In summary form, "The Thirteen Clocks" will almost certainly come across as a clever but fairly conventional fairy tale, populated by amusing variants of the archetypal beautiful princess, wicked Duke, and poor-hero-who-isn't-what-he-seems. This is unfortunate, because while all of these characters are great fun, the real hero of this little book is the English language. Few authors are as skilled as Thurber when it comes to playing with words, and in "The Thirteen Clocks," verbal gems pop out of almost every page. Moreover, when it comes to making up new words for comedic or literary effect, only Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" does it better - you'll not find "guggle" or "zatch" in an anatomy textbook, but in the context of the tale, their meaning is both perfectly clear and perfectly hilarious (also perfectly clean - this is definitely an all-ages book). I'd offer more examples, but that would deprive you of the joy of discovering them for yourself - and not even a Todal in full gleep could make me do that.
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