Friday 13 July 2012

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd, illustrated by Jim Kay (Walker Books)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9781406339345
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This is a gut-wrenching book; dark and sad, that explores the many faces of fear, loss, grief and love. It is powerful and frightening and one of the most outstanding books that have come my way in many years. It is a book a writer/reader longs to hold; to be able to experience and engage with every word in a deeply emotional way.

The prose is enhanced if it’s possible to enhance perfection, by the illustrator’s meaningful pen and ink artwork. The book was born from an idea of the late and multi-talented writer Siobhan Dowd who died of cancer aged forty-six, in 2007. Patrick Ness has done an exemplary job of creating and forming Dowd’s ideas into such a magnificent piece of writing, made all the more unforgettable because of the grouped pivotal themes involved.

It’s always 12.07 pm when the monster calls on thirteen year old Conor. What he wants is his most valued possession – truth. But it’s something the boy cannot and won’t give up easily for the cost to him is unthinkable.  So he suffers and carries his pain until his burden becomes unbearable and he knows he must set it down.

This moving story reflects along with the above listed themes, the difficult process of letting go and healing. The book will suit mature readers of any age but should be chosen with care for readers under fifteen. This is only the opinion of the reviewer.

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