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A Monster Calls Paperback – 2 May 2011

294 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Walker (2 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406334901
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406334906
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 1.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 729,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking Trilogy - The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men - for which he has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the BookTrust Teenage Prize and the Costa Children's Book Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. He lives in London.

Product Description


"A Monster Calls fuses the painful and insightful, the simple and profound. The result trembles with life." (The Independent)

"Exceptional… This is storytelling as it should be – harrowing, lyrical and transcendent." (The Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

An extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Vicki @ Cosy Books VINE VOICE on 24 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is stunning, from the very first peak of it right through to the last word. Even pulling away the postage packaging left me awestruck at this beautiful book, with it's atmospheric hard covering and illustrations. Reading it is no let down either and while a short story at just over 200 pages, every single word made an impact and by the time I'd finished the last page I was an emotional mess.

A Monster Calls is based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. Having never read anything by either Dowd or Ness before (something I have now sworn to resolve) I had no preconceptions about the book at all, nor any idea what it was about. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I got. A dark, heart breaking tale of grief and loss, entwined with ancient mythology and a journey of facing the truth as well as your fears. It's powerful, stunning, achingly sad and genuinely spooky, because the monster in this story is one we could all face.

Reviewing this book is difficult, because I really don't want to give anything away, not even a small detail for fear of taking away from someone else the experience I had while reading it. I can just urge you all to add it to your wishlist, pick it up from the library, anyone from age 10-100...just get hold of a copy. Recommended a million times over.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have experienced equal quantities of dread and delight whilst anticipating A Monster Calls, a novel which is the joint venture of two highly acclaimed authors of YA fiction. I've been dreading it as it will be my last experience of the wonderful writing of Siobhan Dowd who died in 2007 aged 47. Siobhan was the author of four brilliant novels, two of which were published posthumously and she had penned some notes for a new book which culiminated in Patrick Ness taking the baton and producing the thing of beauty which is A Monster Calls.

So was it to be a Dowd or a Ness novel, whose influence would be felt the most? To tell the truth, it's different from anything either author has produced before. Yes, I felt Siobhan's touch at times but this really feels like a one-off, an original masterpiece. In just over 200 pages, Patrick Ness weaves the tale of Conor O'Malley, a 13 year old only child who has a battle on his hands. His single mother is nearing the end of her fight with cancer and Conor has a well meaning grandmother whose good intentions only end up estranging him further. His father has remarried, now living in the US and is in the clutches of a jealous new wife complete with new baby and he hardly wants the added troubles of his teenage son. Meanwhile, at school, the only people who really notice Conor are the bullies - everyone else is busily tip-toeing around the elephant in the room/playground. If that wasn't enough, a monster comes a-calling, in the shape of a yew tree - yew trees are symbolic of everlasting life and healing but this particular specimen doesn't seem very friendly.

This is one of the most powerful, compelling books I have ever read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Ang on 10 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
This a beautiful book, wonderfully illustrated by Jim Kay, with a story so simple and yet moving I'm still stunned by it, long after I've turned over the last page. There are very few books that are able to use a fantastical concept to deliver the truth of humanity so strongly and vividly, but this one achieves this feat - and with panache.

Thirteen-year-old Conor wakes up to a monster who calls his name - but it is the nightmare that he has woken up from that truly terrifies him, and which he is unable to confront. He tries to reason away the monster as another nightmare, albeit a lesser one, but there is undeniable evidence the morning after, and the frightening assurance that it was going to visit him again - soon. It transpires that the monster wants to tell Conor three tales, and in return, he has a strange request, and that is that Conor tells him his story - but it must be the truth.

Ness, himself a reputable writer of YA fantasy fiction, has cleverly crafted this novel from YA author Siobhan Dowd's unfinished story idea, before her death, and this finished product has the uncanny feel of a metafictive text, in the way the story behind the writing mirrors the story within these pages with its theme of mortality, and the ways we respond to it.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Serendipity Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you are not aware about how this book came to be, then please keep reading. The original idea for the story belonged to Siobhan Dowd, who died of cancer in 2007, her premature death prevented her from finishing the book. This would have been her fifth book and she left behind the characters, the idea behind the story and the beginning of it. The story was handed over to Patrick Ness to complete.

I have yet to read any of Siobhan Dowd's books, so I cannot compare the story to her style of writing; having said that Patrick Ness has stated that he did not write the book attempting to mimick her voice. He took her legacy and wrote it in his own unique style.

I was one of those readers who absolutely loved The Chaos Walking Trilogy and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. My initial response was amazement as it really is a thing of beauty. The cover, the design and the drawings created by Jim Kay, just bring this book into a complete category of its own. I cannot stop staring at it. All the illustrations are in black and white and they just add to the haunting nature of the book.

The story itself is an unbelievable roller coaster of feelings that rips your heart out and leaves you emotionally in tatters by the end. Never has a story affected me so much that I still want to cry over it two weeks after reading it. I am not sure if I am happy with Patrick Ness's ability to make me cry so often. This is the second time he has written a book that has left me as a blubbering wreck. ( Manchee! I say no more!). He is just an amazing author whose words leave me speechless.
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