The 13 Clocks

The Clocks How can anyone describe this book It isn t a parable a fairy story or a poem but rather a mixture of all three It is beautiful and it is comic It is philosophical and it is cheery What we suppose w

How can anyone describe this book It isn t a parable, a fairy story, or a poem, but rather a mixture of all three It is beautiful and it is comic It is philosophical and it is cheery What we suppose we are trying fumblingly to say is, in a word, that it is Thurber.There are only a few reasons why everybody has always wanted to read this kind of story if you have alwayHow can anyone describe this book It isn t a parable, a fairy story, or a poem, but rather a mixture of all three It is beautiful and it is comic It is philosophical and it is cheery What we suppose we are trying fumblingly to say is, in a word, that it is Thurber.There are only a few reasons why everybody has always wanted to read this kind of story if you have always wanted to love a Princess if you always wanted to be a Prince if you always wanted the wicked Duke to be punished or if you always wanted to live happily ever after Too little of this kind of thing is going on in the world today But all of it is going on valorously in The 13 Clocks.

  • [PDF] The 13 Clocks | by ☆ James Thurber Marc Simont
    407 James Thurber Marc Simont
The 13 Clocks

  1. Thurber was born in Columbus, Ohio to Charles L Thurber and Mary Agnes Mame Fisher Thurber Both of his parents greatly influenced his work His father, a sporadically employed clerk and minor politician who dreamed of being a lawyer or an actor, is said to have been the inspiration for the small, timid protagonist typical of many of his stories Thurber described his mother as a born comedienne and one of the finest comic talents I think I have ever known She was a practical joker, on one occasion pretending to be crippled and attending a faith healer revival, only to jump up and proclaim herself healed.Thurber had two brothers, William and Robert Once, while playing a game of William Tell, his brother William shot James in the eye with an arrow Because of the lack of medical technology, Thurber lost his eye This injury would later cause him to be almost entirely blind During his childhood he was unable to participate in sports and activities because of his injury, and instead developed a creative imagination, which he shared in his writings.From 1913 to 1918, Thurber attended The Ohio State University, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity He never graduated from the University because his poor eyesight prevented him from taking a mandatory ROTC course In 1995 he was posthumously awarded a degree.From 1918 to 1920, at the close of World War I, Thurber worked as a code clerk for the Department of State, first in Washington, D.C and then at the American Embassy in Paris, France After this Thurber returned to Columbus, where he began his writing career as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch from 1921 to 1924 During part of this time, he reviewed current books, films, and plays in a weekly column called Credos and Curios, a title that later would be given to a posthumous collection of his work Thurber also returned to Paris in this period, where he wrote for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.In 1925, he moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, getting a job as a reporter for the New York Evening Post He joined the staff of The New Yorker in 1927 as an editor with the help of his friend and fellow New Yorker contributor, E.B White His career as a cartoonist began in 1930 when White found some of Thurber s drawings in a trash can and submitted them for publication Thurber would contribute both his writings and his drawings to The New Yorker until the 1950s.Thurber was married twice In 1922, Thurber married Althea Adams The marriage was troubled and ended in divorce in May 1935 Adams gave Thurber his only child, his daughter Rosemary Thurber remarried in June, 1935 to Helen Wismer His second marriage lasted until he died in 1961, at the age of 66, due to complications from pneumonia, which followed upon a stroke suffered at his home His last words, aside from the repeated word God, were God bless God damn, according to Helen Thurber.

299 Reply to “The 13 Clocks”

  1. Beyond the absurdity of the Shrek universe satire, satire, product placement, nostalgic nod, satire , this one actually pays tribute to those acts of chivalry so prevalent in fairy tales and children s books It is witty, playful, but also deep and adult It has, as one ogre who really gets on my nerves would say, many layers, just like an onion does.This is better than Le Petit Prince in tune with my if I do have any I guess I know that I do American proclivities, than that other Children s nigh [...]

  2. Oh my god, The 13 Clocks is genius How did this book stay off my radar for so long Who can I blame I only heard of the book because Neil Gaiman wrote an introduction I think to a new edition in which he highly praises 13 Clocks I ordered a copy from the library an older copy, without the Gaiman introductionour library system doesn t have the new edition yet and I read the entire text in about an hour, maybe a little less 13 Clocks reads like a lovely meld of The Phantom Tollbooth and Gaiman s no [...]

  3. I enjoy whimsy and fairy tales, but The 13 Clocks falls short in its attempt to blend the two I first learned of it in a discussion of Peter Beagle s The Last Unicorn, when it was reported as similar in style and tone Unfortunately, I found it a distinctly inferior tale, the vending machine version of a homemade chocolate chip cookie.More on why I awarded my unfavorable 2 stars at clsiewert.wordpress 2014 0dcarolsoklikes post 8097

  4. I picked up this book thinking that this could be classified as just another children s book It does have many fairy tale ingredients yet it uses metaphors similar to those of Antoine de Saint Exupery in his unforgettable classic, The Little Prince 3 stars Some of the metaphors used by St Ex easily escaped me but most of them I was able to relate to my personal experiences Same is true here with James Thurber s 1950 fantasy tale, The 13 Clocks The story is about an evil Duke who has been cursed [...]

