THE ANTS WHO TOOK AWAY TIME by William Kotzwinkle


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A far-out but not filled-out sci-fi fantasy, about how some giant ants bring time to a stop but a slippery kid named Ducky helps start it up again. The trouble begins when Mr. Feldhammer, Keeper of Time in the Giant Gold Watch that hangs in the center of the universe, ducks outside of time for a vacation. When the ants get in and disrupt the works--so that the President's mouth stops moving in the middle of a speech, trains come to a halt between stations, and a Western tough guy freezes with one foot in the stirrup--Ducky helps assistant keeper Hank Dribley get Outside to fetch Mr. Feldhammer and retrieve the clock parts from space. Later a Time Warp (""a weird little being"") makes Dribley grow backwards to babyhood and, in a last battle, transforms itself into a high chair, a crib, and a baby carriage before Ducky transforms it into a soapbox racer and saves the day. Kotzwinkle clips along at a whirlwind pace, without stopping to introduce us properly to Ducky or to play with the implications of the time disturbances--for example, time runs backwards now and then but it's treated here merely as an annoying roadblock that momentarily delays the rushing heroes. Servello's swirling pictures couldn't express more agitation, but his pop-fantasy style is not well served by the pale, limited-color (blue and dull yellow) production. Much ado of little moment.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday