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Clockwork, Or, All Wound Up

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,999 ratings  ·  637 reviews
Frankenstein-meets-Pinocchio-meets-Faust in this incredible feat of storytelling. Fritz, the writer, spins a spine-tingling tale to cheer up Karl, the apprentice clockmaker. But rather than helping matters, the story begins to come true...
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Scholastic US (first published 1996)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,999 ratings  ·  637 reviews

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A few days ago, I suddenly had the urge to reread this. On discovering it was £3 on Amazon, I couldn't resist... I was a little less than pleased at not being able to get the edition of this I remember, but it's alright: only the cover is different. The illustrations, the layout, even the font is all the same, so that's alright.

The story has stayed in my mind for at least ten years, now: clockwork hearts and the relentless tick of machinery driving the story on. The prologue used to chill me --
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Star Rating : 5 Stars!

Fantastic; and a quick read at that!

Chill-inducing, shrouded in mystery, dark, beautiful, & lovely all in one.

I highly recommend. Philip Pullman is a master storyteller.

Ugh, just such a great story!
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: clockwork princes, infernal devices, nefarious clockmakers
I downloaded this from Audible this morning and listened to it while shoveling snow, wishing I had a clockwork automaton to do that for me.

Philip Pullman's Clockwork is a fairy tale set in Germany in (presumably) the 19th century, in a world where clockwork devices can be made so intricately precise that they can, if constructed by a particularly ingenious clockmaker, pass for little boys. There are elements of Pinocchio, Faust, and any number of Hans Christian Andersen fables in this story that
I picked this book up on a whim at the thrift store today. I'd never read any of Pullman's 'other' stories, meaning the ones that are not part of the His Dark Materials trilogy, so I wanted to see what this would be like.

From the description, it sounded very different than what it actually was. It was OK, but I had expected better. HDM isn't a favorite of mine, but it would be a lie to say that it didn't affect me. The characters in that book, and their connections with each other, really left
Ivonne Rovira
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fable lovers and diehard Pullman
Don’t go into the novella-length fable Clockwork expecting something of the inestimable caliber of the His Dark Materials trilogy. I enjoyed this tale of a story told by a tavern’s fireside that comes eerily to life. However, while worth reading, it’s not up to Bill Pullman’s usual high standard.
pro-cras-ti-nate (verb)
delay or postpone action; put off doing something.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.:
from latin procrastinat- 'deffered until tomorrow,' from the verb procrastinare , from pro- 'forward' + crastinus 'belonging to tomorrow' .

Clockwork merupakan buku terbaik dari buku-buku Philip Pullman yang sudah gue baca. Lebih singkat daripada I was a rat! dan lebih simpel dari The fireworks maker's daughter.

Buku ini menyentil gue banget. Yeah, I am Karl. The lazy bastard. A frikkin procrast
Steve Rogers
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pgce
Clockwork, Or All Wound Up

‘Tick, tock, tick, tock! Some stories are like that. Once you have wound them up, nothing will stop them; they move on forward till they reach their destined end’….

This is unquestionably one of those books that you just can’t put down. With a cliff-hanger on every page, the suspense is tangible throughout and, at times, almost unbearable. The author alludes to a series of tragic events from the offset with his ominous announcement that, ‘no matter how much the character
Harriet Jane Mitchell
I wasn't expecting this book to knit together as cleverly as it does. The idea of it being a horror book also put me off for a while as this is not a genre I typically enjoy. I decided to at least give the book a chance as I'm such a huge fan of Pullman's other works.
I have not been disappointed.

Update: 2017
I have now read the book as a shared read with my Year 5s who loved it. It has been the focus of most of our literacy work this half term. Most importantly, the class were hooked on the stor
Mike Grosso
YA Horror that has some very cool, creepy pictures and some great imagery. As a result, there are probably some parents who thought it was a middle grade story and got this for their kids only to get upset by the horror aspect.

You could easily read it in one afternoon, as this is pretty much a short story with slick presentation. If I had paid for this I might be upset at its short short short legnth, but I got it from the library and enjoyed it during the afternoon it took to read.

