- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Paperback: 106 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0590129988
- ISBN-13: 978-0590129985
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 82 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,420,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Clockwork : Or All Wound Up Paperback – October, 1998
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While Philip Pullman's greatest popularity is as a creator of novel-length magical realism for young adults, such as The Golden Compass, he continues to explore and stretch the limits of other children's and young adult genres. Clockwork is no exception. With its inspiration lying solidly in the German romantic tradition of E.T.A. Hoffmann and the Brothers Grimm, the story begins, as all good fairy tales do, with someone whose human weakness sets events inescapably in motion. As the townspeople of Glockenheim gather in the White Horse Tavern on the eve of the unveiling of a new figure for their great town clock, Karl, the clockmaker's apprentice, reveals to Fritz, a young storyteller, that he has not been able to construct the figure. A new clock figure is expected of all apprentices, and Karl is the first in hundreds of years to fail. Fritz, in his turn, has the beginnings of a new story to tell, and as it rolls off his tongue, its dark antagonist materializes and offers Karl his dearest wish. Not surprisingly, Karl's Faustian pact brings him destruction, but an innocent child is the deus ex machina that saves another child and the spirit of the town from seemingly ineluctable oblivion. With its eerie black-and-white illustrations by Leonid Gore and its happily-ever-after ending to some thrilling suspense, Clockwork is a fine fairy tale for younger children and a thought-provoking twist on the art of narrative for older ones. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"In this tightly wound tale, clockmaking and clockmakers serve as metaphors for fiction and its practitioners," said PW in a starred review. "A tale to return to time after time." Ages 8-12. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I couldn't believe it was a children's book, that's how engaged I was. Perfect spooky bedtime story, for the older ones.
I'm 23 now and I was a bit concerned that over time it might have lost its charm. If anything, I appreciate it even more. It's very similar to a Brothers Grimm story, quite dark at some points, but most certainly a fairy tale of sorts. I encourage anyone reading this review to grab a copy. "Clockwork" is like one of those warning labels on games- "Fun for ages 8 to 108!". It's a short read too, more of a novella really. Buy it, get a beverage, put on some classical music and be taken into a marvelous world. If you're older like I am, you should be done in an hour or so and will enjoy every moment. I promise you'll have a good time.
The story seems so simple after the first read, but there's much more to it. It's like a Pinocchio-Faustian-Frankenstein fairy tale. A bizarre combination, yet it works so well. It'll be worth many re-reads, especially for kids as they grow older and can grasp Pullman's deeper meanings.