The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber.

great book, just been chatted about by Neil Gaiman

John Dunbar Kilburn's Blog

The 13 Clocks was written in 1950 by James Thurber, it uses obsessive wordplay and contains the analogy  ‘It came down the stairs looking exactly like something that no one had ever seen before’

 It also has this description of the terrifying Todal..

“looks like a blob of glup … makes a sound like rabbits screaming and smells of old unopened rooms … an agent of the Devil, sent to punish evildoers for having done less evil than they should.” The Todal – The 13 Clocks, James Thurber.

The story involves countless fairytale tropes but involves impossible quests and people laughing jewels and that disappear. Lovely stuff.

From wiki..

By the time he wrote this book, Thurber was blind, so he could not draw cartoons for the book, as he had done with The White Deer five years earlier. He enlisted his friend Marc Simont to illustrate the original…

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