Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork

Clockwork is an imaginative young adult novel written by Philip Pullman, author of a most notable trilogy of books, His Dark Materials.
    A slim volume, Clockwork (or, All Wound Up, as it's alternately titled) is a dark fairy tale that chronicles three converging story lines: that of a desperate clockmaker's apprentice, and the Faustian lengths to which he'd travel to save face; a novelist whose ad libbed narrations have sprung into a life of their own; and at last, a boy prince whose fate swings in a strange, pendulum balance. All three timelines coalesce within the winter darkness of a sleepy German village, gathering themselves together for an ending that is poignant and worthy of the classic fairy tale tradition. 
    I was not disappointed by Clockwork. Despite its being a short novel for a younger audience, the story is rife with themes quite serious, and I appreciate the author's attempt to advocate the taking of responsibility for one's failures, a consideration of the price of material obsession, and finally, the worth of remaining human in a society that  has grown alarmingly mechanized.

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