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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

by Patrick Ness

Other authors: Siobhan Dowd (Author), Jim Kay (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (179)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (183)
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
A Monster Calls is one of those rare young adult novels that accurately and effortlessly portrays adolescent emotional states with the same intensity and understanding that translates well from adult comprehension to adolescent endurance. Paired with powerful and dark imagery, Ness's narrative takes readers through the difficult but necessary journey of the grieving process in guise of a young boy's struggle to understand the inevitable loss of his mother, the turbulent angst and sadness he withholds, and how passive and unpredictable the world can be during the course of the Monster's three tales. These cleverly crafted stories express a worldly understanding that in the reality of our lives, there are no hero or villain, good or bad, only the grey area of circumstance and situation, all for the sake of better understanding that sickness and death are of these natural designs that compose and frame the human experience. ( )
1 vote rwagner2 | Oct 14, 2014 |
Oh, I need a hug.

*Blows nose*

Dark illustrations enhancing highly emotive topics expertly written and presented in a wonderfully tactile and beautiful book.

A Monster Calls is an important and powerful piece of artwork, an absolute must read for every child. It deals with death, divorce, alienation, bullying, guilt, blame, the weight of responsibilty and basically the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Everyone has or will experience these things and Conor's anxious journey through this complicated maze of thoughts and emotions perfectly demonstrates the reality of dealing with the obstacles in life in the most touching manner possible. This sense of depth and painful truths is not something you usually see in children's books which makes this even more special. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

Conor had nightmares. Two different nightmares, actually. One was really scary, that he can't talk about it, while the other one was plain weird. Weird because there's a monster in it, who is not really scary, but also because it's never clear whether the monster was only in his dream or whether it's real.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a book for teenagers, or young adults, in modern terms. It's one of the books my 11 year old stepdaughter's school asked her to read during the holiday. I read it because I was curious about what kind of books teenagers read these days. I was very surprised. I certainly did not read this kind of books when I was her age! Not that it's a too grown up book. The main character is a 13 year old boy, with normal teenage problems - like being bullied and trying to belong. But Conor O'Malley also had a bigger problem in life - his mum, the only person he lived with, had cancer and was struggling with the treatment. This heart-wrenching description of someone fighting cancer is not the only thing that makes the book feels so dark. It's all those nightmares too! I was surprised that teenagers these days read this kind of dark theme. But then again kids these days read Harry Potter, which has a very very dark atmosphere and is full of tragedies.

And that's one of the things that makes this book a powerful read. You develop a strong feeling for Conor and identify with him, you wondered with Conor about the monster and what purpose it served in his life. And you can feel your heartbeat anticipating how the story would end.

I'm not embarrased to say that I was captivated by this young adult book. Afterall, the Harry Potter series is one of my favourite books. I am glad that my stepdaughter gets to know this book. It's a good coming-of-age book, it shows how you should stand up and face your problem. On a more personal note, this book helps me to gain some insight, as it has some parallel to my stepdaughter's life, who lost her mum through cancer.

I applaud Patrick Ness' skill in weaving the real life and the dreams in a haunting story. Apparently he build the story from an idea of Siobhan Dowd, another writer of young adult book, who died of cancer before she managed to write this idea into a book. Would Siobhan approve this book? I don't know, but I know that I can give this book four fat stars for its outstanding story telling. ( )
1 vote koeniel | Sep 13, 2014 |
“You were merely wishing for the end of pain, the monster said. Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all.”
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

You think "Young Adult" books never have much meat to the story? This book will prove you wrong on that. Who would have thought this simple little illustrated book would be so powerful. Looks are deceiving. This isn't a Monster book at all.

“You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”
― Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls

This book for me was learning how to let someone you love go. Whether that be by death or other circumstance. It hurts..believe me it hurts badly. ( )
  bookqueenshelby | Sep 9, 2014 |
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Wow, I LOVED this book! The pictures are AMAZING! The writing is very beautiful, fluid and precise, thought-provoking! I will definitely be talking about this book-it is one of the best books I have read this year.

Conor is a teen who's mom is sick...she has to start treatments and Conor begins seeing a monster who is a yew tree. This book displays the journey Conor and the monster take through Conor's struggles. I really don't want to say much more than that....but please, read this book...

Oh! This book has won two awards AND the front cover has a little blurb by John Green (the author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars) saying "Patrick Ness is an insanely beautiful writer."

If you do not want to read about or have triggers relating to death, abandonment, or bullying this book may not be for you---WAIT! EVEN SO THIS BOOK MAY BE GREAT FOR YOU!!! ( )
  joaslo | Sep 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
"... it’s powerful medicine: a story that lodges in your bones and stays there." “A Monster Calls” is a gift from a generous story­teller and a potent piece of art.
added by RBeffa | editNew York Times, Jessica Bruder (Oct 14, 2011)
The power of this beautiful and achingly sad story for readers over the age of 12 derives not only from Mr. Ness's capacity to write heart-stopping prose but also from Jim Kay's stunning black-ink illustrations. There are images in these pages so wild and ragged that they feel dragged by their roots from the deepest realms of myth.
It's also an extraordinarily beautiful book. Kay's menacing, energetic illustrations and the way they interact with the text, together with the lavish production values, make it a joy just to hold in your hand. If I have one quibble, it is with a line in the introduction where Ness says the point of a story is to "make trouble". It seems to me he has done the opposite here. He's produced something deeply comforting and glowing with – to use a Siobhan Dowd word – solace. The point of art and love is to try to shortchange that grim tax collector, death. Ness, Dowd, Kay and Walker have rifled death's pockets and pulled out a treasure. Death, it seems, is no disqualification.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Nessprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowd, SiobhanAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kay, JimIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abarbanell, BettinaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You're only young once, they say, but doesn't it go on for a long time? More years than you can bear.
Hilary Mantel, An Experiment in Love
For Siobhan (Dowd)
First words
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.
I never got to meet Siobhan Dowd. (Author's Note)
You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill--an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

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