Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The 13 Clocks Review

Author: James Thurber
"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, agressive Duke, and his neice, 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. He wore gloves when he was asleep and he wore gloves when he was awake, which made it difficult for him to pick up pins or coins or the kernals of nuts, or to tear the wings from nightingales.

So begins Jams Thurber's sublimely revamped fairy tale, The 13 Clocks, in which a wicked Duke who imagines he has killed time, and the Duke's beautiful niece, for whom time seems to have run out, both meet their match, courtesy of an enterprising and very handsome prince in disguise. Readers young and old will take pleasure in this tale of love forestalled but ultimately fulfilled, admiring its upstanding hero ("He yearned to find in a far land the princess of his dreams, singing as he went and possibly slaying a dragon here and there") and unapologetic villain ("We all have flaws," the Duke said. "Mine is being wicked") while wondering at the enigmatic Golux, the mysterious stranger whose unpredictable interventions speed the story to its necessarily happy end."
-Summary from the back of The 13 Clocks

Characters: Very good! Colorful and entertaining, the characters in this fairy-tale type story are funny and interesting. The Duke is as entertaining and chilling a villain as one can get without being downright frightening, and the Golux is one of the most unusual characters I’ve ever read of.

Location: Eh. Nothing particularly good or bad. The fact that all the clocks in the Duke’s castle is interesting, but other than that, there’s nothing really noteworthy.

Plot: Good, but rather cliché. The plot by itself is a rather typical prince-rescues-beautiful-princess plot. However, there’s enough uniqueness in the characters and humor in the dialogue to mostly make up for it.

Other: This book is funny and highly quotable, though short. It’s the type of book that’s good to read when you’re more interested in something short and funny than a tale of epic proportions.

Overall Rating: 3/5

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