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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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A Monster Calls (edition 2011)

by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (Illustrator)

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1,5621884,687 (4.42)229
Member:morninggray
Title:A Monster Calls
Authors:Patrick Ness
Other authors:Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
Info:Walker (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 216 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Patrick Ness, Taal: Engels, Auteur: US, Paranormal, Children/YA, Death/Grief/Loss

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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English (183)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (187)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
i don't want to blast a really good book like this. so, i won't. but i will still make some critical comments about it.

i liked that the monster was real. i think. no matter, it felt real and was described realistically to good effect. at times, i got the monster viscerally and it was creepy and foreboding. the use of ancient myths and deities that are usually off the beaten path allowed the reality of it to blossom more than using a mythos we're more familiar with would have.

the boy's relationships with his grandmother, his friend Lily, his mother, and his schoolmates are counterpointed nicely from his encounters with the monster in the dark. even his dealings with the bullies seem bright and full of light compared to the monster visits. a tug of war ensues between these two worlds and the boy faces fears and attempts to squirm away from realities.

so, the story is told fairly well and could be of great help to anyone (but most especially a child or adolescent) going through a loved one's struggle with cancer. the ultimate and most private truth the boy harbors lurks near the heart of all our grief and might be a surprise or revelation to many.

my problems with this book are really minor but they do keep it from being a great book, i think. the monster falters at least once in talking about Deep Things because the author himself is out of his depth at that point. shouldn't write beyond what you know. also, some of the dialog especially near the end of the book is repetitive, annoying, and unrefined as if the author was rushing or trying to add tension/heighten anxiety through manic writing. there were other, more pedantic problems that i won't mention but added together weighted the book down from flying into the realm of Gaiman's Graveyard Book.

however, these detracting points do not mean it's not a good book in it's own right. several times it moved me to tears from sadness, hopelessness, but also from the joy of friendship and power of love. ( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
so I started this at midnight yesterday (today?). I knew I was probably going to stay up reading this, but it's the end of Daylight Savings Time, so I get an extra hour, so I was like "what the heck, no better time than the present!" But, unlike all my fellow Goodreadserians, I didn't think I was going to cry, because I almost never cry. Even [b:Wonder|23302416|Wonder|R.J. Palacio|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1412358842s/23302416.jpg|16319487] only elicited a few stragglers from the robot that is Yours Truly.

well.

2 hours later, I look in the mirror and my eyes are swollen and red and just looking at myself makes me to laugh, which transforms into another sob. And snot is dripping out my nose, and tears are running down my face.

so that's why I hate [a:Patrick Ness|370361|Patrick Ness|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1244216486p2/370361.jpg] now.

but seriously, [b:A Monster Calls|8621462|A Monster Calls|Patrick Ness|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387584864s/8621462.jpg|13492114] taught me that you need to hold on tight before you can let go. and it tore me apart and put me back together again and told me that I didn't have to say that Beanie (my dog) had all those problems and it would be better to put him down than let him die a slow and painful death, because I didn't want him to die. and I never did. and it's okay to be selfish like that. and after I came to terms with that, I found that I could think about him without crying like I usually do.

this book is so special, and I thank Ness and [a:Siobhan Dowd|80760|Siobhan Dowd|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1247239788p2/80760.jpg] for writing this.

but I still hate Ness. ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
It started with a dream, or rather a nightmare. And then, the monster came to visit. Each time he came, Conor doubted whether he was real or not, but each morning he would find evidence that it wasn't all just in his imagination. The monster does not scare Conor because there are bigger and more frightening demons he is fighting. To his surprise this monster will share with him three stories and in return, Conor must share one truth of his own. This one truth will be demand every ounce of courage and strength that Conor has to muster.

I was forewarned that I would need a tissue or two after finishing this book. People were right. A story about a boy coming to terms with loss, with grief, with guilt, and with letting go is doubly powerful with the compliments of raw, dark, and visceral illustrations. This is a must read for anyone and I would echo the advice given to me - be ready to whip out those tissues. ( )
  jolerie | Dec 16, 2014 |
Patrick Nessin A Monster Calls on koskettava tarina 13-vuotiaasta Conor nimisestä pojasta, jonka äiti sairastaa syöpää. Kun painajasia näkevä poika tapaa hirviön ikkunansa luona, alkaa sydäntä särkevä kasvutarina. Conor ja hirviö tekevät sopimuksen neljästä tarinasta. Kun hirviö on kertonut kolme, on Conorin aika kertoa omansa. Hirviön kertomien tarinoiden avulla maailma avautuu Conorille. Kaikki ei olekaan mustavalkoista. Uskaltaako Conor kohdata painajaisensa ja kertoa viimeisen tarinan?

Nessin selkeä ja kaunis tyyli kirjoittaa pääsee oikeuksiinsa tässä kirjassa. Mustanpuhuva särmikäs Jim Kayn kuvitus sopii kirjaan kuin nenä päähän. A Monster Calls on kokonaisuudessaan loistava teos. ( )
  RiaZero | Dec 12, 2014 |
Think you know what the monster is? Think again...

Synopsis:

“The monster showed up at midnight. As they do. But it wasn't the monster Conor was expecting. He’d been expecting the one from his nightmare. The one he’d had every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming….”

The monster visits Conor, an ancient, wild monster that comes in the form of a yew tree. He says that Conor called him here. Each night he tells Conor a story, and after the third story, Conor will tell him the truth, the truth Conor does not want to face up to…

Review:

This book is very beautiful and moving, and I definitely had to stop for some tissues towards the end! The concept was created by Siobhan Dowd, the young adult author who sadly passed away from cancer. Patrick Ness takes up the mantle, in hope to write a book Siobhan would be proud of. It’s very sad, sweet story about a boy dealing with a really difficult thing. Anyone who has ever had to go through something similar will find the story especially moving. I myself have recently gone through the passing of a loved one and that had a big effect on how much the story touched me. The writing is very poetic and lyrical and it really shows the depths of human grief, how much it can affect you and change you as a person.

A Monster Calls is a book that is somewhat difficult to review, it deals with a subject which is very sensitive, in a very frank and realistic way. It deals with grief and loss and the hardships of losing someone you really care about. It is a truly wonderful book. That being said it definitely wasn't what I expected. Hearing the name A Monster Calls and seeing the eerie dark cover, I was somewhat surprised as to the contents of the story, but it absolutely blew me away.

One thing I would suggest is that if you decide to read this book, don’t go for a kindle edition - but a physical copy of the book, the illustrations are gorgeous, they’re so beautiful and fit the tone of the book so well, reading it on an e-reader would completely diminish the experience. It is not the most easy of reads, at times it is heart breaking and painful, but it is without a doubt worth your time to read.

It is hard to say much more about A Monster Calls, other than that it is truly wonderful and if you've ever dealt with grief or loss in any capacity, buy this book now.. ( )
  ColeReadsBooks | Nov 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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)
Quotations
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.

(summary from another edition)

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