“Stories are wild creatures,” the monster said. “When you open them up, who knows what havoc you might wreak.”
I can’t quite remember how this book ended up on my “To-Read” list, though I certainly do recall getting excited about reading it once I’d ordered my copy to collect from the bookstore. It is certainly a treat to hold in your hands, to flick through the deliciously thick illustrated pages in wonder at what this seemingly magical story will offer.But first, I should say that A Monster Calls is nothing at all like I’d imagined. The creature in question is certainly not of the type young children fear lurks under their bed, or one which would leave you cowering behind the sofa on movie nights.
No, it is far more haunting than that…
For me, this was a “modern fairy tale” of the best kind, one which goes far deeper than original and spellbinding storytelling; to really make you think about the protagonist, his feelings, and above all how his experiences translate to yours.
Having read through right to the end in a single sitting to learn exactly why the monster called each night at seven minutes past midnight, I was left completely satisfied, in the most soul-destroying way. Then I learned the story behind the story, how Patrick Ness had based this amazing work on the unfinished idea of Siobhan Dowd, who sadly passed away before bringing her concept to fruition. This adds a deeper layer of meaning to the tale. Without giving too much of the plot away I can’t elaborate here, though would strongly recommend you discover for yourself.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is available from Amazon and all good book sellers.
Reviewed by: Literary Notes on 05-05-2015