HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Loading...

A Monster Calls (edition 2012)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,0222273,312 (4.39)249
Member:KayEluned
Title:A Monster Calls
Authors:Patrick Ness
Other authors:Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
Info:Walker (2012), Paperback, 216 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, children's, Carnegie Medal, magical realism

Work details

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  1. 50
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (kaledrina)
  2. 20
    The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (faither)
  3. 20
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (kaledrina)
  4. 10
    The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause (kaledrina)
  5. 10
    Skellig by David Almond (Ciruelo)
    Ciruelo: Each book features a young adult facing a crisis and helped through this time by a supernatural being.
  6. 00
    I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly (nsblumenfeld)
    nsblumenfeld: One's a novel, the other a comic, but both are excellent and devastating stories of grief.
  7. 00
    Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg (fountainoverflows)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 249 mentions

English (221)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
Rating: 4.5 stars

Confession: I had never read a Patrick Ness book before this one.

Worse confession: I had never even heard of Patrick Ness before this year.

I know, I know. Don't throw things at me. I'm going to put it down to two things: 1) not growing up in the English-speaking world, and 2) living the past five years locked in university and first jobs.

Then, as I started getting into the book blogging community, I noticed just how popular Ness was. People revered him, and I actually found it a bit intimidating. I was worried about reading one of his books, for fear that I wouldn't like them as much as everyone else.

However, seeing Ness on the line-up for YALC convinced me that I needed to give him a shot. I turned to Twitter for advice on which book to start with, and I was told to read A Monster Calls. I looked at the cover and read the synopsis, but I was still sceptical. I couldn't really make out much from the synopsis, and what I did get from it didn't sound that appealing to me. I thought the book was going to be about the monster, and it sounded like it was targeting the Middle Grade crowd more than Young Adult.

But I trusted my bookish friends, and I can now tell you that I am officially a Patrick Ness convert.

Because this book isn't a scary or action-filled book about a monster. Not really. It's about Conor and his experience dealing with an ill mother and the effect this has had on the rest of his life. He has to cook for himself, has to clean the house. Everyone walks on eggshells around him at school because his mom has cancer.

And this book isn't just about a single monster. There's the monster who calls on him one night, but this isn't the first he's seen. Conor has been having the same nightmare since his mom got sick, one with an even scarier monster.

Going into the book, I was still a bit sceptical. It took me a few chapters to realise that the book was less about the monster and more about Conor. Ness somehow, sneakily, wound tendrils around my heart while I wasn't paying attention, slowly pulling me into the story and making me care so much about Conor and his mom...and even his grandmother! Ness' writing style was simple but powerful, building a Conor's world and filling it with detail enough for you to see it playing out like one of the monster's misty scenes. His characters were each unique, and each had an important role to play in the story, a point to make.

There was one character that pissed me off, and that was Conor's dad. What a pathetic man! There he was, living all comfy with his new wife and new kid across the pond, while his son was having to deal with a sick, single parent almost on his own. I mean, maybe I just have daddy issues (because my daddy issues are serious bizniz), but I can't be the only one who wanted to throttle this man, right? RIGHT?

The monster, on the other hand, was brilliant. He called on Conor to exchange three stories for Conor's 'truth'. His stories were a bit like Aesop's Fables, but they never ended the way I expected. He reminded me of the original faeries, the clever ones that aren't necessarily pretty, but more natural and magnificent. He chose his words carefully so that he never lied, but he always managed to make Conor (and me!) believe he was saying one thing when he was actually saying something totally different. I had to go back and reread some of his passages again to see the twists in his words. By the end, I wasn't sure if he was physically real, but he was real to Conor in the same way some book characters are real to me, helping me to make sense of a situation without being corporeally present.

Conor's truth was a bit of a punch to the gut because it was so, so true. True for everyone. I wasn't anticipating it, but when Conor finally admitted to it, I could relate. Maybe not with Conor's exact same situation, but similar ones, especially recently with my family.

By the end, I was in love with the book, and incredibly moved. There was one moment between Conor and his mom that tore my heart out, and I so wish I could share it, but I'd rather leave that for you to discover. If you've read the book and would like to guess which one I mean, please do leave a comment below or tweet me. I want to cry with someone over it.

I want everyone to read this book. I think it could help so many people and bring some serious comfort to them, in some weird, heartbreaking-but-soothing way. I want to give it to people to read, but I'm also a little scared that they'll be put off by me making them cry. Because you will cry. If you don't...then...I don't know... I almost feel like you have to cry to be able to truly appreciate and love this book. You will thank it for shredding your feelings.

Now...which Ness to read next?

( )
  dani_reviews | Jul 22, 2016 |
It's no surprise that this book has won as many awards as it has. A Monster Calls explores the conflicting emotions felt by an adolescent boy, Conor, as he's faced with the truth that his mother is dying. There's no clear right or wrong in the stories told by the Monster, the same as there's no right or wrong in how Conor feels. This is more a book for adolescents and older than for young children because of some content and especially as the illustrations of the Monster are so stark. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Yo no suelo darle 5 estrellas a cualquier libro, generalmente reservó eso para aquellas historias que no me importaría volver a leer una y otra vez. Y definitivamente no me importaría volver a leer "A Monster Calls" mil y un veces más. ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
What can I say about this book - except that it is brilliant and everybody should read it. I would say do read it in public, it made this miserable cynic want to cry. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
Another outstanding piece of children's literature from Patrick Ness. ( )
  GwenMcGinty | May 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (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
Iacobaci, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
552 wanted
7 pay11 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.39)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 13
2.5 2
3 66
3.5 18
4 217
4.5 75
5 369

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 107,608,006 books! | Top bar: Always visible