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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls (edition 2011)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4782652,470 (4.39)305
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
Tags:Patrick Ness, Taal: Engels, Auteur: US, Paranormal, Children/YA, Death/Grief/Loss

Work details

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  1. 50
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    elenchus: A Monster Calls and Jellaby share a similar premise, as well as thematic concerns with isolation and childhood depression. They're each illustrated, but the words are as important as the images (and vice versa), and though they treat of sobering concerns, are ultimately good-hearted and optimistic.… (more)
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» See also 305 mentions

English (254)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (3)  German (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All (265)
Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
This is really an excellent piece of fiction aimed at the middle school/young teen audience. The story and drawings were brought to life very well in the recent film although there are of course some changes. The essential core is true to the book. Young Conor's mother has a severe cancer that is not responding to increasingly aggressive treatment. Add to this problems with a school bully and family dynamics and Ness builds us a most unusual story of a monster. I'd rather not reveal any more than that - I'd just like to recommend this. My only warning is that it is quite sad. ( )
  RBeffa | May 22, 2017 |
Warning: This review contains an honest review of a popular book and it may not be a review that some people that liked the book, agrees with. Just remember, this is My Personal Opinion and we are entitled to those.

Now, on to my thoughts of the book

Let me start off by saying that the book is well written and pretty easy to read (outside of what the book itself is about). I loved the Mother and Lily. I liked the lesson the Tree was trying to give Conor.

The only reason this book got a 3/5 was because of those characters in the book and because it was well written, but for me, the story itself, was just too sad. Too many attitudes flying around. Conor and his grandmother got on my last damn nerve! Although I do understand Conor's anger and frustration, his attitude towards certain people was just unnecessary for me. And let me stress this again, I understand Conor was dealing with a lot..Between his Mother's situation to bullies at school, but the attitude he took towards people that were just trying to help him, aggravated me. I guess maybe I am looking at this through the eyes of a 39 year old woman. As someone who has dealt with my share of bullies and hurtful situations, again, I can understand some of what he is dealing with and the hurt he is having to hold on to. Feelings like no one cares, etc.

I don't hate this book at all. I went in knowing it was a bullying situation, but not knowing much else. I think that's why it got a lower rating from me. I am just not a person who likes overly sad books. Maybe if I had going into it knowing a little more, it wouldn't have been so "bad". That's a lot of the reason I don't want to read a John Green book. Too much sadness. When I read, I like to get away from truly painful reality. I guess that's why I like fantasy so much. It gets me out of reality, even with Angel books, I do believe in Angels but it's more of a comfort book thing for me. Sometimes sad things happen but it doesn't take over the whole book! And that goes with any other book I read, it can't be total sadness throughout the book. And hopefully at least some kind of happy ending at the end..even if there is death, people try to find a way to work through it. I really don't know how to explain it but I think, and hope, I put it in a way people understand what I mean! :-)

( )
  obridget2 | May 14, 2017 |
This short novella has strong, complex characters, a fantastical monster, and an ending that absolutely sticks its emotional landing. Highly recommended. ( )
  Katya0133 | Mar 25, 2017 |
4.5 Stars. My heart's a mess right now. At first this book reminded me of The Iron Giant and Coraline with echoes from the Deathly Hallows' "The Tale of the Three Brothers" but then it grows into something more, a book about healing, and by the end I just couldn't believe how well it was crafted. This book was so well written. The book is about a young boy named Conor whose mother is dying of cancer. He is visited by a monster who is also a giant Yew Tree at night (12:07 precisely) and tells him three fairytale-like stories with a highly atmospheric description and a twist. That's all I can say about the summary without being too spoiler-filled for those who have not read it yet. What is particularly magical about the way this really depressing story is told is the use of language and metaphor (and sometimes allegory). This is a book I would teach and discuss at length. It's highly memorable and I expect it to haunt me forever. Here are just some lines that stayed with me: "there is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between" (70). "And if no one sees you...are you really there at all?" (163). "But there are harder things than being invisible" (171). "You must tell the truth or you will never leave this nightmare...you will be trapped here alone for the rest of your life" (204). ( )
  AndreeaMarin | Mar 1, 2017 |
It got a good cry out of me. Beautiful illustrations. ( )
  Kaytron | Feb 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 254 (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 editionscalculated
Dowd, SiobhanAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kay, JimIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abarbanell, BettinaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Iacobaci, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary 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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Haiku summary
The monster tells tales
that don't behave and Conor
accepts a hard truth.

No descriptions found.

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)

» see all 4 descriptions

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