A Monster Calls Ness, Patrick ( Author ) Sep-15-2011 Hardcover Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Conor O'Malley is a young teen who is struggling to cop with bullying at school, deliberately alienating his female best friend, and believing that his dying mother will get better. Out of the shadows comes the monster, a giant being who takes the form of a yew tree on the hill beyond Conor's bedroom window. At first the monster seems threatening but there is a purpose behind his menace which Conor must understand after putting aside his anger and despair.
Published two years after the death of Siobhan Dowd, the original author, this novel was completed by Patrick Ness who assembled it from her notes and outline. It's unclear what is her original work and what Ness has conjured up to fill in the gaps but the metaphysical angle is mildly disappointing. After plowing through so many of Tim Bowler's metaphysical stories about troubled teens I was hoping for something a bit more literal - yes monsters can be literal too. In the end the impact of the story is none the worse for it and the ending is just as hard-hitting as it was intended to be.
There are many reasons to check out A Monster Calls - the artwork, the story, the story behind the story, it's unusual journey from conception to the print. Even if this type of fiction is normally outside of your interests I fully recommend this novel to everyone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
decided NOT to share it with my sister looking after her terminally ill daughter. wasn't as helpful as i thought it might bePublished 5 months ago by Joan Cooke
A simply wonderful book around the theme of cancer and loss. Very moving and beautifully written. You'll need lots of tissues!Published 9 months ago by Vegyjones
Not sure how to review this. It covers grief, but my son and I found it very upsetting. This could argue that the rating should be higher as it was rather a gut wrenching read. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mary
It is never is easy saying goodbye to a loved one and the travelling the journey to the end is hard, but this book allows an insight to that journey.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer