The 13 Clocks: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
A giant of American humor makes his Penguin Classics debut with “probably the best book in the world” (Neil Gaiman, from the Introduction), in a stunning Deluxe Edition featuring the original, full-color illustrations
The hands of all thirteen clocks stand still in the gloomy castle on a lonely hill where a wicked Duke lives with his niece, the beautiful Princess Saralinda. The Duke fancies he has frozen time, for he is afraid that one day a Prince may come and win away the hand of the Princess—the only warm hand in the castle. To thwart that fate, he sets impossible tasks for Saralinda’s suitors. But when the bold Prince Zorn of Zorna arrives, disguised as a wandering minstrel, and helped by the enigmatic Golux, the cold Duke may at last have met his match.
Since it was first published in 1950, James Thurber’s sublimely whimsical fairy tale of love forestalled but ultimately fulfilled has delighted readers of all ages. It is published here with Marc Simont’s enchanting, full-color illustrations from the first edition.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
James Thurber (1894–1961) was one of the preeminent American humorists and cartoonists of the twentieth century. Most famous for his widely anthologized short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” he was a contributor to The New Yorker for more than thirty years and wrote nearly forty books—collections of essays, short stories, fables, and children’s stories, including The Wonderful O and the Caldecott Medal winner Many Moons.
Marc Simont (illustrations; 1915–2013) illustrated nearly a hundred books, among them James Thurber's The Wonderful O and a 1990 edition of Thurber's Many Moons. He worked with such authors as Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (on the Nate the Great series) and Margaret Wise Brown and won both a Caldecott Honor and a Caldecott Medal for his illustrations of children’s books.
Neil Gaiman (introduction) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, including American Gods, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, and the Sandman series of graphic novels. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.
“This book . . . is probably the best book in the world. And if it’s not the best book, then it’s still very much like nothing anyone has ever seen before, and, to the best of my knowledge, no one’s ever really seen anything like it since. . . . It’s unique. It makes people happier, like ice cream.” —Neil Gaiman, from the Introduction
“One of the cleverest [fairy tales] that any modern writer has been able to tell.” —Time
“Rich with ogres and oligarchs, riddles and wit. What distinguishes [The 13 Clocks] is not just quixotic imagination but Thurber’s inimitable delight in language. . . . Thurber captivates the ear and captures the heart.” —Newsweek
“There are spys, monsters, betrayals, hair’s-breadth escapes, spells to be broken and all the usual accouterments, but Thurber gives the proceedings his own particular deadpan spin. . . . It all makes for a rousing concoction of adventure, humor and satire that defies any conventional classification.” —Los Angeles Times
“The great New Yorker humorist James Thurber wrote a few children’s books, the best of which may be The 13 Clocks . . . . [Marc Simont] provided beautifully cartoonish yet subtle mini-paintings that convey Clocks’ varying moods of gloom, menace, surprise, and joy.” —Entertainment Weekly
“One of [Thurber’s] best but overlooked works . . . A raucous play of words that sounds like poetry, reads like prose, and narrowly skirts the line between the ridiculous and the profound.” —World Magazine
“If you liked The Princess Bride, you’re going to like this. . . . If you remember Fractured Fairy Tales on Rocky and Bullwinkle, you’ll like this. We suggest, read the beginning. We’re not going to give away the plot, because it’s all in the language with a book like this.” —Daniel Pinkwater, NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday