The Knife Of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick NessThe Knife Of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness

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

byPatrick Ness

Paperback | July 14, 2009

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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.
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 Awar...
Title:The Knife Of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book OneFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 8.5 × 5.37 × 1.3 inPublished:July 14, 2009Publisher:Candlewick PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0763645761

ISBN - 13:9780763645762

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Knife of Never Letting Go This is a great series for younger teens. I enjoyed all three books and would highly recommend them.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The plot that never let go My 2-star rating of this book will confound some of my friends who stand by the book and have collectively given it an average of 4-stars. When I was done with it, “The Knife of Never Letting Go” really was just an average book for me. While I liked parts of it, I detested a lot more. This disappoints me because I loved Patrick Ness' "A Monster Calls," and I did want to be wowed by the first book in the Chaos Walking series. Things I disliked: 1) The narrative voice and the country twang. 2) The religious overtones, which in general, I stay away from in my reads. 3) The repetition, or rather, repetishyun, like what I'm about to do... 4) The plot that tells and shows and tells and shows and tells and shows, but never connects the right bits, and never with the persuashyun of powerful emotions to knock you off. 5) The big reveal that was teased and dangled in front of readers time after time that it lost its shocking and tragic appeal when it was divulged. There is danger and confusion in "The Knight of Never Letting Go" and Ness lets us know that, but it takes a lot of effort, even if it's just following blindly, to the root of why Todd and Viola are running. Subtle hints were dropped to keep me reading to the last quarter of the book where the small payoff presented itself in the last 100 pages. I hardly cared as much as I should by then. It's a lukewarm response for Book 1, but Chaos Walking still has me intrigued with the inkling of a growing narrative voice in an evolving story arc, and the promise of redempshyun.
Date published: 2014-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A New Favourite I absolutely love this book! The plot is amazing, the description and detail is fantastic, and the characters are so real and deep. It did take me a while to really get into this book, but once I got used to the writing style I really appreciated it. It didn't really start off slow, just the writing was not what I was used to. But before I knew it I couldn't put it down and started to love everything about the writing. Heres a tip: don't give up because you don't think you like the writing. Its really different and thats what made me love it all the more. Once you actually get into the more fast-paced scenes, you will love it. I definitely did! The characters were another great thing about this book: you can't help but think of them as real people. When one person hurt, I hurt. I connected with all of them and even cried my eyes out twice. Ness really is a fantastic writer, and I love everythinng about this book. I love how the chapters arn't too long or too short, how Todd's feelings change frequently and overtime (like everyones do), and how there is just enough romance to keep readers intrest, while not overpowering the book. I loved, loved, loved it!!
Date published: 2013-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A not so perfect new world Life can get very noisy when you hear the thoughts of all those around you. Todd Hewitt has grown up on such a planet. He is the first generation born on New World, and has never known any other type of life. He has always heard the thoughts of all the men around him. From a young age he's heard the stories of how the indigenous population, the Spackle, released a Noise Germ that infected all the men and animals and killed all the women. He is the last child left in Prentisstown, and when he has his thirteenth birthday in one month, he will become a man. Todd doesn't question his life and planet until one day he is in the swamp collecting apples, when he hears something unexpected, rather he doesn't hear something. He notices an area with no sound. He has never experienced this before. Viola has no experience on New World, she has just arrived and is totally unprepared for what and who she finds. I so want to tell you more about this world but that would spoil the story for you. It is definitely a coming of age story for both Todd and Viola, but also for the settlers to the planet. They have been there over twenty years, but they are still adjusting to hearing everyone elses' thoughts. Their plans for a new society could not work with this 'hearing' and they have splintered into many small settlements that are out of contact with each other. There are several interesting characters in this story. Recently,Todd had been given his first dog. He didn't want one, but he and Manchee become inseparable over the first few chapters. I grew quickly to like him. He played a larger roll than expected of a dog. From the first moment I was introduced to Aaron, I despised him. If he lived near me, I would go out of my way to avoid him. Something very creepy about him. The Mayor of Prentisstown is a secretive man. He gathers his men to him and they do mental exercises that Todd doesn't understand. What is he preparing for or is he just trying to teach the men some control such that they can live together in a more peaceful manner. It is interesting how the various small communities have found very different methods for dealing with this noise that the men hear. Each seems to work, though some seem much more effective than others. I wonder if the planet born generations will fare better than the earth born settlers. Guess I will have to keep reading and find out. Thanks to author Patrick Ness for a thought provoking story. This is the first book in a trilogy. it is followed by The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men.
