A Monster Calls

monster

Okay. So I’m late to the Patrick Ness party, but delighted to be here at last. Agent Sue recommended the Chaos Walking trilogy to me earlier this year, which I read and loved; then my excellent wife Monica gave me A Monster Calls for my birthday. It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever owned, and I’ve been saving it for a time I’m marginally less stressed. I planned to read a chapter or two each night, and really savour it. In the end, I devoured it in a single sitting. It’s one of the most striking, compelling, heartbreaking books I’ve read in a very long time. Jim Kay‘s illustrations – bringing almost every page to life – are sumptuously perfect, and Patrick Ness writes with power, precision and grace. The intertwining of artist and writer blurs the boundaries between novels and graphic novels. I think this is also the first book I’ve read that utterly defies ebooks. The story would be the same on a Kindle or Nook, of course, but there’s no way of electronically mapping this sort of paper book; the weight, the feel of the paper, the shape of the book, the stark integration of a full-page illustration with a page of a text. It’s an experience, and it’s simply beautiful. Read it.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. « Stains on the Page

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