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Download The Thirteen Clocks epub

by Edward Woodward,James Thurber

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.
Download The Thirteen Clocks epub
ISBN: 1597776882
ISBN13: 978-1597776882
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Edward Woodward,James Thurber
Language: English
Publisher: Phoenix Audio; Unabridged edition (October 1, 2006)
ePUB size: 1831 kb
FB2 size: 1191 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 204
Other Formats: doc lit mobi lrf

If you like The Last Unicorn and Alice in Wonderland, you’ll probably like James Thurber’s fairy tales. His work is a fun mix of the wordplay of Lewis Carroll and the beautiful, sometimes half-poetic prose of Peter S. Beagle, plus the gentle satire that can be found in both of those. The 13 Clocks is light enough to read in a day or two, but also unique enough to stick with you for a lot longer than that.

It seems like a typical fairy-tale conundrum: a wicked Duke is trying to prevent his niece, Princess Saralinda, from marrying, because he is always cold and her hand is the warmest in all the castle. He sets her suitors impossible tasks and kills them when they can’t complete them. But one day, a young minstrel named Xingu decides to try and thwart the Duke. With the help of the Golux, Xingu may be able to not only win the hand of the Princess Saralinda, but get the 13 stopped clocks in the Duke’s castle up and running as well.

The 13 Clocks looks a lot like a kids’ book, what with its slim girth, large print, and color illustrations. A kid would definitely enjoy it, but adults shouldn’t ignore it, either. The writing is clever and fun enough, as Neil Gaiman says in his introduction to the book, that you’ll look for any excuse to read it aloud. Take this quote from the Golux: “I resemble only half the things I say I don’t. The other half resemble me.” Or this description of an ancient hag’s abode: “It was cold on Hagga’s hill, and fresh with furrows where the dragging points of stars had plowed the fields … There was a smell, the Golux thought, a little like Forever in the air, but mixed with something faint and less enduring, possibly the fragrance of a flower.” Now, what grown-up wouldn’t be a child again to live on words like that?

That’s why The 13 Clocks works as well as it does. It may have some predictable qualities – well-used plot, stock heroes and villains (except the Golux, who will live on forever in my heart) – but the language is superb, and the pictures aren’t bad, either. (Thurber, known for his endearingly less-than-stellar drawing skills, didn’t illustrate this book; he had Marc Simont do it because his eyes were getting bad.) It’s a great gift for anyone who loves words, even if that person is yourself.
I have been reading this book repeatedly since I was about eight, and it never fails to be a delight. Thurber's description, that he was trying to write an old-fashioned story in which the good guy gets the princess and the bad guy loses is accurate, but it doesn't tell the whole story. James Thurber pulls out all the stops in his writing with rhymes, alliteration, imaginative similes, and sly (but always squeaky-clean) descriptions. Take note of all the references to Gilbert & Sullivan songs that are dropped in passing, as well as the author's penchant to take popular sayings and stereotypes and tweak them or turn them on their heads. The story is beautiful. The writing is a stylistic fireworks show that never seems to become stilted or dense. The characters are lovable, hateable, scary, or funny in turns (witness especially the grisly and unimaginable Todal, which gleeps. Yes, really. Read it, and you'll see). It's short. It's beautifully illustrated. And it's ever so hard to put down. If you're a fan of fairy stories, or of good English style, or of humor, or of the innocently macabre, you will soon find this one of your all-time favorite books. I cannot recommend it too much.
If you love reading fairy tales, then you will want to purchase a copy of "The 13 Clocks". James Thurber's fantasy is one you will also want to share with your children or grandchildren. Containing all the elements of a classic fairy tale - from "...Once upon a time ..." to the princess in distress and her wicked captor, the Duke - the writing elevates this book to classic status. Imaginary creatures, a heroic prince disguised as a commoner and humorous situations all add to "The 13 Clocks" appeal.

Like Stephen King's "The Eyes of the Dragon" and William Goldman's "The Princess Bride", this book is more than a fairy tale - it is an extraordinary piece of literature. Thurber's use of rhymes within conversations, the alliteration, and the convoluted conversations of the Golux, reminiscent of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?" routine, is masterful. "The 13 Clocks" is a wonderful book and one that I will definitely be recommending to friends.
I know, I know...every other review of mine is for yet another childhood favorite! What can I say? I was fortunate to be raised with lots of books and lots of them were great.

This book, a sort of fairy tale by James Thurber, actually started out being my older brother's but I stole it into my room as soon as I was able. I knew we were really grown up when I finally said, "This is yours. You should have it back." and he said, "No, you love it. Keep it."

Thurber had such a way with words. This is a great book, with wonderful imagery, but I didn't realize until I read it to my small daughter, just how wonderful it sounds out-loud. It's fun to read...rolls off the tongue. I sometimes find myself opening it up and reading bits aloud to an empty room, just because it sounds so good. Some of the phrases from the book entered my family's vocabulary..."from your guggle to your zatch"..."a blob of gulp."

The illustrations by Marc Simont (one of my favorite illustrators) match the story perfectly and have stuck with me my entire life. The picture of the prince and princess riding off that's romance.
This book has much in common with other classic children's books such as Antoine St. Exupery's "Little Prince" or "The Velveteen Rabbit" -- it's simple enough to be interesting and entertaining to children; but also explores deep profundities beneath the surface of what is actually written so as to be interesting to adults.

The writing is very tight and concise. Note: this is Thurber. Look for many interesting (and funny) plays on words, as well as text which, upon closer reading, one discovers is actually narrative poetry (very well-written narrative poetry, I might add!).