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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls (edition 2012)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3182512,725 (4.39)285
Title:A Monster Calls
Authors:Patrick Ness
Other authors:Siobhan Dowd, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
Info:Walker (2012), Paperback, 216 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, children's, Carnegie Medal, magical realism

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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    nsblumenfeld: One's a novel, the other a comic, but both are excellent and devastating stories of grief.

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» See also 285 mentions

English (241)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All (251)
Showing 1-5 of 241 (next | show all)
A sensitive but powerful portrayal of the fear and rage a son feels as his mother slips away from him due to cancer. The story focuses more on the boy's grief journey than on the loss itself. It is a very short read and I thought it was really well done. The audio version of this book is fabulous. ( )
  Iudita | Jan 8, 2017 |
This story made me cry way more than I have ever cried about anything before. I couldn't put it down whether I was crying or not. It was a wonderful book. The movie cones out this Friday and I am definitely going to see it.
  ejlesny | Jan 5, 2017 |
A monster calls is a magnificent combination of reality and fantasy. It's a book you want to read in one sitting and then sit and think about what happened. I felt empathy for Connor, his less likable grandmother and of course his mother. I wish for a sequel to this book as I want to know what happens "after." The art is spellbinding. ( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
This story is dark and difficult, in an array of ways. It grapples with death, dying, and how to cope with monumental grief, even as a child. Conor is dealing with the dark cloud of loss stalking his home, threatening the structure of his life. We can see how such an experience impacts upon every aspect of his world.

Siobhan Dowd had an incredible idea, which Patrick Ness has realised magnificently. Jim Kay has provided illustrations that are stark, but beautiful. The heavy darkness of the images and the artist's use of shading and contrast conveys Conor's perspective of his world.

This creeping bleakness sits well with the undertow of grief and mourning threaded throughout the narrative. I won't deny that I shed a great many tears while reading this book. It so perfectly depicts the fear and uncertainty and desperate hope of living a life haunted by serious, or terminal, illness. I do not have the words to match this story's ability to encapsulate this moment of life with such honesty.

A Monster Calls is haunting, insightful, beautiful, and mournful. I loved it. ( )
  LordKinbote | Jan 1, 2017 |
I listened to this on audio and it was wonderful. I usually listen to audio books to send me off to sleep but this one kept me awake far too late. It was excellent, engrossing, sad and brilliantly written. Really unexpectedly good. ( )
1 vote infjsarah | Dec 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 241 (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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Important places
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Related movies
Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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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