Date published: 2012-11-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not bad... not as good as people say it is i've given a lot of these dystopian series a try- divergent, the maze runner and now the first choas book. neither divergent or maze runner satisfied my need to read another great series like the hunger games. ness's first book of this series is not bad better than i thought. my expectations were lower, because the last series i started with the first books were a disappointment. i will always try to find another series just as good as hunger games- have not succeeded. i agree with other reviewers that this is an emotional roller coaster the reader is angry, depressed, anxious and happy for the characters in this book. themes: coming of age, learning, truth, friendship, death, loss, pain, suffering it is true this book is sad. ness does a good job of making the reader feel for the characters and situation. not as great as people say it is and it is a page turner. just didn't have me running out to the book store half way through to purchase the rest of the series. with a cliffhanger ending it may persuade me to purchase the 2nd novel.
Date published: 2012-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic start to a spaz-worthy series. This book comes close to the most philosophical fiction I have ever read. This book has everything I would want in a dystopian novel and even exceeds by love for Orwell's 1984. Every character is perfectly written and the plot wonderfully paced. An adventure that is sure not to be missed!
Date published: 2012-08-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Could not get past the writing style This and other reviews can be found on Cover Impressions: This cover looks rather primitive, as if it was gleaned from a cave drawing. I don't find it particularly eye catching but I can see where it would appeal to an audience of teenage boys The Gist: Todd has grown up in Prentisstown; a town full of men who spend their lives surrounded by the Noise of each and every person's thoughts. Just a month shy of becoming a man, he stumbles upon a patch of silence - something he has never encountered before, and the secret forces him to run from the people who know his every thought. Review: I had saved this novel for a time when I just had to read something great. It has wonderful reviews and has won several award so I thought it was a safe bet. I never dreamed how wrong I could be. I was angry and frustrated for most of this book. I spent my time yelling at the characters and cursing the writer. This was not an enjoyable experience. First of all, I did not care one lick for either of the characters. In fact, I actively despised Todd. I hated the way he spoke, I hated his actions, I hated the fact that he did not demand answers, because lord knows the author was not going to provide any. I don't mind novels that ration information, handing it out a tidbit at a time like Charlie nibbling on a scrumdiddlyumptious bar, but this novel gives no tidbits. Instead, it infuriates with lines like "it is time you knew the truth" followed by either and adult telling the kids to wait or something trying to kill them (something is ALWAYS trying to kill them - see below). Perhaps, since Todd cannot seem to spell Information, Ness decided that he didn't need to have any. I realize that the author made a conscious choice to use misspelling and poor grammar to allow the reader further insight into the mind of the main character. However, I do not care. I hated it. I cringed at every "aint" and "shun". I wanted to plant Todd in my English classroom and teach him how to speak so that he doesn't sound like a bumbling idiot. I couldn't concentrate on the story because every time he opened his mouth the evil teacher in my mind kept correcting him. Ness also chose to use repetition and short choppy sentence, one would assume, in an effort to make the novel more exciting. It drove me nuts. Passages like this: And she lets go of me- And I jump across- And I'm in the air- And the edge of the falls is shooting over my head- And I land- And I turn- And she's jumping after me- And I grab her and we fall backwards onto the ledge together- And we lay there breathing- And listening- And all we hear for a second is the roar of the water over us now- He employs this strategy over and over, sometimes for pages at a time. That's right, I said PAGES! This writing style annoyed me to the point where I really wanted to stop. Yet I pressed on, I had hope that there would be some twist or scene that would make it all worthwhile. I mean, something had to make all these people like it, right? Speaking of Hope. If the only thing keeping