Literature / A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls is by Patrick Ness from the original idea by Siobhan Dowd. Jim Kay illustrated the book, who used the more traditional ways of painting with beetles, breadboards to the more modern marks and textures.

Is going to be adapted into a movie

The Monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... This monster is different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Needs love.

Tropes that associate with A Monster Calls.

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Inverted, the Yew tree is the monster's favorite form and has no qualms about scaring Conor with his form.
  • Anti-Villain: The monster. He's a monster, but he's there to help Conor.
  • Badass Boast: When the monster describes his true nature.
  • Byronic Hero: Conor, at least until he can accept the fact that his mother's going to die.
  • The Bully: Harry, complete with cronies.
  • Cruel Mercy: Combined with Un-Person, this is what Harry eventually does to Conor.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Of happy endings, for the three stories. Conor thinks each story will work out fine. Instead, the characters get exactly what they deserve, even if they're a murderer or just plain nasty.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: It's quite clear from the beginning that Conor is very uncomfortable with the way the people around him, especially his teachers, treat him. The last third of the book implies that he doesn't believe he deserves it.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: All of the monster's stories.
    Monster: Most people are neither good or bad guys. Most people are somewhere in between.
  • I Have Many Names: The monster.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never completely clear whether the Monster actually exists or not. Nothing happens that can't be explained by Conor's actions, and when the Monster appears to him in school, no one else is able to see it. Not that a magical being can't be selectively invisible, but there's a lot of wiggle room to go either way, though the book doesn't really dwell on it.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: The monster clearly has a moral code, but he's perfectly willing to let Conor destroy his grandmother's living room (or help him do it, it's not clear). The same thing happens when Harry is beaten to a pulp. Although this may be a subversion: The monster knows that what Conor is doing is wrong, but wants him to learn from the results.
  • Never Say "Die": Ironically enough.
  • Twist Ending: More or less the point of the monster's stories, used for deconstructive purposes.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The main reason Conor realizes the monster isn't a dream is the destruction of his grandmother's living room, but his hands are bloody so it could have been him, along with snapping and letting the monster seriously hurt Harry, the students said they saw him do it, but he sees the monster do it, but also feels himself do it. Zig-Zagged?