The Knife Of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One

Hardcover | September 9, 2008

byPatrick Ness

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A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard — and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn''t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd''s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

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From the Publisher

A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard — and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst ...

Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling 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.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 8.73 × 5.85 × 1.89 inPublished:September 9, 2008Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763639311

ISBN - 13:9780763639310

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book is excellent! If you want something different to read then this is the book for you. Its sci-fi, action, romance and adventure all in one! Its a good read that'll have you on the edge of your seat for hours! I found it hard to put down!
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The story is very easy to get into. Lots of action, adventure and a very unique story. Funny in parts, especially Manchee the dog. I couldn't wait to read the following installments.
Date published: 2013-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Knife of Never Letting Go is told from the unique perspective of a 12-year-old illiterate boy, so it includes some funny phonetic spelling and grammar, some half-swearing (e.g. "effing", etc.), and an ultimately innocent and naive voice. Todd is not portrayed as some chosen, special teen, like in a lot of today's dystopian young adult fiction. He is just a boy, and it's refreshing. Todd's relationship with Viola is hardly romantic in this first part of the trilogy, and that's actually a good thing. They get closer, but he doesn't spend the book wondering about when they're going to kiss and stuff like that. They're young and cute and they have better things to worry about. For now. The Spackle are the native species of the planet, and they are set up nicely. From what little you see of them, they are very likable. I named a stuffed animal after them. Also, I was very impressed with Todd's struggle with killing. You don't see that very often in books, and I think it's realistic and made me like both the book and Todd more than I did to begin with. In a good deal of young adult books, teens kill the "bad guys" like they don't even care. If they're bad, then sure. They can die. Sometimes it seems like there's not much of a choice, but I applaud the authors that make it a real issue. Where the main character won't kill, or atleast struggles with it a lot. The only other book like that off the top of my head is the Harry Potter series, where it's acknowledged that killing rips apart your soul to some extent. The poor spelling and grammar, I think, is more endearing than annoying. The Noise, which is the thoughts of all the males, is portrayed really well. The story moves along at a good pace, and I liked almost all of the characters. The book is very good, and same with the rest of the series.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new flavour for the YR audiences. It's always refreshing to read something that is not wizards or vampires in teen literature. At first I thought it was a post-apocalyptic story but then I quickly realized that it was actually a bonfide space colonist tale. There are not too many of those around anymore. The story quickly engages the reader as Todd, our hero, finds himself in a mess by witnessing something he should not have. The problem with Todd is that he is telepathic - a result of an alien virus that affects all of the male colonists. This means he "hears" thoughts from other males and they can hear his. Long story, short - they hear his thoughts about what he saw and he is forced by his guardians to run away. The rest of the novel involves the escape and subsequent pursuit of Todd. There is a decent amount of character development within the story and we are entertained by Todd's ability to hear animal thoughts as well. The tale provides no shortage of surprises and the reader will quickly learn that nothing in this journey will be taken for granted. Altogether this was a fairly quick and rivetting read although the book is over 400 pages. I recommend this story to anyone that likes sci-fi or just books about teens forced to think for themselves. It resembles The Hunger Games in that respect but brings forward a lot more originality than the other.
Date published: 2013-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Couldn't put this book down! I found myself reading well into the night can't wait to start the second book.
Date published: 2013-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Best talking dog The premise was fantastic and the book lived up to it. It had just enough mystery that I found myself reading it during my lectures, but it wasn't so mysterious that I was kept up all night or looking up spoilers on the internet. The dog, manchee, is my favorite character, he says everything I picture my own dog saying. The other main characters are equally realistic. The knife of never letting go is not my favorite book of all time, but I would definitely read it again and look for the sequel.
Date published: 2011-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thrilling I really didn't know what to expect from this book, and in the begining I wasn't all that into it. Todd Hewitt lives in Prentisstown. A town filled with men and their loud thoughts. All the women are dead and a germ has been released in the air that makes the thoughts of men be heard. Or so Todd was brought up to think. As the book goes on truths come out and we learn the truth of what really happened to the women and the lies of Prentisstown. I began to like the book once Viola comes into play. She is from a different planet, her aircraft crashed, killing her parents. Now she is on her own until she meets Todd who is on the run from the men of Prentisstown. This book gets really good as Todd and Viola are on the run, and I found myself not able to put the book down. Wanting to know what happens next. Great book, really looking forward to the sequal.
Date published: 2010-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast Paced, Wildly Imaginitve, Noisy Adventure. Coming of age story of a young boy on the run, who has been infected with "the Noise Virus" which means that he can hear the thoughts of all of the men in town and they can hear his thoughts. I loved this book and could not put it down until the last page. I am looking forward to book two.
Date published: 2009-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "Never Put Down" Book This book is amazing! I enjoyed it so much I couldn't put it down. I am not the person to read... at all, I've only read around 4 full chapter books in my 13 years of age, and I could NOT put this one down. I had never read a book so much and fast, i think I read it in under a week. This book is great for kids my age. This book is full of adventure and sadness, guilt and dispair. The book has a compelling friendship and sacrafice. This is a great book and I would reccomend it to anyone.
Date published: 2009-01-24

