Book 28: The Cuckoo Clock of Doom
I’ve seen this pop-up on quite a few ‘best goosebumps book’ lists and even read that this is R.L. Stine’s favorite book. I will say this much, while it’s not my favorite book of Stine’s it’s very different than his previous books and has a very psychologically deep ending.
Michael is about to celebrate his 12 birthday however his sister Tara ruins everything. When his father buys a weird cuckoo clock Michael sees his chance to get Tara in trouble as revenge for all the times Tara has gotten Michael in trouble. He decides to turn the cuckoo birds head backwards.
When he wakes up the next morning it’s his birthday again. Michael continues traveling backwards in time. When he walks up as a one year old baby he knows that this is his last chance to turn the head back into the correct direction otherwise erase his entire existence.
Luckily his parents go to the antique shop that the clock was first found in. Michael manages to crawl up the clock and turn the birds head, when he returns to the present day Tara is no longer around. The book ends with Michael promising one day he’ll go back for her.
THE BAD: The book is a little slow at times. Michael is a little whiny and Tara is total bitch (even if she is only 7)
THE GOOD: The ending of the book pitches a delightfully dark question. WIll Michael actually go back in time and get Tara? Most likely not. It raises some questions of what you’d do in that situation. Obviously deeper than R.L. Stine probably intended but what the hell’s the point of reading these books 15 years later if you’re not gonna read into this stuff.
THE TV SHOW EPISODE: They did a good job of telling a rushed version of this story, it managed to not be nearly as slow as the book and actually had some interesting camerawork. Since there’s no much new though there’s really nothing to say in relation to the episode vs. the book.
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Book 29 ------>