the characters going is hope, how about you give me some? These characters were attacked at every point. They never got a chance to rest before one of the main villians (one of which REFUSES TO DIE LIKE A PROPER HUMAN BEING) shows up and trounces them. The attackers have brute force, horses and guns. Our MC has ... a knife.... which he refuses to use. Also, you would think, at one of their stops on this journey they MIGHT have picked up a weapon for Viola. Fate (in the form of Patrick Ness' brutal pen) continues to pound on Todd and Viola until the untimely and unsatisfying cliffhanger ending. I will NOT be continuing on in this series. P.S Yes, of course I loved Manchee - and I hold Patrick Ness directly responsible for his treatment. Teaching/Parental Notes: Age: 15 and up Gender: Both Sex: None Violence: Knife play, gun play, death by stabbing, death of a pet Inappropriate Language: 2 instances Substance Abuse: None
Date published: 2012-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST READ! If you like the The Hunger Games, then you need to pick this book up. The first in the Chaos Walking trilogy, this is a fantastic sci-fi/dystopian novel. Imagine being the youngest boy in a town of only men, where you can hear everyone's thoughts - and then suddenly, one day, you come across a pocket of silence and can't keep it a secret. Unpredictable, intense, violent, and fantastic, this book will have you on the edge of your seat. This is a MUST READ!
Date published: 2012-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So much book love... Patrick Ness …I think I may love you just a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot. I can’t remember the last time I read a book where I literally had to force myself to slow down while reading. I’d start a page and I just couldn’t stand it – my eyes would race to the bottom of the page, skip over to the next page…I was so invested in these amazing characters and this story and look, I’m doing it here. Context coming right up. The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in the Chaos Walking trilogy (The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men are the other two titles in the series.) I purchased it based on someone’s blog review – sorry, don’t remember the blog – and it languished on my tbr pile for several months before I finally picked it up. I read about 10 pages and put it aside. I had the same sort of lukewarm feelings about the book as I did after my first attempt to read The Book Thief. And we all remember how that turned out, right? The second time I picked up Ness’ book, I fell into the narrative. By page 38 there was NO WAY I was putting the book down; I couldn’t have put it down even if I’d wanted to. Todd is just days away from becoming a man; that’s what he’ll be on his 13th birthday. He lives in Prentisstown, a place notable for two reasons: there are no women and everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. Todd calls it the ‘noise’ and we hear about as he heads off to the swamp to pick apples. " …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." This visit to the swamp is remarkable though; Todd hears…silence. But that can’t be because “there’s no such thing as silence. Not here, not nowhere. Not when yer asleep, not when yer by yerself, never.” When he returns to the home he shares with Ben and Cillian, he gets an even bigger surprise: Ben tells Todd he has to go. There is no time for discussion or explanation, Todd must run. The shocks keep coming for young Todd and his faithful dog, Manchee. (And can I just say here that I have never been one to fall for the old ‘boy and his dog’ story until now – I love that dog, whose thoughts Todd can also hear.) Patrick Ness has created a compelling, suspenseful narrative. Todd’s life is constantly in danger and he has to keep adjusting his own story because, clearly, he hasn’t been told the whole truth about the town he comes from or even his own personal history. He leaves Prentisstown with a book he can’t read and a knife and a sense of urgency that propels him forward with barely a chance to catch his breath. I felt like that, too. I know that dystopian literature is all the rage these days and yes, I am a fan of The Hunger Games, but I think Ness has done something else quite original with The Knife of Never Letting Go. This is a story that grabs you by the throat and shakes the living daylights out of you for 479 pages. The subject matter is often dark. The character of the preacher, Aaron, is one of the creepiest psychopaths I’ve encountered in literature in a long, long time. And this is a book I want to hand to people and say “read this now!” I love it when that happens.
