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The 13 Clocks: 08/23/20
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber is a short fantasy, either a short story or a children's book or maybe an art piece. Incognito, a terrible duke has been keeping his daughter prisoner and preventing anyone from marrying her through a series of impossible tasks. So obsessed with keeping things as they are that time has basically stopped in his duchy.
It reminds me of the set up to first season Once Upon a Time but with the genders swapped between parent and child. With most stories like this, there will be that one person — that one hero or suitor, etc. — who can find the loophole to beat the challenges.
In this case, our hero has help in the form of the Golux. Like Mr. Gold, the Golux cheats. Or maybe bends things to near breaking is a better way of putting it. And there is of course everything having price or a consequence.
The 2008 edition I read has beautiful and sometimes surreal illustrations by Marc Simont. They are worked into the text and are frankly the most memorable part of the reading experience.