Extra Content

Read from the Book

THE FIRST THING you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything."Need a poo, Todd.""Shut up, Manchee.""Poo. Poo, Todd.""I said shut it."We’re walking across the wild fields southeast of town, those ones that slope down to the river and head on toward the swamp. Ben’s sent me to pick him some swamp apples and he’s made me take Manchee with me, even tho we all know Cillian only bought him to stay on Mayor Prentiss’sgood side and so suddenly here’s this brand-new dog as a present for my birthday last year when I never said I wanted any dog, that what I said I wanted was for Cillian to finally fix the fissionbike so I wouldn’t have to walk every forsaken place in this stupid town, but oh, no, happy birthday, Todd, here’s a brand-new puppy, Todd, and even tho you don’t want him, even tho you never asked for him, guess who has to feed him and train him and wash him and take him for walks and listen to him jabber now he’s got old enough for the talking germ to set his mouth moving? Guess who?"Poo," Manchee barks quietly to himself. "Poo, poo, poo.""Just have yer stupid poo and quit yapping about it."I take a switch of grass from beside the trail and I swat after him with it. I don’t reach him, I don’t mean to reach him, but he just laughs his little barking laugh and carries on down the trail. I follow after him, switching the switch against the grass on either side, squinting from the sun, tryingnot to think about nothing at all.We don’t need apples from the swamp, truth be told. Ben can buy them at Mr. Phelps’s store if he really wants them. Also true: going to the swamp to pick a few apples is not a job for a man cuz men are never allowed to be so idle. Now, I won’t officially become a man for thirty more days. I’ve lived twelve years of thirteen long months each and another twelve months besides, all of which living means I’m still one month away from the big birthday. The plans are being planned, the preparayshuns prepared, it will be a party, I guess, tho I’m starting to get some strange pictures about it, all dark and too bright at the same time, but neverthelessI will become a man and picking apples in the swamp is not a job for a man or even an almost-man.But Ben knows he can ask me to go and he knows I’ll say yes to going because the swamp is the only place anywhere near Prentisstown where you can have half a break from all the Noise that men spill outta theirselves, all their clamor and clatter that never lets up, even when they sleep, men and the thoughts they don’t know they think even when everyone can hear. Men and their Noise. I don’t know how they do it, how they stand each other.Men are Noisy creachers."Squirrel!" Manchee shouts and off he goes, jumping off the trail, no matter how loud I yell after him, and off I have to go, too, across the (I look round to make sure I’m alone) goddam fields cuz Cillian’ll have a fit if Manchee falls down some goddam snake hole and of course it’ll be my own goddam fault even tho I never wanted the goddam dog in thegoddam first place."Manchee! Get back here!""Squirrel!"I have to kick my way thru the grass, getting grublets stuck to my shoes. One smashes as I kick it off, leaving a green smear across my sneakers, which I know from experience ain’t coming out. "Manchee!" I rage."Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel!"He’s barking round the tree and the squirrel’s skittering back and forth on the tree trunk, taunting him. Come on, Whirler dog, says its Noise. Comeon, come get, come on, come get. Whirler, Whirler, Whirler."Squirrel, Todd! Squirrel!"Goddam, animals are stupid.I grab Manchee by the collar and hit him hard across his back leg. "Ow, Todd? Ow?" I hit him again. And again. "Ow? Todd?""Come on," I say, my own Noise raging so loud I can barely hear myself think, which is something I’m about to regret, you watch.Whirler boy, Whirler boy, thinks the squirrel at me. Come get, Whirler boy."You can eff off, too," I say, except I don’t say "eff ", I say what "eff" stands for.And I really, really shoulda looked round again.