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The House with a Clock in Its Walls (1973)

de John Bellairs

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Sèrie: Lewis Barnavelt (1)

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1,957656,274 (3.96)1 / 85
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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Es mostren 1-5 de 65 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Reading this for the first time just goes to show that a well-told story can appeal to any age. ( )
  sturlington | Apr 4, 2021 |
I can't believe that after all of the fantasy books I've read I somehow missed this charming little novel - until after it was released as a film! But at least I got to see the film in theatres with my BFF (loved it) and I got the library to order be a copy of the book asap. Kind of shocked that they didn't already have it because it's considered a classic children's gothic novel and the movie was sure to increase its popularity. But that's just this silly library system, and I've helped them fix their error, so there. In terms of the story itself, the book was delightful to read. The film expands on a few of the themes and subplots to make the story more believable and to create more of a relationship between the characters, but I felt that the overall tone was very similar. Bellairs definitely has a good grasp of balancing gothic horror elements with a growing up story, providing readers with an engaging read at any age and giving children an entry into a fantastic genre that isn't alawyas deemed "appropriate." Having seen how the film fleshes out some of the story Bellairs could be viewed in a weaker light, but I think this more proves that his editor who insisted that he rewrite the originally more adult book was a bit of a twit. None the less, we have an excellent read here, and I'm very much looking forward to the next novel! ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
I read this thanks to the movie adaptation with Jack Black and a convenient daily deal at Audible. It was an interesting change of pace because it doesn’t fit the norms and tropes of modern young adult books. The main character isn’t super-capable or the chosen one – he’s just a normal kid caught up in supernatural weirdness who makes the occasional disastrous mistake. Apparently it’s the first in a series of a dozen or so books, so I might have to pick up the next volume sometime soon. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
A re-read before the film.

What does it take to get me into a movie theater? After ten years of ignoring the reboots and super hero flics, I finally get a film adaptation of one of my favorite childhood books.

I found this book on the shelf of the library when I was in fifth grade; the book had been published a couple years previously. I knew when I saw the cover art that it was the sort of book I would like. The illustrations really enhanced the reading experience for me.

The story is set in the fictional Michigan town of New Zebedee, in Capharnaum County. It is based on the real town of Marshall, Michigan, which has many beautiful historic homes. I would know, I'm a Michigan girl, I could jump in my car and take the secondary roads to Marshall and be there in a little over an hour.

Although Lewis is recently orphaned and basically a sad kid, he was excited when he arrived in New Zebedee to live with his uncle Jonathon. His old home town had been new and featureless and he was intrigued by New Zebedee and the Victorian era homes he saw. The best part was Uncle Jonathon's house, an eccentric structure full of marble fireplaces, second best back parlors, crooked, winding staircases and it even had a secret room. The house appealed to Lewis in the same way it appealed to me; I always wanted to live in a house like that, rather than my parent's sensible post-war bungalow.

As Lewis first suspects on arrival; he has come to a magical place.

What we get is an atmospheric gothic tale for kids. As it was published in 1973 I wouldn't recommend it for readers who enjoy the current formula for YA novels. This book is old school and they won't have the patience for it. Lewis is never transformed into a badass. He is always a wimpy fat boy; but he does overcome some of the challenges he faces in this book and becomes a stronger, wiser person with better self-esteem. I'm a sad, reality based old person who isn't charmed by Mary Sue superhero characters engaging in action packed battle sequences throughout the entire book.

Since this book was published at a transitional time for me, I have never read any of the other books in the series. It was one of the last favorite books of my childhood. After this I did a brief year of YA reading and then discretely headed for the adult fiction section. All the books I wanted to read were there.

This re-read was fun and nostalgic. I hope for good things from the movie, but they are never as good as the book. If I get some amazing art direction and a fantastic looking house I will be happy with that. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
What a magical story! I loved this book!

Lewis Barnavelt lost his parents and he is scared about coming to live with his Uncle Jonathan. He's heard rumors that his uncle is a bit weird....and it's just distressing to a child to be thrust into the unknown. But soon he learns to love his Uncle Jonathan and his eccentric neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman. They love and accept Lewis. Plus, both Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman are witches! The old house abounds with magic and all sorts of exciting things! But.....it also abounds with something darker....after Lewis mistakenly raises the dead, trying to impress a school friend. Bringing back an evil dead person is really not a good way to win friends and influence people.....especially when the evil person has hidden a clock in the walls of the house that could end humanity.

Wonderful story! Wonderful characters! :)

I listened to the audio book version (Recorded Books) of this story. Narrated by George Guidall, the audio is just over 4.5 hours long. Easy listening length! The audio quality of the recording was not very good. It had an audible hiss in the background...like the recording had been copied from an old cassette tape. But, even with the hiss, George Guidall is a superb narrator! I have listened to his recordings of the Longmire series and recognized his voice immediately! He gave a great performance! Excellent voice actor!

I was surprised to learn that this book is just the first in a 12 book series! I'm definitely reading the rest of the books! I already have the second audio book checked out from the library. I like Lewis, Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman as main charaters -- quirky, magical, eccentric....a perfect family!

I have not seen the movie version starring Jack Black (2018). I'm a bit afraid it won't have the magic of the book...but I'm willing to give it a chance. Disc on the way from Netflix. ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John Bellairsautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Gorey, EdwardIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Guidall, GeorgeNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Schmitz, AlexanderTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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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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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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