A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

English language

Published Nov. 24, 2013

ISBN:
978-0-7636-6065-9
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4 stars (6 reviews)

A Monster Calls is a low fantasy novel written for young adults by Patrick Ness (from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd) illustrated by Jim Kay and published by Walker in 2011. Set in present-day England, it features a boy who struggles to cope with the consequences of his mother's illness. He is repeatedly visited in the middle of the night by a monster who tells stories. Dowd was terminally ill with cancer when she came up with the idea for the story, and died before she could write it.Ness and Kay respectively won the Carnegie Medal and the Greenaway Medal in 2012, the "year's best" children's literary awards by the British librarians (CILIP). A Monster Calls is the only book to have won both Medals.The novel was adapted into the 2016 film of the same name.

5 editions

Brilliant!

5 stars

One of my Top Ten Books of 2015

I've had a different Patrick Ness book, More Than This, on my Goodreads To Be Read list for ages, but recently spotted A Monster Calls as part of an Audible two-for-one offer so ended up buying it first. A relatively short audio book at just under four hours, I listened to it in two chunks whilst walking around Mojacar in Spain. Had I known what an amazing listen it was going to be, I think I would have arranged to complete the whole tale in a single walk! I understand that the printed version has some excellent illustrations which are obviously not included in the audio, but, for me, Jason Isaacs' superb narration more than compensated. His voice and style are perfect.

Patrick Ness has an uncannily accurate understanding of the guilt and anguish of slow bereavement. His story is told through …

Review of 'A Monster Calls' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

well done. the story is from an idea by siobhan dowd (so i'm curious to look her up and see if it's HER or HIM that made the story so compelling)
a monster in the form of a walking yew tree arrives at the window of a boy in denial of his mother's terminal cancer. so sad and yet so good. stories DO help us understand and 'tidy up' strong emotions but what if the stories aren't so tidy? what if the emotions are too messy to tidy? a properly messy book that still manages a lyrical ending.

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