

One of the most prolific literary figures of the 20th century, James Thurber wrote countless stories, poems, satires, and fables, and he created thousands of drawings. The 13 Clocks mixes puns and nonsense in a story complete with a princess, prince, and happy ending--put together in incomparable Thurber style.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It's a modern take on the standard fairy tale... if you liked 'The Princess Bride,' you're going to like this. If you like a book by Jules Feiffer, 'A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears,' you'll like this. If you remember 'Fractured Fairy Tales' on Rocky and Bullwinkle, you'll like this. We suggest, read the beginning. We're not going to give away the plot, because it's all in the language with a book like this."  —Daniel Pinkwater, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

"The great New Yorker humorist James Thurber wrote a few children's books, the best of which may be The 13 Clocks, a 1950 tale of a wicked duke who thinks he has stopped time. Newly reissued, with an intro by Neil Gaiman — who calls it ''probably the best book in the world'' — Clocks is the equal of any modern kid classic. By the time he wrote The 13 Clocks, Thurber was too blind to provide his own usual scratchy but vivid illustrations, so he enlisted his friend Marc Simont to do the drawings. Simont provided beautifully cartoonish yet subtle mini-paintings that convey Clocks' varying moods of gloom, menace, surprise, and joy." —Entertainment Weekly

"The 13 Clocks is one of the cleverest [fairytales] that any modern writer has been able to tell...there is no living author who moves about in fairyland with such wit and easy familiarity." -Time

"It's one of the great kids' books of the last century. It may be the best thing Thurber ever wrote. It's certainly the most fun that anybody can have reading anything aloud." -Neil Gaiman

"There are spys, monsters, betrayals, hair's-breadth escapes, spells to be broken and all the usual accouterments, but 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." -LA Times

"My exemplary Thurber fairy tale is The 13 Clocks...a small masterpiece of respectful travesty honors the whole spectrum of the traditions." -The Hudson Review

"The 13 Clocks is especially wonderful." -The Washington Post

"Rich with ogres and oligarchs, riddles and wit. What distinguishes [The 13 Clocks] is not just quixotic imagination but Thurber's inimitable delight in language. The stories beg to be read aloud...Thurber captivates the ear and captures the heart." -Newsweek

"For true modern fairy tales we leave you with James Thurber...who wrote a tale...with charm and grace in The Thirteen Clocks. These I recommend if you are tired of Grimm." -ABC Radio

Thurber's stories are "for children to dream through and for adults to read as parables" -Guardian

"Everyone who reads to their children knows...to read the stuff that you love, or that you love to roll off your tongue...I'd put in a personal endorsement for James Thurber's The 13 Clocks here..." -Guardian

"Gothic, gruesome, and written with the wit of the master wordsmith.If you saw my copy, you'd believe me when I say I've read it more than 13 times." -Nicola Morgan, The Scotsman


Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
The beautiful and warm princess Saralinda is being held captive by her wicked uncle (or so he claims), the Duke of Coffin Castle. All the clocks in the castle have stopped at ten minutes before five and the Duke believes that he has succeeded in killing time since no attempts to re-start the clocks have succeeded. A prince disguised as a minstrel arrives to try to win the hand of the beautiful princess. The Duke sets a seemingly impossible task for the prince who will marry the princess if he succeeds. While the story appears to be a typical fairy tale down to the requisite happy ending, the joyous play on words, the internal meter of the language in the story and the quirky postmodern elements (characters commenting on the story itself) give this tale a charm and allure that is not often found in traditional fairy tales. Perfect for reading aloud because of the poetry of the language, the book will appeal to readers of all ages—adults and older children will laugh at the puns and wordplay and younger readers will delight in the not-quite rhyming language. The illustrations perfectly embody the fantasy elements of the story without overwhelming readers. A sheer delight. Reviewer: Ellen Welty

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671721008
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/1950
Age Range:
10 Years

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