The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Patrick Ness

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  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 193mm x 41mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 14 October 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1406320757
  • ISBN 13: 9781406320756
  • Sales rank: 8,275

Product description

This is an unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up, by an award-winning writer.Imagine you're the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don't fit in with their plans...Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run...

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Author information

Patrick Ness is the author of two critically acclaimed works of fiction, The Crash of Hennington and Topics About Which I Know Nothing. An award-winning novelist, he has also written for Radio 4, the Sunday Telegraph and is currently a literary critic for the Guardian. This is his first book for young adults.

Customer reviews

By Saira Ahmed 23 Aug 2014 5

So, this is the first book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy that I had borrowed from my sister.

I don’t think I could speak highly enough of this book; it was just pure brilliance. Normally when I read a book there is one aspect that sells it for me and makes me love it. For this book, there wasn’t just one aspect for me, it was every single point in this book that made me love it.

The whole plotline shows how Todd is used to having to privacy in his life. He’s used to everyone around him knowing how he’s feeling and how he’s thinking and how he thinks that it’s such a normal thing to have everyone know everything about you and the only way you can stop it is if you’re able to bury your thoughts under the rest of your Noise. I thought that related to a lot of people nowadays and the use of Social Media. The fact that there are a lot of people that tend to document every single thing on sites. Even though that might not have been what Ness was thinking about when writing it, that was what ended up coming to my head.

I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give away the book but one thing I loved was that you never knew what was going to happen next. No matter how much I tried to guess what was going to happen, things just kept surprising me. The whole book is filled with so many twists and revelations that you never get bored of reading.

I really loved the fact that the whole book was written as Todd would speak, so you have his accent going through your head the whole time your reading and that for me brought the book alive even more. His whole character development was amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens with him in the next few books as he grows more as a character. You could see the affects that certain events in the book has had on him and how it’s changed the way he is or the way he reacts to different things.

The end left me in pure shock and it was one of those cliff hangers that hurt my chest to read.

I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone!

By Spencer 13 Jan 2013 3

This book was a good read I must admit, I bought the trilogy and got through all the books quite fast. However this book takes patience. It's hard to get used to and understand how the writer writes. It takes awhile to get into and some of the concepts are very strange as well as some events being very rushed. It was an unusual storyline however I did like the it quite a lot. I would not put this in my top ten books but I definitely would not say that it was a waste of time. But don't let my opinion sway your choice to read this book because we are all different :)

By Amy Mansell 17 Jan 2010 5

Ten pages into this book and I thought I was going to hate it. It is full of misspellings and slang. Station is spelt 'stayshun', direction is spelt 'direkshun'. It took me a little while to get used to this, but once I did I realised how much it adds to the story. The story is told in first person from the point of view of Todd who has never had a proper education and can only go on the way others around him pronounce words, so it makes sense for words to be spelt the way they sound. Another unusual thing about the way this book is written is that Todd very occasionally talks directly to the reader, almost like an aside.

Todd is a very likable character. He is loyal and his motives are clear. Throughout the story he grows unbelievably as a character as he is subjected to horrors that none should have to go through. His self doubt over things he has done or wants to do make the reader really question what is right, what is the moral thing to do, and his doubt over the truth of what he has been told all his life makes the reader question everything. To me, that's the sign of a good, meaningful book.

My favourite character in this book has to be Manchee, Todd's adorable doggy side-kick (who can talk). His limited understanding makes him so sweet and innocent he's impossible not to love. For example, the book starts like this:

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."

Can't you just imagine your dog running around full of energy, tail wagging, saying that?

As a whole, I loved this very unique story. For Patrick Ness' debut in the young adult world it is amazing. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel sorrow and it made me downright angry. The characters are intriguing, the setting rich, and the storyline thrilling.

Overall, I'm giving this book 5 stars out of 5 and I can't wait to move on the next book in the Chaos Walking Series, 'The Ask And The Answer'. I recommend it to all lovers of coming-of-age, sci-fi and adventure stories aged 13 and up. Just make sure you give it a chance to grow on you!

Review quote

"Sets a high standard in an already crowded fantasy fiction genre."-- THE INDEPENDENT (U.K.) -- Independent, The (UK)"From the Hardcover edition."