The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu [Review]

As I admitted in my IMM post the other week, it was the gorgeous artwork by Benjamin Lacombe** on the wrap-around cover that immediately had me reaching into my wallet to buy this one, then the synopsis just sounded so perfect.

Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and undergoes a life-saving operation. Dr Madeleine surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Anger is too dangerous for his cuckoo-clock heart.

When the beautiful young street-singer, Miss Acacia, appears – Jack is in danger of more than just falling in love. He is putting his life on the line.

This is a fairy tale for adults, but like proper fairy tales of old, this isn’t a tale that’s fluffy and light. Oh, it’s sweet and tender enough all right, but sometimes love breaks your heart…

I’m slightly at odds with this one, I did really enjoy it, but I thought that sometimes it played to its ‘adultness’ when there wasn’t any real need to. However it was at times beautiful and quirky, and for the most part told quite tenderly, it made for a sometimes jarring  juxtaposition.

Did it detract from my overall enjoyment? No, not really. Doe’s it meet the beauty of its cover? No, not quite. Am I pleased to have had the experience of reading it? Yes, definitely.

Buy: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

Mathias Malzieu is also a member of French band: Dionysos, this trailer features a song (Tais-toi mon coeur) from an album he wrote for the book. It’s a beautiful video/trailer, but just a warning, watching right to the end, might spoil the book for you.

** Seriously, go take a look at Benjamin Lacombe‘s website and fall in love with your next book!

12 thoughts on “The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu [Review]

  • October 1 at 1:28 am
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    The cover is absolute gorgeous! I love the trailer too. It reminds me of A Nightmare Before Christmas! Good honest review 🙂

  • September 17 at 1:54 pm
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    I picked this up from the library the other day (different cover, but still eye-catching) and I thought it sounded great. And it might have turned out to be one I really liked, but as I started reading it there were occasional parts that I just didn’t like. Perhaps it was merely the translation, but I’m not sure. And early on in the story, which is supposed to be set in the late 19th century, the narrator references Charles Bronson and I read and re-read it saying “What?!?!” At that point I decided that no matter how much I might end up liking the book, I wasn’t willing to suspend that much disbelief. It was a minor thing, to be sure, and perhaps it is explained later, but it just didn’t make sense. There was something else similar that happened soon after and I ended up just taking it back to the library.

    I will be interested in seeing the film version when it comes out, however.

    • September 18 at 8:32 pm
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      Yeah, the Bronson comment and the World Cup one a little later did really though me for a bit, but thankfully while it’s nowhere near a perfect book it does get better.

      • September 18 at 8:45 pm
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        That’s nice to hear. Oddly enough, even though I felt like I made a firm decision when I closed the book and put it on the stack to return to the library I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should go ahead and give it a try. I have a number of books piled up to read for RIP, so I probably won’t get back to it soon, but I’m not going to write it off completely and may go back to it.

  • September 12 at 10:33 pm
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    Yeah, that cover makes for an easy sell! So I didn’t really need that extra nudge, but you went and gave it anyway…
    Debi recently posted…more RIP family funMy Profile

    • September 13 at 11:24 pm
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      I’d love to see a print of this cover! Hope you love it, if you get hold of it.!

  • September 11 at 3:09 pm
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    Hopped over from Semicolon because I had to know about this title! The cover art and premise of the book is definitely intriguing as well. I can’t say that this is a book I would enjoy picking up for myself but I did enjoy learning more about it! Thanks!

  • September 8 at 2:04 pm
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    Hm, I’ll come watch the trailer after I read the book then. I hope to start on my RIP books in a few days! I’m trying to get several weeks ahead in Bleak House before I do, and plus there have been holidays here, a huge painting job in my boys’ bedroom, my sister going back to Palestine, and my youngest getting a stomach virus to contend with. Not a lot of reading going on altogether!
    Amanda recently posted…Bleak House- Week 3My Profile

    • September 8 at 9:58 pm
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      Sounds like a busy few days! R.I.P. will be the perfect antidote! 😀

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