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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3702582,646 (4.39)292
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

Work details

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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    keremix: I don't wanna give spoilers, but for me it was hard to miss the things these two books have in common.
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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 292 mentions

English (246)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (3)  German (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All (257)
Showing 1-5 of 246 (next | show all)
If you’re ever in need of a good, long cry, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness will do the job wonderfully. But the novel is also far more than just a sob-fest about a family struggling through cancer. The novel recounts a child’s nightmarish encounters with a monster that only visits him at night, but also focuses on something far more terrifying: reality.

A Monster Calls is more than a children’s book, as there are so many elements that all ages will relate to and appreciate. While Conor, the first-person narrator, is for all intents and purposes a child, he makes observations worthy of someone much wiser than his age. His mother’s cancer changes the entire family dynamic, and the reader receives an intimate look into the effects of the family’s harrowing ordeal.

Conor’s journey to understand the lies he tells himself in order to cope with his mother’s illness is daunting, and most of all, terribly authentic. Ness beautifully constructs a fantastical narrative around Conor’s daily routine. The haunting illustrations crafted by Jim Kay also come in handy in this aspect of the novel. Something about actually viewing the creature in all of its glory sends shivers up and down the spine. And what should frighten Conor, doesn’t seem to make much of an impression, since he has far more to worry about than a mere monster.

All three main characters are fleshed out so well. As a narrator, Conor observes marvelously, and he expresses himself and his needs in a forceful manner. His mother’s guilt oozes off the page, shocking in its depth and power. And his grandmother’s anger and sorrow are brilliantly intertwined with Conor’s startling outbursts. Ness’ use of simplistic language to portray a complex range of emotions, frankly, astounds, and the rawness that appears in all of the family interactions often left me speechless.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness deserves all of the praise that has been heaped upon it since its release. I would not be surprised if it becomes a classic staple of literature. If you give the novel a read, please make certain a box of Kleenex sits nearby, and brace yourself for a heart-wrenching rollercoaster of beautiful language, genuine characters, and a plethora of emotions. ( )
  Codonnelly | Feb 13, 2017 |
A really sad book. But unfortunately, I didn't cry. I really wanted to read this book so I could feel emotion, but I just didn't cry. What I did feel though was the relationship between Connor and his mother. It was undeniable that the two had almost a silent type of mother and son love. A character that bothered me was the father though. He didn't have much feeling, and he didn't care as much as I wanted him to, which sort of angered me in a way. Overall, I pretty much only gave this book 3 stars because of some small things that added up into one big thing for me that made me not enjoy the book as much as I wanted to. ( )
  Lena_L | Feb 11, 2017 |
This book is about loss and the immense grief and anger someone feels. It is a very interesting way to explain someone's feelings when dealing with this kind of loss. Very symbolic. If you have ever felt loss in your life this will definitely speak to you. ( )
  MinDea | Feb 10, 2017 |
Discovered via Michael Silverblatt's interview of author on KCRW's Bookworm Podcast.

Young Adult novel about unbearable grief and loss. A story about how compassion can render someone invisible, the pain of being invisible, the power of stories in our life, what stories are made of, and the need to speak truth...even the truth we feel will kill us. Illustrations are integral to the story. And there are bullies, monsters, nightmares, and 'mean' grandmothers thrown in.

I've watched most of the movie; in my opinion, it doesn't compare to the book. Book is much better and a short read. ( )
  lgaikwad | Feb 6, 2017 |
I started this in October on my Kindle, and I only read a few chapters and I put it away. I ended up buying the illustrated copy and finished it today. I highly recommend reading the illustrated copy, as it just brings so much of the book to life.

I really connected with this book, as I had a sick father growing up. I had to face some of the same demons in which I had to watch my father slowly dying in front of me. That is is the main reason I loved this book. It does a good job showing a son fighting the battle of emotions that comes along with losing a parent. Who would think one sentence could make you a crying fool, but it did. The words, "but I do not want you to go" did me in. I remember not wanting my father to go, but praying for his pain and my families pain to end. It is a very real moment when faced with these issues.

Now, why only three stars then? I just felt most of the book lacked the emotions I was looking for. I think most of the school scenes could have went without. I also feel the stories were only ok, up until the 4th, of course. I again, felt like I was skipping through this to get to the moments with the actual characters.

Overall, I am glad I read this, but I only loved certain parts (do not shoot me). ( )
  SimplyKelina | Feb 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 246 (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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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.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
The monster tells tales
that don't behave and Conor
accepts a hard truth.
(passion4reading)

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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