Clockwork or All Wound Up [Philip Pullman]

Penulis/Author: Philip Pullman (1996)

Ilustrasi/Illustrator: Peter Bailey (1996)

Penerbit/Publisher: Corgi Yearling

Cetakan/Edition: 1st, 2004

Kategori/Category: Fiction

ISBN: 0-440-86638-3 

Have you any old clock that has to be wound up to make it work? It’s probably one from your grandparents’ generation or ones made for decorative purpose. I am a watches/clocks-addict, I simply bought them because of their looks. I have some watches/clocks that have to be wound up to keep them going and yes they are a beauty and a hassle both. This book is probably too short to be called a novel but a slightly longer than a short story. Once the story is rolled on, like a clockwork with its million of mechanical pieces, it goes one way and no turning back.

Tonight is the last night for Karl before he can claim to be a clockmaker. By ten o’clock tomorrow morning, to complete his apprenticeship, he has to show everyone the new figure he would put on the old Glockenheim clock. Every clockmaker in town did this on their time and the great clock has now some famous figures in it from Michael Archangel to the Death Skeleton. But Karl is not happy. He has nothing at all for the big day, no ideas, nothing. Sitting at the town pub grumpily, he scowls at everyone.

Leaving Karl and his misery alone, everyone at the pub turns to Fritz the story reader. Every night he will read a story to the people there and they love the thrills from his writing. For tonight he has written a story about Prince Otto and his son Prince Florian. The story goes like this:

At one windy, snowy and cold night, the royal carriage returned to the palace from a hunting journey with a mad-man on the driving seat. It was Prince Otto, he looked white and dead but his right hand kept moving ups and downs like a clockwork. Inside the carriage, Prince Florian was wrapped unharmed. The rumour said the genius Dr. Kalmeius knows more than anyone else what happened that night. The rumour also said, Dr. Kalmeius is so good because he has made a contract with the devil.

Before Fritz finished his story, suddenly the mysterious Dr. Kalmeius appears at the pub’s door! Everyone flew the pub in instance. To be honest, Fritz didn’t have an ending to the story yet, he thought he was going to make it while telling the story itself. Besides, what harm could an unfinished story do? The answer is a lot!

As said before, if there is a tick, there will be a tock! Once a clock is wound up, it will go forward until the next time it has to be re-wound up. Once a story is written, an ending should be made. Fritz promised his soul to the devil and now he refuses to finish the story. Karl is seeking for a shortcut to fame, he refuses to be humiliated. He bypassed all the goodness taught to him. Is there anyone at all to help Prince Florian from his falling off clockwork body? The answer lays with Gretl, the little girl with the warmest heart.

I am not sure if I have revealed too much or have ruined the story with my cheesy synopis, but trust me, this book is a masterpiece! I was speechless, a little terrified, a bit confused but very excited at the same time. It feels so real, I even browsed the net to check if there is a real clock called Glockenheim in Germany! It is so easy to make a contract with the devil, but it’s not easy to get out from that. Make your choice wisely. Click here to read the excerpt. Pullman also made some cheeky comments on the illustrated side notes, mostly cynically funny. One statement that hits me with a nervous laugh: Karl didn’t succeed because he was too afraid to fail. Sounds familiar… *pointing an index finger to myself*

14 thoughts on “Clockwork or All Wound Up [Philip Pullman]

  1. waksss….semakin pengen untuk membeli…tapi disini belum keliatan tanda” adanya buku pullman…mungkin di indonesia malah ada ya? atau kamu mau nerjemahin rey? hueheuehu….

  2. Ya nih, kayaknya belum ada satupun buku Pullman yang diterjemahin ke bahasa Indonesia. Kalau harus beli edisi aslinya, hiks.. hiks… muahalll… hiks.. hiks… aduh sedihhhh

  3. >astrid
    nerjemahin buku kan gak gampang, kalo buat sekedar nulis-nulis negini sih gpp karna ga ada beban buat ngikutin style penulis aslinya. takutnya klo aku yg nerjemahin ntar jadi garing hihihihi :p

    belum yah? berminat menerjemahkan bo? ayo, pasti kamu bisa! btw ini murah loh bo, cuman lima dolaran, lagi diskon waktu belin. mau titip?

  4. rey…aku menyerah. keliling toko buku disini nggak ada yg jual buku ini (mereka cuman punya his dark materials)…dan akhirnya aku mesen lewat internet, hihihi…penasaran sihhhhh =)

  5. yak…akhirnya saya sudah berhasil menamatkan buku ini, setelah sebelumnya bersusah payah mencari keberadaan-nya di toko” sekitar dan akhirnya memesan lewat internet =) nice work from philip pullman…

  6. Riah Kalley says:

    It is the best story i have ever read we have a load of homework on it keep on winding on and on philip pullman

  7. Philip Pullman is a genius and I have read everything he has written. A friend of mine, Richard Carpenter, has adapted two of his books for television. Pullam is not madly funny but you can’t have all books joky. He goes where no other author has been before. He is one of my greatest influences as a children’s author, as well as JK, Jonathan Stroud, Charlie Fletcher, CS Lewis, E Nesbitt, Zizou Corder, Cliff Mcnish, Charlie Higson, Anthony Horovitz, Michelle Paver, Cressida Cowell, Philip Reeve and of course the incomparable Cornelia Funke. I love reading fantasy fiction and I love writing it. Some say it is oversubscribed, but it will never go out on fashion in my book.

    There is no other escape like it.


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