As far as Pul
G Beulah
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this in one sitting! A perfect read for something a little spooky around Halloween. Well-crafted story with the feel of a traditional tale. This story weaves masterfully between the narrative arc and that of the meta-story written by Fritz. Blurring the lines between the real and the imagined, this quick read is captivating and enjoyable.
Pranta Ghosh Dastider
This book is a work of pure brilliance! I have never read anything like this, and I doubt I will ever again. The concept felt genuine, and execution was perfect. Whole book captured a bizarre atmosphere. Artwork worked towards making it darker. Its as real as it is a fairy tale. If you ever wanted to start with Philip Pullman's works, this is a nice choice.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fbooks75 by: Mr.Thompson
Shelves: 7th-read
Clockwork is about two storys. The story that Fritz writes and the story that Karl is living. Fritz is a writer. The story that he writes is about a prince and his strugle with life. Karl's life is being pulled this way and that. One day he is depressed and the next he is almost evil. So a lot is going on. Then the stories are blending and that is when things start to get a little crazy. You have this and that happing and then one of the "fictional" chaters from Fritz's story appears in Karl's ...more
Marc Cooper
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I reread this this afternoon, because I simply wanted to lose myself in a story for a couple of hours. Rereading is always a delight because a story is never twice the same. Even so, I couldn't quite switch off the analytical bit of my brain. Previously, I'd not noticed how spectacularly well this story is constructed. Structure, pace, and interest are hard to fault. It's a fairy tale, so characters are there to perform their role, not to be developed. Even so, Pullman carefully constructs sympa ...more
If Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelly got together and collaborated on a book; this is what they would come up with!!!!!!
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Clockwork could be a Christmas read as well as an Halloween one. It's both a fairytale and ghost story, with references to classics like Faust or Pinocchio, and once again with a really decent female character (and another one who is the shallowest ever). It's also a story about storytelling, craft in general, and responsibility. It's quite a moral tale but not a moralistic one, and it's still a really fun, quick read.
I liked this short story. The characters were definitely unique and the "story within a story" concept worked in this case. I also liked how the two stories converged at the end.

The narration was very good. I recommend this in audio format; the narrator did a good job conveying the eerie appearance of the doctor in the middle of the story telling scene.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Andy Verschoyle
Its a great story, and its about stories, and Pullman tell us he cares " it is, as well as I can tell it." So we should care too.

"Once upon a time..... in a little German town." It's a riff on fairytales, and time too.

He raises the bar though when our inset narrator's story is hijacked by a new character ( We had been expecting it but nevertheless....) whose physical appearance brings a change in pace and darkening of mood straight out of a 19th century German novella - see Gottfried Kel
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Hahn, introducing Philip Pullman at Hay Festival this year, said he thought this was about as close to being a perfect children's book as it was possible to get, so I had to take a look. It is indeed pretty fine, and works on multiple levels, either as an exciting fantasy adventure or as a study on the craft of storytelling. I bought it from a shop that had shelved it under 8-12 years, but the story-within-a-story aspect of it felt like something that someone at the younger end of that sp ...more
Lucy Allison
This is a nice, short novel that contains multiple storylines, which ultimately connect at the end of the story. It has great suspense included for the reader, which adds to the genre of mild horror for the book. It is ideal for upper KS2, because it may be a little too spooky for younger children.
Philip Pullman is such a good writer of children's and YA fantasy stories. When one thinks that all fairy tales have already been told, he always surprises the reader with something fresh and imaginative. "Clockwork" is a hauntingly beautiful story with a Victorian feel to it and, yes, it is perfectly crafted like a clock!
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I absolutely loved this book, the first one I have ever read by Pullman. It is so beautifully written. The story is gripping and I loved the way reality and story telling were interwoven. Wow, powerful book!
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Seriously creepy story that just shies from being totally dark at the end.
Gillian Berry
This was a childhood fave. Reading a bit of Philip Pullman is always a good life choice.
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pullman presents a rather dark fairy tale with some genuinely creepy moments, rewards for the virtuous, and punishment for the lazy.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*3.5 stars
Annotation: On a snowy night in little German town pub a story is told by the young novelist Fritz. Fritz story becomes a reality when one of the characters suddenly appears.

Review: On a snowy night in a little German town, the clock maker, Herr Ringelmann, and his young apprentice Karl enter the local pub. This particular town in Germany is famous for clockwork. Like most German towns, this town also has many traditions and stories. On the night before Karl's final clockwork is revealed to the
Ed Fincham
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pullman’s tale of clockwork, inevitability, and suspense is as wound up and complex as the clockwork figures which drive the narrative and meta-narratives. For KS2 readers whom are able to access the story clockwork will be both a challenging read, and excellent introduction to more complex literature.

Clockwork revolves around two interconnected stories which eventually spiral together into one conclusion. Firstly there is the ‘present’ set principally in a late night tavern, the second narrati
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
Today I read about the Beverly Clock, Running since 1864, this clock has yet to be wound, possibly the longest running science experiment known . . .

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In Clockwork the characters vie against two disparate mechanical personalities. One is a mechanical being so life-like that he is mortal, more or less every five years when he needs a new heart. The other when activated is ruthless and doesn't wind down from his fatal task unless his "off song" is sung.

Add to this the image of a (view s
Tuyet Truong
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the fascinating world of stories, anything is possible. If wonderful or magical things happen, we sometimes wish that we could be part of the story; if terrible or scary things happen, we sit in comfort knowing that we are safe in our own reality. Or are we? What if the characters from a terrifying story were to walk through our front door? What would we do then?

Fritz is a talented storyteller whose stories bring fear and excitement to all his listeners. On the eve of the clock-maker's appren
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more
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