The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go

3.96 (174,853 ratings by Goodreads)
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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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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 34mm | 401g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • w. ill.
  • 1406320757
  • 9781406320756
  • 26,333

Review quote

The story, narrated sparkily and saltily by its hero Todd, unpeels Prentisstown's dark secrets like the layers of a very rotten onion. Ness, an acclaimed author of adult fiction as well, moves things along at a breakneck pace, and Todd's world is filled with memorable characters, foul villains. * Financial Times * An impossibly good novel. It is at once endearing yet unsentimental; compassionate yet damning; exhaustingly exhilarating and yet tempered by a staid and considered emotivity. Written in the first-person present tense in an unapologetically impudent manner, this novel captures exceptionally the brash bravado and the underlying insecurities that actively teem inside the minds and explode in the actions of boys on their path to manhood. * * THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL excellent debuts in recent months and perhaps the most impressive is Patrick Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go. It's the story of Todd, the last boy in a community of men. In Prentisstown, the Noise virus has left men with the ability to hear each other's thoughts, those of animals too. The idea may send shivers up the spine, but how different is it to the constant intrusion of e-mails, texts, advertisements and CCTV we already suffer? When Todd finds a lone girl in the marshes he realises they have to escape, which isn't easy when your hunters can hear your every thought. Written in Todd's characteristic vernacular and brimming over with ideas about adolescence, faith and free will, this is intelligent, immersive storytelling. -- Keith Gray * The Scotsman * A book like no other. It's one of the most gripping, fantastical reads around. -- Camilla de la Bedoyere * Sunday Express * Darkly imagined and brilliantly created, the painful dystopian setting of a world full of noise in which all thoughts can be heard as if spoken is the background to this tense coming of age story. * The Guardian * An amazing book that should be seen as a classic * Books for Keeps * An unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up, by an award-winning writer. * Southern Reporter * The first book in an electrifying and multi-award winning trilogy * `S' (Supplement to Sunday Express) * One of the boldest, bravest and most original novels of the last 10 years . . . it will take your breath away * Sunday Mail Glasgow, Book of the Week * I don't think I could speak highly enough of this book; it was just pure brilliance * Growing Wings * This harrowing and immersive book completely reimagines the possibilities of dystopian young adult fiction * Rolling Stone *
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About Patrick Ness

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.
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Rating details

174,853 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 38% (66,733)
4 34% (59,274)
3 18% (31,154)
2 6% (10,902)
1 4% (6,790)

Our customer reviews

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!show more
by Saira Ahmed
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 :)show more
by Spencer
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!show more
by Amy Mansell
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