Saturday, October 21, 2006

The 13 Clocks

I'm sure I've mentioned somewhere in the murky depths of this blog, that one of my favourite books is James Thurber's The 13 Clocks. One of 20th century America's greatest humourists, his name probably doesn't ring many bells to today's readers, although film-buffs may know that he wrote the story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", which became a star-vehicle for Danny Kaye.
Right now, I'm listening to Peter Ustinov's reading of The 13 Clocks, which I recently obtained on LP, to add to my later recording by Edward Woodward (cassette only). I've just discovered Lauren Bacall's reading, available as downloads here, along with many other old children's story LPs.
The text of the novel is all here, but I think it is better accompanied by Ronald Searle's florid illustrations (far superior to those in the original edition by Marc Simont). Apart from the wonderful language "The brambles and the thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets...", the great successes of the story are its baddies:
* the Duke: "We all have flaws, and mine is being wicked."
* the Todal, sent to punish evildoers for having done less evil than they should: "The Todal looks like a blob of glup... It makes a sound like rabbits screaming, and smells of old, unopened rooms".

2 comments:

  1. see now the model for your life plan

    the Duke!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's the way to get yourself slit from your guggle to your zatch

    ReplyDelete

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