Monday, July 9, 2012

Musings: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
Bloggers far more eloquent than I have written about the experience of reading Patrick Ness' beautiful words and drinking in Jim Kay's evocative drawings in the young adult illustrated novel A Monster Calls, about a 13-year-old boy facing the horrible experience of watching his mother lose her fight against cancer.

I don't know that I could say anything about this novel that even remotely touches upon the effect it has upon readers.  So instead, I'll refer you to those bloggers linked to above and their lovely reviews, and just say a few small things here to convey just how deeply this book will move you.

I started reading A Monster Calls around 10pm one night.  Immediately, I was stunned by the book's beauty.  Absolutely amazing imagery.

By 10:30, I was sniffling.  A lot.

At 10:50, I realized that I was very warm, but didn't want to get up and move the six feet to the air conditioner and decrease the temperature.

By 11:15, I was hungry, but made no attempt to go get myself a snack because I couldn't leave the book.

By 12:30, I was sobbing, but didn't want to stand up and get tissues.  (Note:  This was a very poor decision.)  I didn't stop crying until well after finishing the book.

This is such a wonderful book.  It addresses the loss of a parent, but it also makes so clear the ways in which we create traps and punishments for ourselves that we do not deserve.  More than anything, A Monster Calls is about forgiveness and kindness to yourself.  And it's wonderful.



39 comments:

  1. My experience reading this book was pretty similar. So brilliant. I'm so glad you loved it as much as the rest of us did!

    PS: Back from my trip now, so I'll get back to you about finishing our doc today!

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    1. Yay! I hope you had a blast gorging on crepes.

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  2. Yes. It's a wonderful book and totally deserving of all of the accolades it's receiving rn, I'm so happy you appreciated it as well. :)

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    1. I'm so glad that I read it in physical form, too- I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on those illustrations.

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  3. Those illustrations are completely amazing. I've never heard this book talked about in that way, so...yeah. Gonna read it.

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    1. DO IT! It is available at CPL, so if you inter-library loan it, it will come in approximately 10 weeks. Probably more.

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  4. I like how you choose to address talking about this book. Good post!

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    1. Thanks! I thought it would be good to do something a little different.

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  5. OK, I am officially convinced - must get a copy of this book very soon!

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    1. Make sure you get Kleenex, too!

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  6. I keep holding out on this one because I know it's going to gut me. But at least I know and won't be surprised!

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    1. Yeah, your guts will be strewn all over the floor. But it will be worth it!

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  7. I am in the same place Andi is with this one. Not quite feeling ready for it because I know how it will impact me. I loved the author's Chaos Walking Trilogy and have heard only good things about this one. I am glad to know you liked it as well. I really do have to read it.

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    1. I now have to read the Chaos Walking trilogy! I am hoping to do it via audiobook but if it is as emotionally involving as this book was, that may be a bad idea to listen to it on my way to work...

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  8. This book was one of the most powerful and haunting reads that I have ever experienced, and the ending just about tore my heart out. I loved the way the artwork told the story while simultaneously bewitching the reader with ambiance, and very clear visuals.I am so glad that you read this one and loved it as much as I did. It was an excellent read, and one that I won't be forgetting soon. Fantastic thoughts on it today, Aarti.

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    1. Haha, I linked to your review precisely because you were so good at describing it! I don't even know how I could attempt to write about it.

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  9. I have had this on my TBR since it came out, but your review has really given me the push to pick it up. I am ready to cry without tissues and be a hot mess.

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    1. Yeah, maybe just read it the night before you do a big load of laundry? :-)

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  10. In the end, maybe, maybe not. Still good author

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    1. Yes, and a fantastic illustrator, too!

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  11. Definitely a pass for me. Generally, I just don't read books that I know are going to make me cry, no matter how wonderful they are.

    I know i miss on a ton of marvelous reads this way, but I'm okay with that. Maybe I'll change my mind one day, who knows.

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    1. I respect that. There are a lot of other books out there to read that don't result in such emotional exhaustion and can provide comfort, too.

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  12. I read this book on my Nook but really wish I could have a read a hard copy to get the full impact of the drawings. Though it was still a fantastic book.

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    1. Yes, I could see wanting that - maybe flip through it the next time you're in a bookstore!

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  13. I've not heard of this book, but the images and your reaction definitely have piqued my interest. I've got to check this one out.

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    1. I'm glad! I hear awesome things about his Chaos Walking series, too.

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  14. Thanks for the link and the (totally untrue) complement! :)

    I am so glad I was not the only one crying, and by crying I do mean sobbing.

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    1. Your review was wonderful! Don't be modest :-)

      And not only was I sobbing, I was blubbering like a hot mess.

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  15. I think that this was an eloquent review - tears over a book definitely speak volumes.

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  16. I've been meaning to read this book for so long, and your review has just bumped it to the top of my TBR list!

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    1. Oh, good! You won't regret it :-)

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  17. I have got to stop talking about finally reading Ness and getting to it. Great review.

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    1. That was EXACTLY my thought when I saw this one!

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  18. I'm not sure if I'm up to sobbing my way through a book. I gotta be in the right mood for that.

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  19. I have this sitting on my shelves at the moment! I think I am working up the courage to read it because I know it will be a sobfest!

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  20. I truly must read this book ... I think everyone who has reviewed it has been moved to tears. I shall have to pick a day when I don't need my eyes to be red from crying.

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  21. Ugh. I want to read this, but am afraid it will bring back memories of my mother-in-law's death from cancer. But I think it's an important work - I just have to get in to the right head space.

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  22. I just read this one about two weeks ago and it floored me. It was so good and so moving and so sad and so hopeful all at once. The illustrations were superb. Great review!

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