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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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HALL OF FAMEon 18 April 2003
'Clockwork' is one of the miniature marvels of modern storytelling, a thrilling tale about good versus evil, kindness versus selfishness and life versus art. The tape, read by Anton Lesser, has just kept my children spellbound in the car for its entire duration.
The great clock of Glockenheim (which really exists)features clockwork figures that come out and move at different times of day or year, and the prospect of a new one by Karl, the clock-maker's apprentice is an event that has people coming from far and wide. On the eve of this great event, a number of people gather in the local inn to hear the latest story by Frtiz, a novelist, who is famed for his hair-raising tales. The one he tells tonight is about their ruler, Prince Otto, who returned from a hunting expedition with his little son Florian, with no heart, only a piece of clockwork that caused him to lash and lash his horses...
Just so, says the narrator, is a story wound up - and this is a tale as finely balanced as a work by the sinister Dr.Kalemenius. How can a little clockwork Prince find a new heart? How can Karl redeem himself from not having fulfilled his contract?
A marvellous, creepy, wise and funny story about a Faustian pact and storytelling itself, it's perfect for children of 7 upwards.
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on 26 January 2005
I've read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and his Sally Lockhart quartet, and loved both series, and I'd been considering buying this for some time. I only got round to it a few days ago, and I'm so glad I did - it's an absolutely fantastic story, brilliantly constructed and written. Don't be put off by its appearance as a "kid's book" - I'm in my 20s and was blown away by it. It has the feel of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. There are quirky characters, magical and scary creations, and a wonderful atmosphere. What's so impressive about it is the way the story is constructed - just like, as the title suggest, clockwork. It's told in two separate parts, which both lead up to a third part when the two stories come together - but the second part is very much a part of the first part, seen from a different point of view. There are also insightful and amusing little asides on almost every page, little snippets of information, like the little cogs that all add up to make a clock work. You get little pieces of the puzzle, and finally everything comes together and makes sense at the end - it is a fantastic story. Overall, a wonderful book by Philip Pullman, who has the amazing ability to write stories that appeal to both adults and children. I can't wait to read more of his fairy tales.
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on 15 March 2007
Clockwork by Philip Pullman is one of the most gripping and entertaining books I have ever read, it has thrills and leaves you on a cliff hanger on almost every page.

I read it in about 3 or 4 days, it's one of those books which you start reading thinking you might not like it, then after a chapter you can't put the book down. It was the first Philip Pullman book I've read, and now I can't wait to read another one of his books, or even read Clockwork again.

I'd recommend it by far, and would you believe that I came across this book in my school.(WHAT A GREAT BOOK TO PICK!!)

From Romelly aged 10
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on 21 January 2000
This is the first book I have read by Philip Pullman but it certainly won't be the last. This is a book which draws you in right from the start and leaves you thinking about it long after you've turned the last page. A mix of science fiction and fantasy which can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
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on 25 November 2003
it is a great book by a great author, Phillip Pullman has really tried to take you into the pages and release the magic and he has succeded i would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries, it is a great investigation for all.
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VINE VOICEon 21 November 2014
After the dreadful disappointment of the awful `Northern Lights', this is the second book by Philip Pullman I have enjoyed - the last one being `The Scarecrow And His Servant'. (see my review for that title)

`Clockwork' for me is a great and atmospheric read, and could well have been a lot longer; it's a very short story which seems a great pity... It's a riveting story of supernatural and dark themes, and when you read the first pages, it appears as if the writer began perhaps intending this story to be much more sinister than it actually is. I also found the cover a bit misleading, (the second this has happened to me with a Pullman book) which would hint and suggest that this is probably more of a child's read, but it is in fact a great read for readers of any age group. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it has only encouraged me to read more books by this author!

Five Stars!
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This is a book I read when I was much younger and thought I'd revisit. I really love reading these old(ish) books now and sharing with people, and hopefully getting a few to read them!

This is a very short read - I'm sure it was much bigger when I was younger! - but it is full of a very creepy kind of charm. Pullman paints a beautiful picture in a wintery German village with a wonderful clock who's clockwork figures are marveled at from all over the world and which you'd have to watch the whole year round to see each piece come out. It's so magical and picturesque.

