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Frank
04-04-2015, 06:16 PM
I just finished rereading The Thirteen Clocks for about the tenth time since I was eight years old. It's still a delightful tale, and if I hadn't read "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", and if I hadn't read "You Could Look It Up", and if I hadn't read "The Night the Bed Fell", and if I hadn't seen his cartoons, I might think that that was the only good story Thurber ever wrote or drew.

I'd have been wrong. Thurber was great!

kayT
04-04-2015, 07:13 PM
I think maybe "The Night the Bed Fell" is the best, but on the other hand go read "University Days" here (http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2011/01/thurber-tonight-my-life-and-hard-times_11.html) (has a couple of great drawings too) and you decide. Yeah, Thurber was great.

Postariti
04-04-2015, 07:56 PM
I like everything Thurber wrote, but there's something special about The Thirteen Clocks. He seems to have written it mostly for himself, and it's very self-indulgent. Usually that results in a terrible book, but this one time it's magical.

Ulf the Unwashed
04-04-2015, 08:34 PM
Absolutely magical.

"I killed time here in the castle. Seconds bled to death on my sleeve."

"You must kill the thorny boar of Borythorn. Only there is no thorny boar of Borythorn, which makes it hard."

"Even his indescribable hat had somehow become describable."

Do you guys know The Wonderful O? (I like Thirteen Clocks better, but it has some of the same magic and playfulness. I read it first, so have always had a soft spot for it.)

Sailboat
04-04-2015, 09:32 PM
For decades The Thirteen Clocks has been one of the special things I show new people in my life when they reach a certain degree of closeness to me.

Dead Cat
04-05-2015, 03:39 PM
Do you guys know The Wonderful O? (I like Thirteen Clocks better, but it has some of the same magic and playfulness.The two were packaged together in the same book in the edition I read (I think with each book starting from each end, so once you finished one you could simply close the book, turn it upside down, then start reading the other one - a clever idea though one that has no doubt been done many times before and since. I agree with your assessment.

RTFirefly
04-05-2015, 04:03 PM
And let's not overlook Many Moons. To quote the Royal Mathematician:

"I have figured out for you the distance between the horns of dilemma, night and day, and A and Z. I have computed how far is Up, how long it takes to get to Away, and what becomes of Gone. I have discovered the length of the sea serpent, the price of the priceless, and the square of the hippopotamus."

While it doesn't have quite the magic of The Thirteen Clocks (few books do!), as the parent of a 7 year old, I have read it dozens of times, and have yet to get tired of it.

Ulf the Unwashed
04-05-2015, 10:06 PM
And let's not overlook Many Moons. To quote the Royal Mathematician:

"I have figured out for you the distance between the horns of dilemma, night and day, and A and Z. I have computed how far is Up, how long it takes to get to Away, and what becomes of Gone. I have discovered the length of the sea serpent, the price of the priceless, and the square of the hippopotamus."

While it doesn't have quite the magic of The Thirteen Clocks (few books do!), as the parent of a 7 year old, I have read it dozens of times, and have yet to get tired of it.

Oh, yes! I used to read this one to my elementary school students back when I was teaching fulltime, but haven't read it for some time now. The connection between the moon and the tooth is very satisfying.

The Great Quillow is another Thurber story I used to do as a read-aloud from time to time. Mostly what I remember about that one is the word woddly. The students always enjoyed that one too...

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