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The House with a Clock in Its Walls: 12/30/22
The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs (1973) is as old as I am but I only heard of it when the movie came out in 2018. That said, I haven't actually seen the movie but now I've read the book.
It's 1948 (or 1955 in the film) and Lewis Barnavelt is on a bus to New Zebedee Michigan to live with his bachelor uncle in a mansion. Turns out he uncle and his next door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are wizards. The house itself is magical and cursed.
If this were a modern day middle grade fantasy / horror, Lewis's adventures would take place over the course of weeks, not months. He would be completely focused on learning the truth of the house's curse and putting a stop to the big, undead bad.
Instead, though, this short novel (just shy of 200 pages) unfolds over ten months. Lewis spends his summer learning how to play baseball. He makes a crucial mistake while trying to impress the kid he hopes is his friend. He goes to school and nearly completes the entire year before the climax.
Throughout all of this, there are illustrations by Edward Gorey. His interpretation of events is what pushes this strange tale into the horror category.
This novel also sits on the Road Narrative Spectrum. Lewis is a literal orphan traveler (FF). His journey is to uhoria (CC) in that he's dealing with the evil past of his uncle's house. His route there is the maze (CC) as represented by the house's changeable nature and the danger its secrets pose.
The next book in the series is The Figure in the Shadows (1975).