Tuesday, March 17, 2009

you blob of glup.

It's no easy task to defeat an evil, aggressive Duke (who's only vice, he pleads, is wickedness), but it's all in a day's work (well, day and some hours) for a dashing prince, a forgetful but prophetic sidekick and a princess with very, very warm hands. And aside from being a virtually perfect fairytale (complete with evil but not too terrifying villain) what makes this book so much fun is the playful language in it. Thurber uses a full arsenal of poetic devices to make up this clever, and comic universe, in a manner similar in nonsense and cleverness to the world of Doctor Seuss. And like Seuss, Thurber's prose is perfectly suited for the best kind of read aloud.
If play is the best way to learn, then Thurber's undertaking is much more substantial than a simple plot of good versus evil; it's a primer for the appreciation of literature, not just as a means for escape, but as an art. It's a pleasure to read, both to yourself and especially out loud. Even if it's still just to yourself. From start to finish, The 13 Clocks is a energetically crafted novel for kids, for people who used to be kids and even for people who were never kids at all.

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