Date published: 2011-11-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but depressing Summary Life in Prentisstown is tough. Being the last settlement in the New World, and having lost all their women to the terrible Noise Virus, life can seem very isolated for the men (and one boy) who remain. Except for the fact that no one is ever really alone when everyone else can hear your every thought. Todd is the last boy left in Prentisstown, but less than a month remains until he will finally be a man. He believes things will be better once he can be counted among the men in town, but when he discovers a strange silent spot amongst the Noise in the swamp, suddenly everything Todd knows is thrown into question. His family sends him away, telling him to run for his life and never look back. Angry and confused, Todd has no choice but to flee the only life he believes exists. As he makes his way into the unknown, he discovers that everything he once thought to be true was a lie. Review The premise of The Knife of Never Letting Go is fantastic! The idea of being able to hear the thoughts of everyone around you is original and unique. There’s plenty of non-stop action to keep the reader flipping pages. The characters are believable, well developed, and grow throughout the course of the novel. And once you get used to the strange grammar and horrific spelling, the dialogue is interesting. So really, it’s got all the factors that make up a great book right? Right. Except that I hated it. I mean I read the whole book and have no complaints about the quality of the writing, but everything that happens to the characters throughout the course of the story is AWFUL. There might be one or two brief moments of happiness, but that’s it. I almost stopped reading 2/3 of the way through because something so terrible happens that I didn’t think I could take any more. I managed to soldier on, but there was definitely no happy reward for my efforts. And don’t even get me started on that ending - or rather complete lack of an ending. I’m all for a well-done cliff-hanger, but this book just stops (at yet another horrible thing) about 10 pages short of an actual ending. I almost wonder if my digital copy was missing some bits it was so abrupt. Verdict If you’re OK with a really dark and unhappy story, then The Knife of Never Letting Go is a great read. If you want to feel a little bit good while reading, then skip this one.
Date published: 2011-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Stunning! The only--ONLY--reason I'm not giving this book five stars is that, yes, the dialect makes it a little difficult to get into. I actually picked it up a few months ago and stopped reading it because Todd's voice was distracting, but a friend told me to give it another chance and boy, am I glad that I did. The Knife of Never Letting Go was one of the most heart-wrenching novels I've read in a while. The premise itself is fresh, original, and unlike anything I've read before: all men can hear each other's thoughts, and those of all animals. The way the Noise was written out was really cool, and the language--despite the grammar--was almost poetic at times. Despite being quite a big book I was unable to put it down and finished it almost immediately. And yes, I'll admit that tears did come to my eyes more than once. Todd was such a complex character, and he was supported by an incredibly well-developed cast (Manchee!). The book ends on quite a big cliffhanger so I'm almost glad I only just discovered it--I don't have to wait for the sequels to come out! If you're having trouble getting in to it, don't give up. The Knife of Never Letting Go was addictive--it didn't let ME go!
Date published: 2011-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I had to write a review for this book I try not to dole out five star ratings lightly. One chapter into this book, I hated it. I couldn't get through the bad spelling that many have complained about. But I pushed though, and I am SO GLAD I did. I cringe to think about what I may have missed out on by passing on this series. Halfway through, I thought it was good. By the end, I wanted to tear the book to pieces and hug it all at the same time. Patrick Ness is a force to be reckoned with. Todd and Viola have the most beautifully crafted friendship I have ever seen in print or otherwise, and I will admit I cried at parts of the book not because they were sad, but because the connection between them was written so wonderfully that you couldn't help it. If you pass on this series, I pity that you will be missing out on this wonderful, wonderful series.
Date published: 2011-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping! I have to say this book took me a while to get into, and the writing also takes some time to get used to. But after about 3!!! What an amazing story! It's definitely one of those can't-put-down books, and it really keeps you guessing. It's action-packed, chilling, heartbreaking, and dramatic all at the same time, and you really come to care about the main characters. It's also a fresh take in a reader's world filled with vampires, and love stories, and predictable endings. Highly recommended!!
Date published: 2011-03-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Took me a bit This book took me a bit to get into. The language is different not a lingo I'm used to but sure enough I kept reading and it became a really great read. Now I have to go out and get the second one.
Date published: 2011-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A mind boggling great read! I picked this book up several times to read it but never actually got around to it until a friend of mine recommended it. The book grabbed my attention from the first chapter and didn't let go till the last page. I loved it enough that I immediately had to go out and get the other two books in the series in order to find out what happens!
