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A Monster Calls

Cover of A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan Dowd
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The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . . This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults. "Compelling . . . powerful and impressive." - Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy "Exceptional . . . this is storytelling as it should be - harrowing, lyrical, and transcendent." - Meg Rosoff, author of the Printz Award--winning novel How I Live Now "Brilliant and elegant, with all the thrills and ambition you would expect from the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy." - Frank Cottrell Boyce, award-winning author of Millions and Cosmic "Haunting, lyrical, powerful, and true. Patrick Ness has crafted a masterful story about grief and loss, love and hope that lingers in the heart like a ghost." - Libba Bray, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Going Bovine

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . . This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final story idea of Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults. "Compelling . . . powerful and impressive." - Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy "Exceptional . . . this is storytelling as it should be - harrowing, lyrical, and transcendent." - Meg Rosoff, author of the Printz Award--winning novel How I Live Now "Brilliant and elegant, with all the thrills and ambition you would expect from the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy." - Frank Cottrell Boyce, award-winning author of Millions and Cosmic "Haunting, lyrical, powerful, and true. Patrick Ness has crafted a masterful story about grief and loss, love and hope that lingers in the heart like a ghost." - Libba Bray, author of the Printz Award-winning novel Going Bovine

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Patrick Ness is the author of the Chaos Walking trilogy: The Knife of Never Letting Go, which won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Booktrust Teenage Prize, The Ask and the Answer, which won the Costa Children's Book Award, and Monsters of Men. He has written two books for adults and is a literary critic for the Guardian. Born in Virginia, Patrick Ness lives in London.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from June 20, 2011
    In his introduction to this profoundly moving, expertly crafted tale of unaccountable loss, Ness explains how he developed the story from a set of notes left by Siobhan Dowd, who died in 2007 before she had completed a first draft. "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.' " What Ness has produced is a singular masterpiece, exceptionally well-served by Kay's atmospheric and ominous illustrations. Conor O'Malley is 13. His mother is being treated for cancer; his father, Liam, has remarried and lives in America; and Conor is left in the care of a grandmother who cares more for her antique wall clock than her grandson. This grim existence is compounded by bullies at school who make fun of his mother's baldness, and an actual nightmare that wakes Conor, screaming, on a recurring basis. Then comes the monster—part human, part arboreal—a hulking yew tree that walks to his window just after midnight and tells three inscrutable parables, each of which disappoints Conor because the good guy is continually wronged. "Many things that are true feel like a cheat," the monster explains. In return for the monster's stories, Conor must tell his own, and the monster demands it be true, forcing Conor, a good boy, a dutiful son, to face up to his feelings: rage and, worse still, fear. If one point of writing is to leave something that transcends human existence, Ness has pulled a fast one on the Grim Reaper, finishing the story death kept Dowd from giving us. It is a story that not only does honor to her memory, it tackles the toughest of subjects by refusing to flinch, meeting the ugly truth about life head-on with compassion, bravery, and insight. Ages 12–up.

  • AudioFile Magazine When his mother falls ill, Conor is visited by a monster in the form of a walking yew tree. Jason Isaacs portrays the troubled teen in a deep voice that hints at the dark nature of the story. He injects sarcastic and suspicious tones into Conor's voice as the boy battles the feeling of invisibility brought on by his "special circumstances" as his mother's health continues to decline. The eerie growl of the monster is haunting as he tells tales of the past and as he causes Conor to act out. Isaacs's narration highlights the agitation and fear of a boy who is losing everything he holds dear. In the CD edition, Jim Kay's illustrations are included. E.N (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Brilliance Audio
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A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls
Inspired by an Idea from Siobhan Dowd
Patrick Ness
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