Thursday, April 12, 2018

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt, #1)The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up the moment I watched the trailer for the upcoming movie. It’s a dark children’s fairy tale, but because of the trailer I’d been expecting more than I got. This is the story of 10 y.o. Lewis who comes to live with his uncle after his parents’ death. Uncle Jonathan is a minor magician, and so is old Mrs. Zimmerman, the neighbor. Lewis is a friendless kid who tries to impress a popular boy and ends up summoning a dangerous wizard from her grave.
Obviously there will be a lot of difference between the book and the movie, but this is one of the rare cases where the differences seem to be for the better. Jack Black looks nothing like the ginger-bearded Uncle Jonathan, and Cate Blanchett looks nothing like very wrinkly old Mrs. Zimmerman, but it won’t matter. From the very first second you see Cate Blanchett on screen in the trailer, you can tell she’ll be brilliant, as always. Also, there were no octopuses in the book. It was a short read and I’m sure back in the day has managed to scare a lot of kids, but for today’s children might be lacking in action and adventure.
The illustrations by Edward Gorey are splendid. And creepy.

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