Aug 12, 2016

Book Recommendation: The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

I bought this book after reading Neil Gaiman's introduction of it in A View from the Cheap Seats. (A dangerous book, if you're running out of shelf space: I bought five new books as I read it, and only one was a kindle edition.)  With The 13 Clocks, I'm actually glad I got the physical copy, because this is a gorgeous book. Just look at the artwork:  

When I opened the book, the first thing I saw was Gaiman's introduction; a fun coincidence that I ended up with that edition. I can't believe I've never come across this book before. It was love at first page. Just consider the opening:

Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn't 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.

And the descriptions! Here are a few of my favourites: 

His voice sounded like iron dropped on velvet.

She wore serenity brightly like the rainbow.

"The Todal looks like a blob of gulp,"he said. "It makes a sound like rabbits screaming, and smells of old, unopened rooms."

If you like dark fairytales, you need to hunt down this book and devour it in one reading, preferably in a dark room with the wind howling outside. 

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