Philip Pullman is the tremendously-successful, tuberculosis oft-controversial author of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Born in 1946, he has been writing fiction since 1970 and a full-time author since 1996, which was when The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights, depending on which side of the pond one is on) was published. The trilogy has won various awards, and the first volume (so far) has been made into a movie, starring Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, and Derek Jacobi. This book I found for 99 cents in a bargain bin; it’s not related to his most famous works, but is a companion to a few other short ‘fairy tales’ he’s written.
Karl, the clockmaker’s apprentice, is on the last day of his apprenticeship, and that night he is expected to install the new piece of clockwork that he has made into the town’s famous clock. However, he’s at the pub, drinking and melancholy, because he has not finished his piece — in fact, he hasn’t even started one. That night, Fritz the town storyteller comes by with his new story, and starts to tell it, about a king who went on a trip with his son and another nobleman and who returned, dead, but with clockwork inside his body to make his arm move up and down. Then events from the story — which Fritz dreamed — start to be real. What is going on? Continue reading Clockwork, by Philip Pullman