July 15, 2009

The 13 Clocks

Category: Literature :: Permalink

While in another sort of book, this would be incredibly purple prose, in James Thurbur’s The 13 Clocks it’s delightful and I had a great time reading it to my daughter as she snuggled in bed, eyes peaking over the covers she’d pulled up around her:

The brambles and the 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 came the crying of flies, and the pilgrims leaped over a bleating sheep creeping knee-deep in a sleepy stream, in which swift and slippery snakes slid and slithered silkily, whispering sinful secrets (p. 73).

My daughter loves suspense and loves the scary parts of good stories.  I love that about her.  I often pause in the middle and ask if I should stop there, and she says, “No!”  When I ask why, she says, “Because I love it!”

And so she loved the parts about the Todal, which looks like a blob of glup, is made entirely of lip, makes a sound like rabbits screaming, smells of old, unopened rooms, and moves like monkeys and like shadows, and I loved seeing her pull the covers higher until they’re just below her gleaming eyes.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:05 pm | Discuss (0)

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