The House with a Clock in Its Walls

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs, 1973, First Edition

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt)

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  • The House with a clock in its walls

    Fiction (Series)
    Ages 9 to 12
    Unabridged Audiobook (CD)
    Performed by George Guidall
    Recorded Books, 1992, 0-7887-4739-8
    Lewis Barnavelt does not know what to expect as he makes his way towards New Zebedee, Michigan. His parents died unexpectedly and now he is going to live with his Uncle Jonathan. He has heard things about this uncle of his which were far from complimentary so he is pleasantly surprised to find that his uncle is an interesting and kind man who lives in a remarkable old mansion.
    Lewis soon settles in, spending evenings playing poker with his uncle and eating the excellent cookies that his uncle’s neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman makes for them. He is however rather unnerved which he discovers that his uncle wanders around the house at night tapping on the walls. What on earth is his uncle up to?
    Soon enough Lewis finds out. His uncle explains that the old mansion used to belong to a very nasty pair of wizards and before they died they left a clock hidden somewhere in the house. Uncle Jonathan is trying to find this clock. He also explains to Lewis that he and Mrs. Zimmerman are also wizards and between them they can manage quite an impressive array of spells. Lewis gets to see some of his uncle’s magic for himself and is quite enchanted by it.
    What Lewis does not realize is that magic can also have a very powerful dark side. It is only when he starts dabbling with magic himself that he stumbles across this terrifying truth. Trying to impress his new friend, Lewis casts a spell which threatens to endanger not only himself, his uncle, and Mrs. Zimmerman, but the entire world.
    In this fantastic gothic tale, John Bellairs weaves a story which is gripping, often amusing, and definitely spine tingling. The author has created a main character whom everyone can identify with, especially those of us who are not terribly popular or athletic. Listeners will appreciate the fact that here is a hero who has fears and worries, and who sometimes makes very big mistakes.
    Deliciously scary and exciting, this is the kind of story fans of magic will find irresistible. George Guidall narrates the story beautifully perfectly capturing the personalities of the characters.

    The House with a clock in its walls

    Fiction (Series)
    Ages 9 to 12
    Unabridged Audiobook (CD)
    Performed by George Guidall
    Recorded Books, 1992, 0-7887-4739-8
    Lewis Barnavelt does not know what to expect as he makes his way towards New Zebedee, Michigan. His parents died unexpectedly and now he is going to live with his Uncle Jonathan. He has heard things about this uncle of his which were far from complimentary so he is pleasantly surprised to find that his uncle is an interesting and kind man who lives in a remarkable old mansion.
    Lewis soon settles in, spending evenings playing poker with his uncle and eating the excellent cookies that his uncle’s neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman makes for them. He is however rather unnerved which he discovers that his uncle wanders around the house at night tapping on the walls. What on earth is his uncle up to?
    Soon enough Lewis finds out. His uncle explains that the old mansion used to belong to a very nasty pair of wizards and before they died they left a clock hidden somewhere in the house. Uncle Jonathan is trying to find this clock. He also explains to Lewis that he and Mrs. Zimmerman are also wizards and between them they can manage quite an impressive array of spells. Lewis gets to see some of his uncle’s magic for himself and is quite enchanted by it.
    What Lewis does not realize is that magic can also have a very powerful dark side. It is only when he starts dabbling with magic himself that he stumbles across this terrifying truth. Trying to impress his new friend, Lewis casts a spell which threatens to endanger not only himself, his uncle, and Mrs. Zimmerman, but the entire world.
    In this fantastic gothic tale, John Bellairs weaves a story which is gripping, often amusing, and definitely spine tingling. The author has created a main character whom everyone can identify with, especially those of us who are not terribly popular or athletic. Listeners will appreciate the fact that here is a hero who has fears and worries, and who sometimes makes very big mistakes.
    Deliciously scary and exciting, this is the kind of story fans of magic will find irresistible. George Guidall narrates the story beautifully perfectly capturing the personalities of the characters.

  • Will adapt for Mythology Entertainment

    Eric Kripke, former showrunner of , will adapt a series of books – beginning with “The House With a Clock In Its Walls” – by John Bellairs.

    Sites like SparkNotes with a The House with a Clock in Its Walls study guide or cliff notes. Also includes sites with a short overview, synopsis, book report, or summary of John Bellairs’s The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

    John Bellair's children's Gothic mystery, "The House with a Clock in its Walls" follows the adventure of Lewis Barnavelt who discovers the magic possessed by his uncle and neighbour as he moves to a new town. Good luck!

  • House With a Clock in Its Walls, the (1973) [Novel]
    by John Bellairs

    Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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    Series: Lewis Barnavelt
    Part: 1

    Summary (From the publisher):

    When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan, comes to stay with his uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both witches! Lewis is thrilled. At first, watching magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself, and unknowingly resurrects the terrifying former owner of the house, a woman named Serenna Izard. It seems that Serenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls - a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelt's can stop it!

    Original title: The House With a Clock in Its Walls
    Original languages: English

    Quotes:

    Genre: FictionChildren & Young AdultFantasyWitches & Wizards
    FictionChildren & Young AdultHorror
    FictionChildren & Young AdultFantasyDark Fantasy

    Recently I brought home The House with a Clock in Its Walls, a book I remembered only very vaguely from my own childhood. The paperback edition I got is billed as "A John Bellairs mystery featuring Lewis Barnavelt." What I remembered: it is spooky and distinctive. What I learned, reading it to my daughter at bedtime: it is definitely both of those things, with illustrations by Edward Gorey (love!) and a gothic spirit you don't usually see in children's books. This is no Goosebumps, with gross-outs (not that I'm against those). It is truly scary, and the magic in it seems very real.

The House with a Clock in its Walls Movie (Development)

The first of Bellairs’ juvenalia, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is also among his very best. From the start you sympathize with orphaned, chubby Lewis, and are fascinated and entertained by Uncle Jonathan and Mrs Zimmerman, and the world of magic and illusion they unveil. Bellairs populates his world with believable and very human characters, and adds inventive comical flourishes that give it a depth and interest many adult gothics lack; Isaac and Selenna Izard are disturbing and creepy villains without even being present through most of the action, while Lewis has very few heroic qualities, being chubby, non-athletic, and timid. Bellairs’ taste for the absurd is strong, manifesting in both tiny bits of background and broad jokes, and his creation of eerie atmosphere superb. The pace is relentless; I stayed up til my eyes were closing on their own, then finished it first thing upon waking up–and I was re-reading it!