  5. Once upon a time, in a gloomy castle on a lonely hill, where there were thirteen clocks that wouldn t go, there lived a cold, aggressive Duke, and his niece, the Princess Saralinda This was a fast and fun romp One part wicked to two parts whimsy, it s a book to delight all ages Children will love the story, and adults will enjoy the sophisticated humor and word play If you know anything about James Thurber, or maybe even if you don t , you ll appreciate how much fun he had writing this story In [...]

  6. This was a wonderful, farcical Children s fairy tale that I would never have come across had it not been on Boxall s 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list Reading this book reminded me of when I happily read Dr Seuss to my children, not really knowing who loved the books , who giggled the most, who said again , just glowing in that feel good emotion that only sharing the best children s books with them brought out in me How we missed this one is beyond me, I feel as though I ve short changed th [...]

  7. In The Thirteen Clocks, a prince disguised as a minstrel attempts to win the hand of Saralinda, the niece of an evil Duke who keeps her prisoner while killing most of the suitors who try to win her hand by setting impossible tasks for them to accomplish A crazy little guy called the Golux decides to help the prince in his quest.I liked this book, but here s what I got stuck on Why did the Golux help this prince, and not the other ones When it came down to it, the prince didn t really figure anyt [...]

  8. Second Thurber I read in my life, and this time I loved the book way than Walter Mitty, the first of his stories I read This is a very weird fairy tale esque Fantasy story, with an absurd plotline that s meant to make you laugh, and writing that s very convoluted and full of wordplay and silly rhymes Good for a quick read when one s in the mood for a bit of unpretentious humour.

  9. Carolyn Cantwell introduced me to this book She was a concert pianist headed for law school, majoring in American literature I was a pre med student fascinated with technology, dissecting fetal pigs in the kitchen I loved poetry, folk and rock and didn t read books I looked things up and read the funny papers I challenged her to find a book that could hold my attention to the end She took on my cutural development as a project and gave me Thirteen Clocks.I enjoyed the pictures and set it aside T [...]

  10. I read this in about an hour, which is not the way to do it It needs to be read aloud, preferably to a small child, the lyrical, whimsical language savored Which is why I now want to acquire a copy, so one day I can do just that I d try reading it aloud to the cats right now, but I doubt they d appreciate it.

  11. An American Classic the book cover declares And I agree For here, one can find many things which America had made famous 1.Kidnapping the Princess Saralinda wasn t really the Duke s niece He kidnapped her when she was little 2 Vicious Murders the Duke had killed, and gutted like fish, countless victims and fed their flesh to his geese 3 Lust the Duke lusted after Saralinda and was not able to immediately consummate his evil desire only because of a witch s spell a case of evil suspending another [...]

  12. A wonderful introduction by Neil Gaiman and and an interesting foreword by the author got me excited to read this book, but I admired it than I enjoyed it While I did smile and even chuckle at times, it just wasn t my cup of tea It was clever but in my opinion not that brilliant, and I simply didn t find it emotionally satisfying or that entertaing It was just okay for me, though I did like it well enough I m very aware that this may simply not have been the right book at the right time, for me [...]

  13. I don t get the hype.Look, this was released by Dell Yearling, so theoretically it is a children s novel Children do not know who James Thurber is, do not usually care about whether or not a story is philosophical or Thurberian, and while they do enjoy wordplay and fun, aren t placing as high a value on it as the sheer delight a story involves Seeing this on the back cover was my first warning, and the book confirms my right to be.The writing is like a sword that is so encrusted with brilliant g [...]

  14. James Thurber s The Thirteen Clocks is an allegorical fairy tale for adults that primarily showcases Thurber s wit and mischievous wordplay Although it s ostensibly about an evil Duke who keeps his niece, the Princess Saralinda locked in his cold dark castle, where time has been stopped by his own sword, and feeds her potential suitors to his geese, I don t recommend it as a bedtime story to your six year old unless you want them to turn out like me Thanks dad I mean that The 13 Clocks is simply [...]

  15. Damn, Thurber s a genius in this one Read, my friend, and witness The deliciously evil Duke who has stopped time in its tracks, who slits people from guggle to zatch The sly alliteration and delightful wordplay The intentional tweaking and inversion of tired fairy tale standards They came and tried and failed and disappeared and never came again And some, as I have said, were slain, for using names that start with X, or dropping spoons, or wearing rings, or speaking disrespectfully of sin Speaki [...]

  16. i picked this up in an independent book shop, knowing full well it wasn t really my thing neil gaimain calls the 13 clocks, probably the best book in the world and that alone kind of solidified my feeling that i probably wouldn t like it aaaand i was right s not so much that it was a bad book it s justr a certain crowd if you like neil gaiman, or monty python or the princess bride and stuff like that, you will most likely enjoy this book i don t much care for any of the aforementioned with the e [...]

