Author: Mathias Malzieu

ISBN 978-0-307-27168-6

Click Here To Purchase The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books)

Mathias Malzieu has a wild gothic-punk imagination. In a language that is perfectly crafted, he draws vibrant, intense, often phantasmagorical pictures in The Boy with The Cuckoo-Clock Heart. Readers will enjoy this imaginative romp and the rollicking action packed life of the boy with a cuckoo-clock heart, Jack.

Jack is born with a frozen heart in Edinburgh in 1879. His mother abandons him to the care of Madeleine, a witch doctor, midwife, protector of orphans who replaces his frozen heart with a cuckoo-clock. Jack grows up among tear filled flasks, eggs containing memories and a man with a musical spine, Arthur.

As Jack gets older, Madeleine warns him that he must never fall in love for fear of breaking his cuckoo-clock heart. Of course, Jack does not listen and at the age of ten, he falls head over heals in love with Miss Acacia.

Unfortunately, the object of his desires is also loved by the bully at Jack's school. A fight ensues, wherein he hurts the bully. The police are after him, but he escapes. Before joining his young street performer with a soul-stirring voice in Andalusia, he finds in Paris, a companion in Melies. He is a lovesick, quioxotic magician, and as their journey unfolds, the author sketches European landscapes and crafts figurative language with irresistible relish.

Jack finally meets up with Miss Acacia in Andalusia, where they for awhile live the forbidden love, until Joe the bully reappears. With turns that are poignant and sad, witty and fun, this story of love and heartbreak will hold your attention to the last word.

And if you're looking for an offbeat, provocative and weird fiction, The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock heart is it.

This is an excellent translation from the French by Sarah Ardizzone.

As a companion to the Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart Malzieu's web site should be checked out. The Boy with a Cuckoo-Clock Heart and its characters come alive in an excellent animated short that he co-directed, called La Mecanique du Coeur (The mechanics of the heart).

Malzieu actually based the character of Melies on the real life Georges Melies(1861-1938), the first cinematographic director, (father of special effects), who himself was heavily influenced by Jean-Eugene Robert Houdin (105-1871). The latter was a clockmaker, illusionist, and inventor of, among other things, the kilometric counter and ophthalmological eaipment. He established a theater where he make clocks embellished with singing birs and other examples of mechanical prowess. The infamous magician "Houdini" chose his patronymic in honor of his forerunner.)

Click Here To Purchase The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Borzoi Books)