Book review: “Clockwork, or All Wound Up” by Philip Pullman

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The author of His Dark Materials brings us this short, award-winning tale of horror, in which a desperate clockmaker’’s apprentice accepts an offer of help from a devilish doctor, and a sweet innkeeper’s daughter struggles to help an innocent little boy who has something seriously wrong inside him.

It begins in a German tavern in the days when clocks ran on gears, springs, and pendulums, rather than quartz crystals and electronic timers. A community gathers to hear the local novelist read his latest spooky tale, but when a sinister character steps out of its pages into the room, the storyteller runs for it. A grim fairy tale about a prince who would do anything for an heir collides with the macabre business of a deadly clockwork-knight, and an apprentice’s corrupt ambition, to form one hair-raising short story. If you want a tale full of creepy-crawlies and gruesome surprises, let Clockwork wind you up.

Recommended Age: 12+