  17. Me encant esta historia, es una s tira a los cuentos de hadas con una convinaci n importante de humor Disfrut mucho el poder leerla.

  18. This is certainly a fantasy book from the 50s It reminds me very much of all the old 50s children books that were in my grandparents house in California, old books that had been my mother s when she was a little girl This is partly so because of the illustrations by Marc Simont, who s style is very much like just about any other children s book from the 40s and 50s that I remember reading In fact, I m sure he illustrated at least a handful of those very books I remember from my visits to Grandma [...]

  19. It s always Then It s never Now.Time, for children, just never moves fast enough Time, for adults, moves too quickly The 13 Clocks of this tale sit frozen, slain by the villainous Duke I slew time in these gloomy halls The wicked Duke sets up impossible tasks for the young men who come to ask for the hand of Princess Saralinda, with the result of such men being fed to the Duke s geese Will the handsome minstrel be next Is he really a minstrel And who is the invisible Listen Listen can be heard, [...]

  20. This was an interesting book to say the least I m still not sure exactly what the moral was supposed to be Worth the read though, if only for the marvelous language and inventive characters.So, this gets four stars because I love Thurber and also because of this marvelous piece of alliteration The brambles and thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets Farther along and stronger, bonged the gongs of a throng of frogs, green and vivid on their lily pads From the sky [...]

  21. This is James Thurber s foray into the world of fantasy, and although it s a short story, it s a gem, for both children and adults The language is classic Thurber, with just the right seasoning of tongue in cheek, and the illustrations are perfect for the text Highly recommended for everyone, and particularly fun to read aloud either by yourself or to an audience

  22. The blurb on my copy of this book described it as not a parable, fairy tale, or poem, but rather a mix of all three In fact, it achieves none We are told the princess is good, but we are given no proof why We are told the prince is good, but he seems nothing than a spoiled rich kid And the duke, the ultimate representation of evil in this parable, is as flat as the rest of them, a slimy fellow who limps around threatening to slay people from their zatch to their guggle Humorous, occasionally, y [...]

  23. Very enjoyable story It s part children s classic, part fairy tale fantasy and the rest who knows what, but who cares Clever rhyme and innuendo throughout make for a delightful and insightful little diversion Marc Simont s illustrations, the texture of the cover, even the lettering and paper of this edition take me back to my childhood Reading The Thirteen Clocks was a full sensory experience for me and one I immediately wanted to share with others from the same generation The tale is simplicity [...]

  24. If you love cleverly written fantasy books, it doesn t get much better than the 13 Clocks The story takes you on a wild and yet slightly farcical ride as you follow the prince s efforts to win the hand of the princess from her wicked Uncle Yes, this book has the classic elements of a fairy tale but it s also filled with imaginative interpretations of everyday things such as the Duke who killed time an event which left blood on his sleeves This is a children s book and a short read, but well wort [...]

  25. the begining gave me hope, and the end left me bitter the 13 clocks started off well, then meandered every which way there was no real character development it was supposed to be philosophical, but i found it convoluted the author imployed too many tortuous windings and improbable circumstances to get everything to work out the end was rather obvious but still a bit vague and the occasional rhyming annoyed me.

  26. A timeless story of bravery, wizardry, and true love triumphing over evil, written in a delightfully Thurberian style that will appeal to readers of all ages Summary SPL With the help of his magical protector, the Golux, Prince Zorn performs impossible tasks to win the hand of Princess Saralinda.Library Journal In James Thurber s grown up fairy tale the cold Duke of Coffin Castle, who was even colder than he thought he was, holds his niece captive and refuses to give her hand in marriage since i [...]

  27. Este maravilloso relato de James Thurber condensa todo el sabor de los cuentos de hadas tradicionales en una prosa preciosa y delicada que a veces casi deja de ser prosa y pasa a ser rima, canci n y poes a La historia nos llega tamizada a trav s de esa sensaci n de lejan a y bruma que tienen las historias antiguas El car cter fant stico y el toque ligeramente surrealista me record en ciertos pasajes al tono de La serpiente Ur boros de E.R Eddison.Rese a completa y mi versi n de la portada en sid [...]

  28. Eloquent, exuberant, ebullient And effective, without resorting to such grand words A palpable influence onThe Last Unicorn As I read, I kept hearing the voices of King Haggard and Schmendrick turning November into June, the Princess whom the Duke stole as a baby, not one but thirteen clocks that never show the right time the feeling was both startling and nostalgic.

  29. AMAZING I grew up with this book, and so did my mom and her siblings absolute classic My grandfather used to quote it all the time Adorable and a necessity.

  30. Something very much like nothing anyone had ever seen before came trotting down the stairs and crossed the room What is that the Duke asked, palely I don t know what it is, said Hark, but it s the only one there ever was I might have read this at the perfect time, being sick in bed, a bit muddled in the head, much affected by Sudofed At other times, would I have written that sentence I think not I think I enjoyed Neil Gaiman s euphoric introduction to this little gem of a story even than I did [...]

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