The 13 Clocks: Grimm's Fairytales meet The Phantom Tollbooth

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I discovered The 13 Clocks by reading Neil Gaiman’s introduction to the 2008 New York Review of Books edition (which I found in The View from the Cheap Seats, a massive collection of Gaiman’s nonfiction), where he calls it “Probably the best book in the world” – how could I resist?


A great book, and the third time I’m reminded of Thurber here in two days. Thurber in general is on my must-re-re-read pile.


The language and meter really does make it a great read-aloud book for kids and adults. It’s been years, but I still remember how Thurber trippingly presented the catchphrase whenever things went wrong: “‘So much,’ he said, ‘for that.’”

I also recommend Thurber’s autobiography, “My Life and Hard Times.” The story about his house getting electricity is a classic.

If you enjoy reading The 13 Clocks aloud, I’d also recommend The White Deer and The Wonderful O.

I loved this when I read it years ago. I’ll have to find it and read it again.

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