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Publisher's Summary

A haunting gothic tale by master mystery writer John Bellairs - soon to be a major motion picture starring Cate Blanchett and Jack Black!

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 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 Barnavelts can stop it! 

©1973 John Bellairs (P)1992 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"The House with a Clock in Its Walls will cast its spell for a long time." (The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A formerly unknown classic.

What did you love best about The House with a Clock in Its Walls?

I read this series when I was little & really identified with Lewis, being a less than athletic fat kid myself. He's flawed, but tries to do the right thing, even when He's scared, which is rare for the hero of any book, let alone one for young readers.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The House with a Clock in Its Walls?

The many spooky supernatural elements will stay with you.

Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

Uncle Johnathan really comes across perfectly. A kind but blustery man who wants to make sure Lewis has a safe home.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I think the one for the actual film soon to be released is "can you hear the ticking?" I might have gone with "Each tick of the clock brings the world closer to its doom!"

Any additional comments?

All the books by this author are very well done, but for this series things really become "perfect" when Rose Rita is introduced in the second book. The 4 lead characters balance each other out, but you need to read this book first because it establishes the world.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Finely!

Audio is a little crackly but I've been waiting for this recording with George Guidall for years.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I've always loved these books

I'm stoked they finally recorded some John Bellairs books. Used to read these back in middle school they're just as good as I remember

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

walk back into my childhood

Was great to hear this book again, listen to it on my holiday and truly enjoyed!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

wonderful tale of magic

I just reread this book from my adolescent years. It was as delightful and charming all these years later as it was when I was young. masterfully narrated, It's a wonderful story that young people can relate to. And just enough spooky Intrigue to keep readers of all ages wondering what will happen. Highly recommended.

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Not what I expected

So I admit that I had never heard of this book until I saw the trailer for the movie that's coming out so that may be why I was kind of disappointed. The movie trailer made it look like it had more action and excitement in it. It was a little slow moving and I had to make myself listen to it in order to finish the book thinking that it HAS to get better! It did not.

One a good note, George Guidall was amazing, as always! He has quite a gift for story telling! If it wasn't for his soothing voice I do not think I would have finished the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ender
  • columbus, ohio
  • 04-14-18

I hate to give bad reviews for books

Would you try another book from John Bellairs and/or George Guidall?

I doubt I would ever Waste any other money on this author if this was the best book they could turn into a movie from him.

What was most disappointing about John Bellairs’s story?

Disjointed story.
The characters are all unrelatable. The main character does 2 real stupid things(among others) that don't make since in the world around him. I felt like there were several times when there was a "oh yeah I should have said this to progress the story 2 chapters ago so I'll say them now" I honestly truly have never NOT recommended a book to anyone but this will have to be the first.

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The reader did a great job. Great voice. Great inflections.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The House with a Clock in Its Walls?

Everything from the first page to the back cover.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful