Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee - whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not - stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden - a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
©2008 Patrick Ness (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Furiously paced, terrifying, exhilarating, and heartbreaking, The Knife of Never Letting Go is a book that haunts your imagination." (Sunday Telegraph)
"A series opener as promising as it is provocative." (The Horn Book)
I read this book a couple of years ago, based on a librarian's recommendation and once I'd got passed the first few confusing pages and got used to the raw writing style I realised it was one of the most amazing books I'd ever read in my life. This comes from a 40 something teacher who has to plough through some drab 'teen' fiction for a living, and who's favourite author is Jane Austen!.
It's hard to describe how I fealt reading this book; the prose is so raw and brutal and funny and tragic and very 'new'. It's so poetic, so energetic. The story of a boy and his dog and a girl, who are running for their lives seems simple, but like the very best literature, the actual way this story is written is revolutionary and transporting.
I've just listened to the audio book and Humphry Bower does his usual amazing job; turning in a powerful, energetic performance, (except I'd always thought of the settlers having an American deep south accent! but what do I know, rural England works too!).
I loved this, hope you do too!
I've just finished this, and as soon as the last word finished I wanted to download the next in the series. It is quite simply fantastic. Large amounts of imaginative ideas, characters that I cared about, touching relationships, dark themes. After a slowish start, turned out to be one of the best books I've heard. My wife occasionally caught me stood stock still in the Kitchen as something particularly suspenseful happened.
Imagine a planet where all men could hear all other men's thoughts,the mundane the perverse and most pointedly the personal and private, except no thoughts are private on this planet. A brilliantly original piece of fiction, thought provoking and entertaining. Thsi is a trilogy that builds and builds to a very satisfying end.
The reader is excellent just the right tone.
It's a coming-of-age storyline yet its quite complex. The construction and imagery of this new world is subtle and believably alien, the characters true and the events dramatic, graphic and surprising. We journey with Todd as he is forced to leave his home, discover the cause of the quiet within the "noise" and face his many difficulties with Manchee but without vital knowledge. There are satisfyingly horrible "baddies" and events, and very likeable "goodies" in the story. We travel at a good clip with no dull or wasted places and just when we think its going to work out ok for him... we are left teetering.. wait! There's another book in the trilogy. Good!
The concept of a world where the thoughts of men and animals are audible and noisy intrigued me, the sample got me with Humphrey Bower's voicing of Manchee the dog's; "Need a poo Todd", "Poo. Poo Todd." It made me laugh because its just how your dog WOULD say it. He has done an exemplary job of narration and disappears into the characters and story smoothly and perfectly as an ideal narrator should.
There's something of the flavour of the Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness series by Michelle Paver although Patrick Ness's style is different of course, and I believe this book is suitable for the same age-group of early teens up.
I highly recommend both series no matter what your age.
I loved this book, loved the really unusual concept and particularly loved the talking dog! Sounds weird but I was so immersed in the characters that I hardly noticed when it went from mildly amusing and pleasant to listen to...to upsetting and perilous. Very well written and totally unique. One line at the beginning,..."you'd think it would be good having a talking dog but it turns out they don't say many interesting things" and then the dog says, "poo, Todd, need a poo" made me laugh so much! It gets much, much deeper, I assure you and you will fall in love with some of the characters.
I started listening to audio books on a killer commute for my job and got hooked. Now local again, I listen whilst on evening or W/E walks
It really was an absorbing audiobook, and kept me hooked all the way through it, I didn't trail in interest part way through like with other books. do be aware though it is part 1 of a trilogy, and you WILL want to buy the next book as it is definitely a 'to be continued..' ending
Every interesting and original and beautifully written. The ideas and plot in the story are very different to anything you might of read - sci-fi but with a twist. Also, this book is gripping and makes you want to read the other 2 books in the series but is well worth it. This book would be prefect for an older teenager, but the language is easily understood by 12+.
I am a school librarian and the kids have been telling me for a while that this was wonderful- but I have grown a bit allergic to Dystopian Fantasy- indeed, any fantasy recently!- and this is a tough one to get into. It kept getting put at the bottom of the pile...Then I started listening on my way into school and back and was quickly gripped and thoroughly involved. The reading is absolutely perfect. Not over- dramatic; warm and gutsy and real.
The character of Manchee the dog is an amazing achievement.
Anyone who has read this will be in no doubt what the most moving scene is! I arrived at work in tears and felt it tugging at my heart all day. Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Ness' s writing is intense, rhythmic, slow and repetitive. Like Philip Pullman, he doesn't give an inch. It blossoms when read aloud. One of the best spoken books I've ever heard.
looking for new authors and interesting talented writers to read
The story opens and draws you into an interesting world that, on closer inspection, is not quite what it originally seemed.I found it quite entertaining that the animals could 'talk' to people. This proved a great comic ongoing backdrop of Tods Dog telling him many things both important and irrelevant.
The story twists and twists again. Then just as you think you have a good grip of it it shifts ever so slightly and your left galloping along another road.
I just love the dog urgently telling Tod that he needed something...'Pooh Tod, Pooh!" Sad I know but i found it ever so funny. The reader really helped deliver (?) it and does the dog so well. Provides a useful ongoing joke.The heard (?) of large animals munching grass saying 'Here' probably will not mean much to most but I think that the writer and the reader caught the mood of a possibility and provided a strong image that stayed with me. I enjoyed many different scenes from the book. Some I didn't enjoy but they were a part of the story and written/read so well that they were very uncomfortable to hear but were an important part of the story. Enjoy wouldn't be my choice of words for them it would be a darker a word I would need to use.
Its probably the one that will move everyone. But one that I won't mention here.. You will know it when you reach it.
looking forward to the next one in the series
"Really, really good!"
It's just an absolutely fantastic story, really poignant and moving, with a fast paced story line, that makes you want more. Great depth of character too, very believeable, as they have very real hopes and faults, and I found myself loving them nevertheless.
Humphrey Bower was an absolutely fantastic reader, he really brought the characters alive, and I think I wouldn't have liked the story quite so much if i had just read the book.
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