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A Clock Without Hands: A Novel
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A Clock Without Hands: A Novel

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
“I want to turn back the hands on the clock and change it all, make it different; three friends who meet up by chance in an old city and share a beer and laugh at old stories and jokes. But it wasn’t like that; and the clock has no hands, so I can’t turn them back.” [p.171]

Alex Carlise has returned to a place he thought he’d never see again, outside of his dreams. As he
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 334)
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Jun 13, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a sticker in my car that says "Some of my best friends are fictional." And in a way, that's very true. The books I like best are the ones with strong characterization, with characters who not only feel real to me, but who I come to love. This is a book like that- character driven more than plot driven, with characters that are easy to become attached to.

I first read this book almost exactly 15 years ago, when it was called The Dandelion Clock. I was in a London airport bookshop with an h
Aug 08, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Posting this here as well, in case anyone else is as confused as I was about the title. This book is now officially found under the title A Clock Without Hands

I have a sticker in my car that says "Some of my best friends are fictional." And in a way, that's very true. The books I like best are the ones with strong characterization, with characters who not only feel real to me, but who I come to love. This is a book like that- character driven more than pl
Terri Enghofer
Jun 22, 2016 Terri Enghofer rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is one complex story line--Guy Burt, I give you HIGH praises for the intricate patterns, the continuous transitions from past to present to past to present . . . I almost gave up (several times) because I found myself lost in the dust too many times. But as the story progressed, you managed to hold my attention and soon I fell into the rhythm you so delicately orchestrated. This is a story I would not have wanted to miss. I sat in 2 (yes, two!) parking lots on my way home from work, wa ...more
Mia Beadle
Mar 15, 2013 Mia Beadle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish more people had read this book, I loved it.
Aug 24, 2010 Nikki rated it really liked it
I just really, really liked this book. It takes a little while to get into the unusual writing style. The story is not what you would call linear. It just back and forth in the time line with no warning. It works though. This story was different from Burt's other books in that there weren't exactly unexpected plot twists. There is very little that you don't see coming from a mile away. The drama is in watching it all unfold for the main character. This story was gripping, poignant, involved, and ...more
Andy Weston
Jun 07, 2015 Andy Weston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully written novel about loss of innocence of three youngsters over the course of a hot Italian summer in a quiet beach village.

The Italian village provides the perfect background. The almost total absence of adults allows Burt to create a Peter Pan type world, which of course will come undone.
Janet Daniels
Very good at inhabiting the minds of children and their necessarily blinkered but changing view of the world as they grow older because there is so much they are not aware of I am not surprised the author later wrote for children.
Jul 10, 2012 Karen.d rated it liked it
It took me a while to get used to the fragmented way this book is constructed, but in the end, this proved to be one of the most interesting books I have read for a while.

The characters are believeable and the setting in which Burt sets the story is beautifully described. I also felt that the sense of intrigue and suspense created throughout this novel, kept me gripped throughout. The ending felt a bit of an anticlimax, but I think this book should be read more than once, to fully appreciate it.
Jan 31, 2011 Mia added it
In the end, I wasn't sure how I felt about this book. I loved the 3 main characters, however, in the end, I was left with one thought: Why? The book simultaneously told the story of Alex and his 2 friends in various periods of life. The story of him as a child was a wonderful slice of childhood and I really enjoyed it. I was looking to find out how these 3 segments converge, but they never seem to. He supposedly at the end (and in older life) realized some major understanding, but I never knew w ...more
Nevra Aydin
Nov 16, 2014 Nevra Aydin rated it it was amazing
an amazing book with a great story with strong characters… great back and forwards in story telling… easily creates another world in your head… when i began to read it, it was always hard to leave the book…
Nov 01, 2012 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really upset me. It's profoundly sad in a way that stays with you long after you're done. I'm not spoiling anything - the majority of the book is told in flashback, so you know from the beginning WHAT happened. As the book progresses, you just figure out how and why. I really wish Burt would write more. Only three books, and nothing new in years and years! Guy, where are you? Come back! I need more!
Dec 02, 2010 Cari rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books that I've read in so so long!!! I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it. This is a good indicator that it is at the top on my list. I wish I could find a discussion on it because it is so intrigueing and I need to bounce a lot of things off of some other readers.
Dec 28, 2008 Danni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this during my secondary school days, then forgot the name of the author and spent 3 years trying to find the book again. I love it. One of my favorite books and unlike many i read when i was younger I still enjoy reading this book!
Lovely bittersweet story that has reliable-yet-not narrator thinking his way through the relationships he build as one of a trio of friends and an incident of their shared summers that traces an inevitable road to tragedy in that future.
Feb 06, 2009 Joanne rated it really liked it
One of my favorite books of the last several years. A great story about three youths and the happenings on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea - happenings that have long lasting consequences.
Jenny Reed
Jul 09, 2007 Jenny Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book - a charming and moving, if slightly sentimental, account of an artist trying to find meaning and explanations in his past life through his paintings and memories
Mar 17, 2010 Frances rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ekt hierdie boek iewers verlede jaar gelees en dis fantasties! regtig 'n interessante meesleurende verhaal wat mens nogals aan die raai hou tot aan die einde
Jun 23, 2010 Jacki rated it really liked it
Very nice descriptions- you feel like you are a character in the story. The end tears at your heart, but it reminds you of life and the ups and downs of love
Jun 11, 2009 Cat added it
Lots of time shifts and confusion - but a well written novel indeed. Alex is a main character whom I will remember.
Monica Scharshmidt
Moved around a lot, current, future, past and spent a lot of times on subjects with no follow up
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