Jessica (colorofitall) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 1 of 2010

Sorry for the repost, but I realized I needed to close my old LJ account and open a new one for my favorite LJ communities. X-posted to

Title: The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Author: John Bellairs

Year: 1973

Genre: Young Adult / Gothic Horror

Pages: 179

Rating: 9/10

Summary: Lewis always dreamed of living in an old house full of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and big marble fireplaces. And suddenly, after the death of his parents, he finds himself in just such a mansion--his Uncle Jonathan's. When he discovers that his big friendly uncle is also a wizard, Lewis has a hard time keeping himself from jumping up and down in his seat. Unfortunately, what Lewis doesn't bank on is the fact that the previous owner of the mansion was also a wizard--but an evil one who has placed a tick-tocking clock somewhere in the bowels of the house, marking off the minutes until the end of the world. And when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock only ticks louder and faster. Doomsday draws near--unless Lewis can stop the clock! (from Amazon)

Thoughts: I've loved John Bellairs ever since Brad Strickland came to my elementary school when he started finishing three books that were unfinished at Bellairs's death. I originally bought this book for my husband to read -- he never read Bellairs as a child and since he's a Lovecraft fan, I thought he would appreciate the subject matter. However, he found my copy of The Doom of the Haunted Opera and left Clock in Its Walls lying around, so I scooped it up. There's something about Bellairs's writing. He's not graphic and he's not violent, but he can say so much more through omission than most authors say with exposition. However, Clock in Its Walls is not packed full of doom and gloom -- Bellairs takes time to add humor to his books and allows the plot to play itself out instead of smooshing it into a few days or weeks.

Also, I have Bellairs to thank for a large portion of my esoteric knowledge: knowing how to make a Hand of Glory has never come in useful. He's to blame for the whole Edward Gorey obsession as well.
Tags: gothic novels, supernatural, young adult

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