Date published: 2011-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Overwheling, intense and addictive Sometimes life is not what it seems; most people would say often it is not what it seems or even what you expect. But for Todd Hewitt it is even more so. Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown. Todd was raised to believe that all women on the settlement planet had been destroyed by a germ from an alien species called the Spackle. That same germ allowed men's thoughts to be visible to others and for men to hear the thoughts of animals and for animals to speak. In thirty days Todd becomes a man, for on your thirteenth birthday on this frontier planet you become a man. But for now he is the last boy and it is lonely because after 13 years of 13 months you become a man and Todd cannot wait, but his world is about to be turned upside down. Todd is out picking apples when he notices a spot of silence, a void in the noise he is accustomed to coming from everything. He tries to follow the noise and it moves away from him. Soon he loses track of the void in the noise and heads home. He tries to hide this secret as he passes through Prentisstown. When he gets home, his adoptive parents panic when they find out about it, and start gathering stuff to send him away. Bewildered, confused and feeling rejected he struggles against this plan, a plan they have obviously been preparing for a while. Soon he discovers the void in the noise is a girl, and he and the girl are running for their lives. This book was a wild ride, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. From the minute I picked it up, I did not want to put it down. A few of the plot twists I figured out well before the story explicitly told us, but there were so many, and the way they were all woven together was thrilling to read. Of the over 300 books I read in 2010 this is one of the best; I just hope the rest of the series lives up to it.
Date published: 2011-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for teens and adults. Pros: high tension, action packed, interesting concept, character growth, good use of literary techniques to achieve the above, great message, you'll be left reaching for the next book in the series Cons: There's some violence, so it's rated 14 and up, some actual swearing (and lots of 'fake' swearing), for stronger teen readers Unlike the older men in his village of Prentisstown, Todd Hewitt was born on this world. He was born with the Noise - the sound of everyone's thoughts - man and animal, night and day. Born after the war that killed all the natives, the Spacks. Born after the Spacks unleashed the germ that caused the Noise and killed all the women. Todd Hewitt is 30 days from his 13th birthday. Thirty days from becoming a man when he and his dog Manchee come across something they've never encountered before. Silence. This encounter turns Todd's world upside down, as everything he thought he knew about his world is brought into question. He's forced to flee with the source of the silence in an attempt to find answers and safety from the men of Prentisstown. Men who are finally putting into motion a plan they've been brewing for years. Patrick Ness is a master of the craft. He uses first person to get the reader into Todd's head and, despite the Noise, Todd and those around him manage to keep secrets - from each other and the reader. Repetition is used for emphasis, while clipped phrases are a means of ratcheting up the tension. Ness also cleverly sidesteps the use of profanity by using 'effing', while letting the reader know the boy isn't REALLY saying 'effing'. Every time you get close to understanding what's going on something else happens, forcing Todd further along his journey, and pulling the reader along for the ride. There's also a great message towards the end. And you'll want the sequel on hand when you finish this one. This is one of the best teen books I've ever read. It's great for both teens and adults, and you'll be hard pressed not to read on.
Date published: 2010-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breath Taking! Can I just say, wow. Absolutely great, and I haven't said that In a long while. I just finished this book not more than 20 minuets ago and I quickly came over to share my view. In the Prentisstown there's a lot of lie's buried under each nook and corner that Todd just can't seem to figure out. He goes to more experiences than anyone should have to in their whole life. So much hurt, sadness, confusion, and bits - very small bits near the end - of hope. Patrick Ness just created one of the bravest and strongest boy-child-man, that I've ever seen in a book much less real life. His characters are believable and the relationships he builds between them are almost tangible. The way he carefully goes about creating a connection between Viola and Todd is the closest to the lines of how a real teenage boy and girl would operate. Oh, does he never stray away from the real actions a almost-man would take, and think, and question everything around him. Never is this novel predictable and kept me at the end of my seat through out, I even - cried. Reaching Haven is the hardest journey anyone could take and Todd and Viola - yourself included - can't help but wonder at times if it's worth it in the end. If hope really is dangerous? He has a lot to amount to in his follow up. Ps, that excrept? God, is it amazing.
