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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
4,3714121,961 (4.39)380
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.
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    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)
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    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)
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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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» See also 380 mentions

English (397)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (3)  Italian (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (410)
Showing 1-5 of 397 (next | show all)
And yet here was a monster, clear as the clearest night, towering thirty or forty feet above him, breathing heavily in the night air.

"It's only a dream," he said again.

But what is a dream, Conor O'Malley? the monster said, bending down so its face was close to Conor's. Who is to say that it is not everything else that is the dream?

Maybe I can write a review for this, maybe I can't. What matters is that you should read this book right away. Don't wait. Go. Read. Now.

***Original review written 9/11/15. Edited 9/12/15 to add:**
So, I'm going to leave it just like that. Because I don't have anything else to say beyond read this book, because sooner or later you are going to need this or something like it in your life. Do read a physical copy; the illustrations are wonderful and I'm not sure how well they would translate to an e-reader. (I might try it myself because I like to have my whole library in my hand, and if I do I'll let you know. But read a physical copy first.)

Also, this remarkable book was written by [a:Patrick Ness|370361|Patrick Ness|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1244216486p2/370361.jpg] based on an idea by [a:Siobhan Dowd|80760|Siobhan Dowd|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1247239788p2/80760.jpg], who died before she could write it herself. This is from the author's note at the beginning of the book:

I felt--and feel--as if I've been handed a baton, like a particularly fine writer has given me her story and said, "Go. Run with it. Make trouble." So that's what I tried to do. Along the way, I had only a single guideline: to write a book I think Siobhan would have liked. No other criteria could really matter.

And now it's time to hand the baton on to you. Stories don't end with the writers, however many started the race. Here's what Siobhan and I came up with. So go. Run with it.

Make trouble.

I don't know about you, but I am going to read everything this man has written, including this book again. Six stars. ( )
  amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
Shut up, I'm not crying, you're crying. ( )
  jobinsonlis | May 11, 2021 |
I didn't expect to like this. The words "thirteen-year-old boy" were a turn off and "Young Adult" has come to represent disappointment for this Adult reader - but this was a surprise. It was a quick, easy read and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Admittedly, by the end I felt I'd been manipulated by what was basically a simple parable about letting go. A nice kiddie's tale about dealing with death.
  KarenBayly | Apr 10, 2021 |
This may be a kid's book but adults may get more out of it than children could, or at least I hope so. I lost my father after a protracted illness earlier this year and I can say that whether you are 48, or 13 like the character in this marvelous book, Patrick Ness maps in a beautiful way the road that you take as you let go of someone central to your life. The messages are simple as most profound truths are. I would recommend it to anyone who has lost someone and am grateful to Patrick Ness for writing such a beautiful and healing book. ( )
  ChrisMcCaffrey | Apr 6, 2021 |
Herzzerreissend - aber so wahr, so wahr! ( )
  MrKillick-Read | Apr 4, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 397 (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, Ylvasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krebs, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szabó, T. Annasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
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
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

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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