The House With a Clock in Its Walls


Lewis is anxious about going to live with his Uncle Jonathan. The aunts he leaves behind are not overly keen on him, while his late father would be dismissive of the magic that Uncle Jonathan practises. Yet the rules and conventions that Jonathan lived with in Wisconsin with his parents have vanished. Now Lewis and Uncle Jonathan and Mrs Zimmerman play poker through the early hours, drink milk and eat cookies, while Uncle Jonathan smokes his pipe.

Furthermore Lewis learns why his Uncle checks the walls and quietens all the clocks of 100 High Street. It appears that the  previous owner, Isaac Izzard, was a warlock who practised black magic. Somehow he has left this within the house, so that the walls resonate with the ticking of a clock that cannot be found. When Lewis, desperate for a friend, is persuaded to prove his magical skills at the cemetery, he unwittingly makes the situation worse for himself and his new family. The clock ticks louder, the atmosphere is more sinister, so that the neighbours across the street move, to be replaced by Old Hammerhandle and Mrs O’Meagher. Yet, who is REALLY resident in the house? What are they up to? Why does it appear to spell doom to New Zebedee? Can Lewis, Uncle Jonathan and Mrs Zimmerman halt the return of Mr and Mrs Izzard from the dead?

The House with a Clock In Its Walls is a classic story, frightening, pacy and clever. We love the discoveries Lewis makes about his new home, family, township and himself.


The House With a Clock in Its Walls

John Bellairs

(Piccadilly Press)

Lewis was warned that his Uncle Jonathan ‘smoked and drank and played poker. However begins life in The House With a Clock in Its Walls, he learns that is uncle is kind and a magician. Furthermore, the incessant ticking that Uncle Jonathan is determined to stop relates to the former owner of 100 High Street. It seems like Isaac Izard was a warlock. Furthermore, he ‘fooled around with black magic’ to leave his house with a kind ‘of listening stillness.’
While Uncle Jonathan and neighbour Mrs Zimmerman employ =wizarding skills, it’s Lewis who lets the cat out of the bag. A cemetery visit to impress a new friend goes dreadfully wrong. It seems to unleash terror upon the house and increase the fervour of the clock. What does it all mean?
While this book is gothic and slightly sinister, there is such good humour in the relationships. Not only does Lewis discover loving, if unorthodox step parenting in Uncle Jonathan and Mrs Zimmerman, but he’s able to develop his own skills. Therefore, we see him step up when he’s scared, continue to investigate the shadows, look into the strange library of his home, and relish the opportunities he’s been given, albeit through tragedy.
The House With a Clock in Its Walls is a classic story that has been reprinted and retold many times. We are delighted to share it with our readers.


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