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The House with a Clock in Its Walls (1973)

di John Bellairs

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: Lewis Barnavelt (1)

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2,278726,070 (3.92)1 / 93
A boy goes to live with his magician uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in the walls which is ticking off the minutes until doomsday.
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Gruppo ArgomentoMessaggiUltimo messaggio 
 Name that Book: Horror Series read as kid12 non letti / 12Nerilka, Novembre 2010

» Vedi le 93 citazioni

“He held the book up to his nose. It smelled like Old Spice talcum powder. Books that smelled that way were usually fun to read. He threw the book onto his bed and went to his suitcase. After rummaging about for awhile, he came up with a long, narrow box of chocolate-covered mints. He loved to eat candy while he read, and lots of his favorite books at home had brown smudges on the corners of the pages.”
― John Bellairs, The House with a Clock in Its Walls
---

I am so sad to find out that this book has been around almost as long as I have and I have never heard of it much less read it and the book series it inspired. In this book, Lewis Barnavelt comes to live with his uncle after the death of his parents. His uncle lives in a delightfully spooky mansion complete with magic and mysteries, the chief of which being the sound of a clock that can be heard ticking in the walls of any room of the house.

Lewis is overweight, socially awkward, and of course, the new kid so making friends, indeed just navigating the schoolyard, is a bit difficult for him. He finds a ray of hope in the halfhearted friendship with the popular boy Tarby and it is to keep this friendship that Lewis takes the actions that make this story flow as he tries to raise the dead on Halloween night.

I am not a huge fan of the art style, though it fits the literary style of the book perfectly. The story is wonderful in all the magical ways that a kid should enjoy such a mystery. My own son is currently plowing his way through the series. At least he won’t have any regrets about having missed it as a child. It is a great book for middle-grade readers but is also perfect for a Halloween scare for the younger reading circle/bedtime story crowd and honestly any teen or adult who has enjoyed books like a Wrinkle in Time will enjoy this story.

Let's talk more about kid's books at I Read Kid's Book Journal ( )
  Ireadwhatuwrite | Jun 23, 2022 |
DNF @ 20%
Because I did not sign up to suffer.

The thing is - the book does not make sense. It meanders. It drags. It drones and keeps piling useless details we can do without. It made me want to scream from the page one. And characters are far from likeable. Lewis is insufferable. His uncle and the old lady are not eccentric, they are COMPLETELY CERTIFIABLY MAD.

To be honest, I'm not quite sure how this book got published, let alone evolved into a series.
*looks at the publishing date*
Okay, I can see the How.

VERDICT : AVOID LIKE PLAGUE ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
a bit outdated at times but enjoyable, funny, and creepy. inventive and a good read. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
I haven’t read this book in years and years. Once upon a time, this was the first book that actually scared me. Part of it was all the wizardry and occult, and the fact that neither uncle Jonathan nor Mrs. Zimmerman ever seemed completely what they seemed; there was always kind of a dark side to them, in my 10-12yr old mind. Also, the Edward Gorey illustrations in my edition definitely added to the creep factor of the story in the most delicious way.

This time around it’s definitely still a creepy story, but maybe it lost something in listening to the audiobook while doing every day activities, instead of being curled up on a couch, caught up in the drama. It just didn’t thrill me like it used to, and it makes me a little sad to realize it, that a story I remember really enjoying didn’t quite hold up to my pre-teen memories. ( )
  Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |
Lewis's parents have died in a car crash, and he has gone off to live with his Uncle Jonathan who he has never met. When he arrives, he finds that his uncle spends lots of time with is neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman. The house where his uncle is strange with secret passages and strange sounds including a never ending ticking in the walls that his Uncle Jonathan explains as a clock that was placed in the walls by the house's former owner, Issac Izard. Things go well for Lewis in his new home until he tries to impress his friend Tarby by successfully bringing Mrs. Izard back from the dead.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls is historical fiction, but includes many modern references. Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman are very unusual characters, but they are not well developed in the story. Lewis seems to acclimate a little too quickly to his new surroundings, but that is a minor complaint. Overall, this is a quick, enjoyable read. ( )
  ftbooklover | Oct 12, 2021 |
nessuna recensione | aggiungi una recensione

» Aggiungi altri autori (32 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Bellairs, JohnAutoreautore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Bellair ,Johnautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Gorey, EdwardIllustratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Guidall, GeorgeNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Schmitz, AlexanderTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Stone, David K.Immagine di copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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For Priscilla, who lets me be myself
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Lewis Barnavelt fidgeted and wiped his sweaty palms on the seat of the bus that was roaring toward New Zebedee.
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This is the book.
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A boy goes to live with his magician uncle in a mansion that has a clock hidden in the walls which is ticking off the minutes until doomsday.

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