Even as an adult, I still found the story very creepy. It reads like a cross between a Grimm tale and a Victorian fairy tale and the overall effect is equal parts charming and sinister. The different threads of the story weave perfectly together to create the perfect quick and scary read.

Alongside the story there are little comments and asides from the narrator with lovely little pictures to go with them. These sometimes add a little more background information on characters and places, or just little warnings from the narrator to his characters. Because, as he says, once a story is wound up, there's no stopping it.

I'm going to end with a quote because I loved it so much:

"For every once upon a time there must be a story to follow, because if a story doesn't, something else will and it might not be as harmless as a story."
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on 3 July 2009
Clockwork Review - Purple Group

Philip Pullman's clockwork book has really struck us with excitement and kept us on the edge of our seats. The start of the book is real glum, as there are too many characters to keep track of. Nothing really makes us want to read on as there's nothing interesting hidden around the corner.

The book is set in Germany (Schatzberg) in a pub filled with people, there's Karl, a lazy clockmaker apprentice who abandoned his duties and now is in trouble! Will he redeem himself? There's a storyteller called Fritz with hair-raising stories in mind. One dark night of Schatzberg he told about a prince called Florian who wasn't real, he had a deep secret... There's no trouble until he came to life! Is the town of Schatzberg safe?

Amazing, mind blowing with a surprise on every single page. We would recommend to children and adults (not young children because there's a scene where someone's neck is slit.) as the book is a great read with an eerie glow to it, only for people who love mystery, horror and a bit of super-stition.
Philip Pullman has really thought of what's happening next.

If there was anything to change it would be the beginning of the book, maybe take out the characters not needed and have a bit of mystery like it has though out the book.

I would rate the book 7 out of 10.

Reviewed by Brandon and Co (Year 6)
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on 3 October 2000
I loved this book because it reminded me of a modern version of Grimms Fairy Tales. It has a certain gothic horror element to it, whilst being very amusing as well. Pullman combines the two very effectively so that you a frightened one minute and then laughing the next. All the characters are really well crafted but Dr Kalmenius is definitely the best and gets 10 out of 10 for villainy.
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on 23 May 2016
'Clockwork' is one of the miniature marvels of modern storytelling, a thrilling tale about good versus evil, kindness versus selfishness and life versus art. There are quirky characters, magical and scary creations, and a wonderful atmosphere. What's so impressive about it is the way the story is constructed - just like, as the title suggest, clockwork. It's told in two separate parts, which both lead up to a third part when the two stories come together - but the second part is very much a part of the first part, seen from a different point of view. There are also insightful and amusing little asides on almost every page, little snippets of information, like the little cogs that all add up to make a clock work. You get little pieces of the puzzle, and finally everything comes together and makes sense at the end - it is a fantastic story.
The main thing I liked about the book was that no matter what page you were on, it always left you wanting to read more. A lot of the events left your spine chilling and desperately eager to find out what happened next. The most thrilling part for me, and my favourite part, was when part one finished with Gretl saying the dreaded word and Sir Ironsoul was making his way towards her, oblivious as to what was going to happen next.
There are many characters in this story, and although it may seem that they are all in different parts in and are all different, they all queerly come together and have a strange yet exciting connection. One of the characters is the sinister Dr Kalmenius; his reputation of being the world’s best clockwork maker is eradicated when it is found that the devil of a machine he made was actually a load of junk. Being the maker of Sir Ironsoul made Dr Kalmenius look evil to us reading it, who on earth would make such a monstorus machine? Gretl seems to be the only girl in the book and after reading the story I feel that she is to nicest character in the story. She is helpful, wise and true. Throughout the story she doesn’t play much of role however in the end, she saves the day by saving the life of Prince Florian.
There are many themes that run throughout Clockwork; messages being wise and making the right choices, winding up your own future and finally, being kind and the importance of friendship. These themes run throughout the book side by side and they make you think about your own life and your own choices. These themes are shown by the behaviours and personalities of the characters, it’s like they’re giving you secret messages as you read.
Ultimately, Clockwork is all wound up! It is a marvellous, creepy, wise and funny story that I can’t wait to read again. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone to read. I bet the more I read it, the more things I will notice and the more things I will love.
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