[[quoteright:169:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/9781590172759.jpg]]
->''"We all have flaws," [The Duke] said, "and mine is being wicked."''

''Literature/The13Clocks'' is a fantasy novel by Creator/JamesThurber. A modern FairyTale, recounting the tale of the evil duke who thinks he killed time, in whose castle the 13 clocks never move, and the impossible tasks he sets to those who would marry his niece, the princess.

Full of whimsy and word play. And containing the Golux -- the only Golux in the world and not a mere device.

Thurber also wrote three more tales in the same vein, ''Many Moons'', ''The White Deer'' and ''The Wonderful O''.

The story is a favorite of NeilGaiman, who wrote the introduction to the current edition and narrated a short animated film of the first chapter (which can be viewed [[http://vimeo.com/31299484 here]].)

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!!It contains examples of:

* AristocratsAreEvil: But not all; most of the major characters, including the LoveInterest [[spoiler: and the hero]], are noble or royal.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking
* BlessedWithSuck: Hagga's tears turn into jewels. This doesn't work out quite as well as hoped.
* CardCarryingVillain: ''See'' the page quote, said by the Duke.
* ChangelingFantasy
* ChildrenAreInnocent
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: The Duke will slit you from your guggle to your zatch and feed you to his geese.
* DamselInDistress: ''See'' WifeHusbandry, ''below''.
* DeusExMachina: Or, strictly speaking ''Golux Ex Machina''. {{Lampshaded}} by the Duke.
** And lampshaded well in advance by the Golux himself: from his first appearance, the Golux declares that he is "no mere [[NarrativeDevices device]]" and the Duke constantly refers to him as "a mere device."
* DescriptionPorn: Thurber is clearly having a lot of fun with his prose.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The Duke has people killed and fed to his geese for the most minor transgressions, including not complimenting his wines or staring at his gloves for too long.
* EldritchAbomination: The Todal, which is [[TakeOurWordForIt only ever described in the most oblique of language]].
** It moves like monkeys and shadows.
** It makes a sound like rabbits screaming and smells of old unopened rooms.
** It gleeps. *shudder*
** It's made of ''lip''.
* EngagementChallenge: The entire plot
* ErmineCapeEffect
* [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Everything's Better With Princesses]]: Saralinda.
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: The Duke goes on and on about this, to the point where even [[TheDragon Hark]] gets [[DeadpanSnarker annoyed]].
* EvilUncle: The Duke. Subverted when it's revealed that [[spoiler:he actually kidnapped Saralinda.]]
* EyepatchOfPower: The Duke has one of these due to an unfortunate encounter with a bird in his youth.
* FairyTaleMotifs: Of course.
* GirlInTheTower: Princess Saralinda.
* HappilyEverAfter: Literally, in that the last shot of the hero has him sailing away "to the shores of Ever After."
* HauntedCastle: By at least three ghosts
* HighClassGlass: The Duke's working eye is adorned by this.
* ImpossibleTask: The Duke sets these to all the suitors of Saralinda, if he doesn't slit them from their guggle to their zatch first.
* IneptMage: The Golux's father, who lacks the power of concentration, and mother, who, "when she changed her rivals into fish, all she ever got was mermaids." The Golux keeps up the family tradition.
* KickTheDog: Literally; the Duke is lame because he "spent his childhood drop-kicking puppies and punting kittens."
* KingIncognito: [[spoiler: Xingu turns out to be Zorn of Zorna.]]
* TheLadysFavour
* LockedIntoStrangeness: Just hearing the [[EldritchAbomination Todal's]] name mentioned causes people's hair to turn white with terror. Even Hark's black mask turns gray.
* LoveAtFirstSight
* NoNameGiven: The Duke is only ever called The Duke.
* NowDoItAgainBackwards: The way Saralinda starts the clocks. The Golux's logic seems to work this way.
** "If you can touch the clocks and never start them, then you can start the clocks and never touch them. [[InsaneTrollLogic That's logic, as I know and use it.]]"
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: From guggle to zatch. Also gleeping.
* ProphecyTwist: In Saralinda's nurse's spell.
* TheQuest: Find ten thousand jewels before ninety-nine hours are up.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: Xingu must complete his {{quest}} by making all thirteen clocks strike five.
* ReverseMole: [[spoiler: Hark, the Duke's spy.]]
** And [[spoiler: Listen, who is the Golux in disguise]]!
* RhymesOnADime
* RoyalBlood: Saralinda and Zorn of Zorna
* SwordCane: The Duke owns one.
* TakeOurWordForIt: The [[EldritchAbomination Todal]]. Especially when it gleeps.
* TongueTied: Saralinda in the Duke's presence, thanks to a spell.
* TheTourney: In the backstory. The traveler recognizes the minstrel from them.
* UnusualEuphemism: A non-sexual variety. Even the hero wonders where his guggle and zatch are. Turns out, they're [[spoiler: his throat and stomach, respectively]].
* WanderingMinstrel: Xingu, when we first meet him. He alludes to ''TheMikado'' several times, calling himself "a thing of threads and patches". [[spoiler:This is also a hint that he's really royalty, just like the wandering minstrel who delivers that line in The Mikado.]]
* WeHelpTheHelpless: "Then you're helpless and I'll help you."
* WifeHusbandry: The Duke is doing this to Saralinda.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Any minion who fails the Duke is fed to his geese.
** This is the function of the Todal, an agent of TheDevil who punishes evildoers for not doing enough evil. One stalks the Duke, causing him to be terrified of what will happen to him if he isn't villainous enough.
* YoungestChildWins: Zorn of Zorna
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