The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber


When I saw The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber (originally published 1950; republished New York Review of Books) had an introduction by Neil Gaiman and was a part of The New York Review Children’s Collection, I was intrigued. The Thirteen Clocks is a short and bizarre fairy tale. Or fantasty story. Neil Gaiman describes it as nothing anyone has ever seen before or since and that is about right.

In The Thirteen Clocks, an evil Duke has such a cold heart that all the clocks in his kingdom freeze. He has his niece under a spell to always obey him. But when a strange traveling minstrel who calls himself Xingu arrives in the kingdom, he is determined to find a way to win Saralinda’s affections.

The story is ridiculous and strange. There are puns and plays on words. There are inside jokes that we may or may not understand. But overall, it is a delightful read. I am glad to have stumbled upon it, even if it does not quite make sense to me.

(As a side note, yes it is the 31st of July and no, I did not post 31 times this month as was my goal. I tried but between this blog and my homeschooling blog, it just did not happen. I’ll keep posting whenever I have a book to share with you. But no more pressure! That was too much!)

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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