Date published: 2010-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beest book evver!! at first i didnt want too read thiss book, and then i started to read it and woow it was the best book i have ever read! and i read a lot of books (:
Date published: 2010-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! One of the best books I've read in a very long, long time. It's loaded with action and takes you on a journey you can't help but finish in one sitting. Every chapter takes you right into the next with mind blowing cliffhangers. I would definitely recommend you pick up this book and the others in the trilogy as well. Amazing book from start to finish. The plot never grows old and while some of the "unexpected" twists are predictable the majority aren't. Amazing read!!
Date published: 2010-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Story!! Really interesting storyline. A little slow in the beginning but it picks up and you won't be able to put it down. Its mysterious and a potential tear jerker. I cried at one point. The ending is pretty intense. You will probably want to have the second book ready by the time you finish this. Nothing is what it seems in this book. I loved it!
Date published: 2010-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from omg what a ride! Truthfully I put off reading this book. I read the first 2 chapters or so and I wasnt really getting into it but I brought it with me to school on friday (yesterday) read it on the way there and home and then basically whenever I could and finished it about 10 mins ago. Thank goodness I kept reading! It was recommended to me so it *had* to be good, i trust you guys! Boy was it good. Each chapter makes you want to turn the page and find out what happens next, it was so suspenseful! Through the pain and suffering Todd has to go through and how he has to become a man and his relationship with Viola right to when they arrive in Haven...INCREDIBLE. Im putting the second book on hold now but i think this is def a series im going to have to own for myself.
Date published: 2009-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!!.. Okay, this book is just... wow!!!. I started reading it and never wanted to stop, each chapter ends with you just needing to know what happens next, you start reading and really, it's literally impossible to put down. This book puts you in a thrilling adventure, following a boy named Todd who comes from a town named Prentisstown. This town only consists of only men, because a while back the germ that gave all the men the abilitly to hear eachothers thoughts,(or called their noise) killed all the women. Todd is the last boy in the town to become a man, but suddenly he has to leave his town without knowing why, all he's got is some food, his knife and Manchee, his talking dog. Throughout this thrilling adventure, Everything Todd thought he knew about Prentisstown wasn't exactly what it seemed, when he finds a girl with no noise. After I finished this book I really couldn't get over how amazing it was, there was non-stop action...really it was non-stop!! It was an extremely exciting book, with brilliant characters that made you laugh. I CAN'T wait to see what happens in the next book!!!!, The Ask and The Answer.
Date published: 2009-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magnificent! This was an amazing read! Patrick Ness has woven together a beautiful tale about growing up and learning what it means to grow from a boy to a man. Todd Hewitt is one month away from becoming a man in Prentisstown. He is the last boy and forever will be because there are no more women left in the world. But Prentisstown is no ordinary town. Everyone in it--including the animals--can hear every single thought that goes through everyone's mind. There are no secrets that can be hidden when thinking something is practically like saying it out loud. Then one day, Todd stumbles across a lake where everything is quiet--there is no Noise that can be heard anywhere. But it isn't the lake that's creating the quiet; it's a girl. Suddenly, everything Todd thought he knew about Prentisstown is questioned. He must run away from his home and find Haven where there have been rumours of a cure for the Noise. If he fails to find the cure, he will infect the girl with his Noise and she will die, just like all the other women. I couldn't put this book down. Just when you thought everything was going perfectly, Ness throws in something that grabs you on for another few chapters. And everytime I say, "Okay, I'm just going to read ONE more chapter, and then I'm going to bed...", something HUGE happens at the end of that chapter, and I end up staying up late to find out how Todd will get out of the mess. A truly brilliant novel; I'm eagerly awaiting the next book: The Ask and the Answer.
Date published: 2009-08-10
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: 2009-05-17

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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’s good 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, trying not 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 the goddam 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. Come on, 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._______

Editorial Reviews

"Sets a high standard in an already crowded fantasy fiction genre."
— THE INDEPENDENT (U.K.) — Independent, The (UK)

From the Hardcover edition.