Clockwork Paperback – 4 Nov 2004
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"A thrilling masterwork on stories that become real" (Amanda Craig The Times)
"It has the feel of a classic fairy tale. It's the most elegantly constructed, chilling story that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck" (Jacqueline Wilson)
"Deeply satisfying and deserves to become a classic" (TES)
"Exciting, scary, romantic and deliciously readable" (Guardian)
"It is Pullman's talent for creating an atmospheric mood and tugging at your emotions to add pace and suspense that really keeps you entranced" (Junior)
From the master storyteller comes a tale of gothic mystery as elegantly crafted as the most intricate clockwork. A tormented apprentice clock-maker - and a deadly knight in armour. A mechanical prince - and the sinister Dr Kalmenius, who some say is the devil- Compelling characters and superbly constructed narrative create a story that is funny, frightening, exciting, and clever. A gem.See all Product description
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The preface sets a Christmas card like scene of children sitting by Grandfather's feet, illuminated by the glow of warm log fire-light. He tells the story, one imagines, against the howling wind and lashing rain of a cold winter night. Pullman says of some stories, `Once you've wound them up, nothing will stop them; they move forwards till they reach their destined end, and no matter how much the characters would like to change their fate, they can't.'
Ignoring the aimed at children format, this dark fairy tale is filled with suspense and analogy. The Corgi Yearling edition I picked up from Amazon is illustrated by Peter Bailey's eerie pencil drawings. This is where Oscar Wilde's Happy Prince meets the Brothers Grimm and Pinocchio, with some Tales of the Unexpected thrown in. The sidelines combine laugh out loud funny with searing wisdom aimed at the adult reading to the child.
This story is one to be read aloud, under blankets, on the sofa, by Grandpa on a cold night. Just not at bedtime.