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A Monster Calls

by Patrick Ness

Other authors: Siobhan Dowd (Contributor), Jim Kay (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,0344371,788 (4.38)386
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.
  1. 70
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    Ciruelo: Each book features a young adult facing a crisis and helped through this time by a supernatural being.
  5. 10
    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (keremix)
    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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    nsblumenfeld: One's a novel, the other a comic, but both are excellent and devastating stories of grief.
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  8. 00
    Tinder by Sally Gardner (Nickelini)
  9. 00
    DODO by Felipe Nunes (elenchus)
    elenchus: Ness's A Monster Calls and Nunes's Dodo share a broadly similar premise, and a serious consideration of the world as seen by hurt children. Dodo is perhaps suitable for younger readers, but both books are not cartoon-y nor simplistic. The aesthetics styles are distinct, too, though the use of dreamscapes and analogues are similar.… (more)
  10. 00
    Jellaby by Kean Soo (elenchus)
    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)
  11. 00
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» See also 386 mentions

English (419)  Spanish (4)  Italian (3)  Catalan (3)  German (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (434)
Showing 1-5 of 419 (next | show all)
I had heard of the awesomeness that was Patrick Ness, but I had no idea that this book was going to be that good.
Although this was a fast read, it definitely had a huge emotional impact.
Every night 13 year old Conor is awoken by this "monster" that is the Yew tree in his backyard. Through these nightmares the Yew tree tells him stories that seem to have no purpose until the end of the novel where Conor comes to an understanding and must tell his own story.
This was a beautifully written novel fit for people of all ages. I recommend it to everyone looking for a soulful read. ( )
  bookishconfesh | Sep 22, 2022 |
There are two ways of dying which must be most terrifying and angst-inducing for mothers: Having to see your child die before you leave this earth yourself, or dying in front of your little child's eyes ... the eyes of a kid, a young human being who should have been led on his way to adolescence by his mother.

Both of these ways are portrayed in this book. And it's done by Patrick Ness in what may be the best way it could be done in. It's nearly impossible to review "A Monster Calls" because it feels so unique, so heart-breaking, so terrifying. Combining strong subjects like bullying, death-struggle, childhood fears and coming of age, Patrick Ness is able to carry his reader off on a tumultuous ride through the darkness of childhood.

“Don't think you haven't lived long enough to have a story to tell.”

The writing might perhaps be the best thing about "A Monster Calls". Patrick Ness is a master when it comes to combining words and wringing emotions out of them. It's easy to compare his style to [a:Neil Gaiman|1221698|Neil Gaiman|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1234150163p2/1221698.jpg]'s - gripping and abducting you into the realms of his story. In the beginning, there might have been passages which felt ridiculous to me, and while I always connected to the story and to what was happening to the characters, the characters themselves felt sometimes alienating to me. But that's nothing to criticize this book for. It might be considered to be heart-breaking, to be a page-turner, but first of all, it is a book you definitely should not miss reading. ( )
  Councillor3004 | Sep 1, 2022 |
A lovely insightful book that deals with death and grieving. Beautiful imagery. The book is very real but offers some very strong words of comfort that I believe would apply universally even to situations that might not be quite so dire.

I do think that some young readers would find this too much. My 12 year old for example could in no way handle reading this. The 14 year old probably would do fine. ( )
  Luziadovalongo | Jul 14, 2022 |
This broke my heart and I loved it.
( )
  AceVonS | Jul 14, 2022 |
It took me a bit to get into this one because I thought it was going to be a lot darker and Conor initially got on my nerves as another whiny child protagonist. However, there's a lot of emotion behind his story and the "monster" was a great way to portray that; it's also a very visual book in both the writing and the enclosed illustrations which is always great with this type of story. While I have no personal experience with cancer or another terminal illness, I really started to feel for the characters and got a bit emotional myself when reaching the climax of the story. My favourite part is probably the illustrations, though. The cover art and the style is what made me pick up this book initially.

However, I would say that it's not really for readers like myself that are used to a bit more adult level literary horror. Reading this after finishing the likes of [b:Horns|6587879|Horns|Joe Hill|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1400731844s/6587879.jpg|6781405] and [b:The Child Thief|6308379|The Child Thief|Brom|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336347513s/6308379.jpg|6493440], [b:A Monster Calls|8621462|A Monster Calls|Patrick Ness|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387584864s/8621462.jpg|13492114] comes off as a bit juvenile and vapid, but that's probably just me being priggish. ( )
  brittaniethekid | Jul 7, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 419 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ness, Patrickprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowd, SiobhanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kay, JimIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abarbanell, BettinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furtwängler, MariaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Iacobaci, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Isaacs, JasonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kay, JamesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempe, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krebs, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szabó, T. Annasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

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Average: (4.38)
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