Title – A Monster Calls
Author – Patrick Ness
I am so late to the party with this one. It’s a book that has been sitting on my bookcase for a long time and I’ve just never gotten time to read (especially now with a baby). But in this crazy world I managed to find an afternoon to do my own thing and I picked up this book.
It was beautiful. It was unexpected. It was utterly heart wrenching.
Patrick Ness is a superb author. He was asked to write finish writing this for Siobhan Dowd, an author who sadly died from breast cancer. I don’t know what I expected from this book but I’m glad I read it.
Conor has had the same nightmare every night for as long as things have been happening in his life. As long as his mum has been sick and even before then, when she was just tired all the time, when she had a flu that just wouldn’t get better. It’s the same nightmare where the monster lurks in the darkness, huge and black and terrifying. He can’t hold on but the fear of letting go… It sends him waking, sweaty and shaking and scared.
He has seen true fear in that great beast, so much so that when a monster comes for him he is not afraid. He has seen worse. That night, is the first night that the monster comes walking. He will tell Conor three stories and the fourth story will be told by Conor and it will be truth.
It’s a very witty book, at least that was my first impression. It is very artfully crafted in a way that only Ness seems to manage. The monster is old and cunning and it is hard to decipher what the motive of such an ancient beast is. His stories seem straight cut, clear as to the injustice that they seem to be depicting. And then they aren’t. There is a lesson to be learned, if only you look closely enough.
Kingdoms get the princes they deserve, farmers’ daughters die for no reason, and sometimes witches merit saving. Quite often, actually. You’d be surprised.
This book is not a happy book, but it is filled with such hope and pain and love that the lines between it all blur and you are feeling everything too quickly and so powerfully.
This is a book about a child who is forced to grow up much to quickly. It is about a boy who loves his mum so much that he calls for a monster. This a book about a monster who comes walking.
This is such a short book and it isn’t hard to figure out the ending but I still don’t want to ruin it. It’s length is perfect, its ending even more.
I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5. I loved it so much. I ugly cried and I’m okay with that. It gave me a new perspective on grief, on the thought of children being forced to become adults before their time, of death and the selflessness of the sick.
There is one line from the Authors Note that sticks in my heart and in my throat but makes me feel so strongly my heart might burst.
Go. Run with it make trouble.