Written by Patrick Ness
Inspired by Siobhan Dowd
Narrated by Jason Isaacs
Candlewick on Brillance Audio
Publication Date: September 23, 2011
Date Read: December 22, 2016 (2nd read)
Source: Purchased - Audible
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.
I liked this book even more the second time around. I first read this book several years ago and liked it then so when I saw the audio on sale earlier this month, I decided to revisit the story in audiobook. I really enjoyed the book the first time that I experienced it but I absolutely loved it during this re-read. I am not sure if it is where I am in my life that made the difference but the story just seemed to speak to me this time.
Conor is a 13 year old boy living with his mom. His mom is sick with cancer and Conor has had to adapt. People treat him differently because of his mother including the teachers and kids at school. Some of the kids bully him while teachers seem hesitant to reprimand him. Conor really just wants his life to be the way it used to be and for his mom to get better.
A monster pays a visit to Conor. The monster tells Conor that he will share with him 3 stories and at the end of the third story, Conor will share his story. Each of the stories were incredibly entertaining and I found myself unable to stop listening. Conor seemed to let more of himself out when he was with the monster. I found the monster to be more wise than scary and loved the parts of the book that featured him.
The narration of this audiobook was outstanding. Jason Isaacs handled a wide variety of voice expertly. I loved the way he brought the monster to life. This is an emotional story and I really felt every one of the emotions that Conor was dealing with. I think that the narration really elevated this story to another level. I hope to listen to other books narrated by Jason Isaacs in the future.
I would recommend this book to others. It is a rather short book that tells a really big story. This book is one of those rare gems that just captures everything perfectly.
About the Author
Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as the Carnegie Medal-winning A Monster Calls, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children's Book Award. Born in Virginia, he lives in London.