Diana Welsch's Reviews > The House with a Clock in Its Walls

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs
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's review
Aug 15, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read from August 13 to 14, 2013

I read a few chapters of this during free-reading time when I was in grade school. I found it on the class bookshelf, but never had the chance to pick it up again...until now. I wasn't even positive it was the same book until I got to the part about Lewis seeing a Mayan temple in a mirror - that was a picture I remember seeing in the copy I read, possibly on the cover.

I really enjoyed finishing as an adult what I started as a kid. The story reminded me of what C.S. Lewis would be like if he were into witchcraft, or at the very least not shoehorning Bible nonsense into everything. The creepy Edward Gorey illustrations didn't hurt either.

A kid exploring a giant house with empty rooms and strange secrets is part of what reminded me of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobebut also The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when they get sucked into that picture. What we have is a great story about an orphan moving in with his cuddly warlock uncle Jonathan and Jonathan's witch best friend, Mrs. Zimmerman. They take excellent care of him, but he can't resist the temptation to use his uncle's magic books and items to impress a kid from school. That doesn't turn out too well, and it's up to Lewis, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmerman to stop what he put into motion before things get really out of control. There's some superb imagery and descriptions of both the scary and fun magic that happens.

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Reading Progress

08/13/2013 marked as: currently-reading
08/15/2013 marked as: read

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