The Story So Far

Lewis Barnavelt seriesLewis had always wanted to live in a house like Uncle Jonathan's -- full of marble fireplaces and secret passageways and dozens of unused, unexplored rooms. And living with Uncle Jonathan, a real wizard, was full of fun and surprises.

The House with a Clock in its Walls (1973), by John Bellairs, is the first book in the Lewis Barnavelt series.



"Let me say that this is a truly scary book, and if the author's imagination got stuck at ten, he must lived an awesomely spooky tenth year." - Elain Lovitt

" frightening that even now, when I'm an adult and know that the main characters will get through to the end all right, I still end up skipping pages and chapters just so I can get to the end and make sure everyone survives. I'd love to figure out how he does it, but I think if I read them too closely, or too many times, I'll give myself nightmares." - Notadoor



Jonathan came running back to the car. He slammed the door and started the motor. With a squealing of tires, he turned the car around and headed back the way they had come.

Lewis was frightened. "What's wrong, Uncle Jonathan?" he asked.

"Ask me later, Lewis. Florence, what's the best way -- other way -- back to New Zebedee?"

"Take the next side road to your right. That's Twelve Mile Road, and it runs into the Wilder Creek Road. And step on it. They're gaining."

Many times, when he had been out riding with his father and mother, Lewis had pretended that they were being followed by some car or other. It was a good game to pass the time on long dull evening rides, and he remembered how he had always felt disappointed when the mystery car turned away into a side street or a driveway. But tonight the game was for real.

Around sharp curves they went, lurching dangerously far over and squeling the tires. Up hills, down hills, then seventy or eighty miles an hour on the straightaway, which was never straight for long on these winding country roads. Lewis had never seen Jonathan drive so fast, or so recklessly. But no matter how fast he drove, the two gold circles of light still burned in his rear-view mirror.

Both Mrs. Zimmermann and Uncle Jonathan seemed to know who or what was in the car behind them -- or at least they seemed to know that it was someone that had the power to do harm. But they said as little as possible, except to confer now and then about directions. So Lewis just sat there, trying to feel comforted by the green dashboard lights and the warm breath of the heater on his knees. Of course, he also felt comforted by the two wizards, whose warm friendly bodies pressed against his in the furry darkness. But he knew that they were scared, and that made him twice as scared.

Read More Lewis Barnavelt!

The Figure in the ShadowsThe Letter, the Witch, and the Ring