A Monster Calls

  • by Patrick Ness
  • Narrated by Jason Isaacs
  • 3 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

“Compelling ... powerful and impressive." (Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy)
“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)
"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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good "one-timer" for all ages

This book is definitely on my “one-timer” list. A “one-timer” is a good or great book that I will only read once because it is too emotionally draining or intense for me to handle. I admit I don’t usually read/listen to these types of stories because of the emotional drain they cause. I know some folks find them very therapeutic or cathartic but that is not me so I had force myself through this one.

That being stated it doesn’t mean this book isn’t good because it is actually a very well done story with a great buildup of tension and emotion. The relationship between Connor and the Monster didn’t seem forced or unrealistic and there was a natural flow to the story. Even though you know the ending is coming, the force of it isn’t lessened because of the good job the author did of building the emotional ties to the characters of Connor and his mom.

Jason Isaacs did an absolutely fabulous job with the narration in this book. Then again as far as I am concerned he could read the phone book and I would be happy. It was very interesting though as he voiced each of the characters I created a very vivid image in my head of how each character appeared and that was due to his great ability.
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- TVNerd95 "I listen as I commute everyday and travel for work."

Not all stories have happy endings

In four hours, we and Connor face divorce, cancer, bullies and loss. Uplifting, this book is not. In an interview in the end, Ness says he wrote this for himself and then he says he wrote it for teenagers. He wanted teenagers to get a real understanding of death without the sugar coating they would normally get. He wanted them to know that things don't always turn out alright or happily ever after. He does this through stories told by a monster and through Connors real life. I commend him for this and believe he does a fine job of accomplishing this. The stories the monster tells are interesting and thought provoking. Connor responds like a preteen or a teenager.

The story had a little of a 1960's feel to it. I did not understand the big deal that was made out of the divorce of Connor's parents. I understand Connor being mad at his dad, but did not understand the school kids making such a big deal out of it. In this day and age with so many parents divorcing, it is not such a big deal to school kids. I don't believe he would be made fun of and bullied, because his parents were divorced. In order to be dramatic I believe Ness over did it on that issue. I also did not like how the conflict was settled. Ness settled it through violence. I understand that kids have to stand up for themselves, but since Ness wanted to be so realistic, he should not have sugar coated the outcome. I thought we as a society were past, Might means Right or the good guys wear white hats and always win.

All in all the story was good. I gave it four stars, but I will admit that I was ready for it to end.
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- Jim "The Impatient" "My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-23-2011
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio