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A Monster Calls: Illustrated Paperback Paperback – Illustrated, 2 Feb 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 469 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406339342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406339345
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (469 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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

"Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer." --John Green

Book Description

An extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss.

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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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By Bookinda 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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By Lovely Treez TOP 1000 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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Format: Hardcover
My mother passed away three years ago when I was 18 years old. She died after a long struggle against what turned out to be terminal cancer. When I recently read this book, I cried from chapter 1 to the last page, and that is a lot coming from a typically emotionally limited 21 year old guy. It felt like a weight had been lifted, because the intricate humanity outlined in this wonderful book showed me that what I and my family went through is shared by everyone who loses someone close to them and the horrible but necessary grieving process that comes with it. It is truly a masterpiece. It is real, compassionate, insightful and human and I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. Whilst it is obviously not a full remedy, this book is an incredible kind of medicine for the disease of bereavement and I thank Patrick Ness and the memory of Siobhan Dowd for the lasting healing that this book has allowed me. Beautifully written and hauntingly illustrated it is a book I will remember always and urge you to experience it for yourself.
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