So I am an avid fan of Patrick Ness and managed to win a competition run by him and his publishers; it entitled me to a series of prizes, including two free tickets to see A Monster Calls in theatre, which I saw on Saturday.
I have read the book and seen the film but I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the theatre play. The concept of it, in the most spoiler-free way, is that a boy’s mum has cancer and he starts seeing a ‘monster’ who tells him various stories. It’s an amazing story, very emotional. However, it’s easy for the monster to be portrayed in book and film form. In theatre form, I was wondering how they’d do it! They used stilts, ropes, and humans, in various ways — it was very artsy and I loved it.
One negative of it was that in the book and film the mum is an artist but there is absolutely no mention of this in the play. I relate to it a lot because my mum is an artist and a cancer survivor so this disappointed me slightly.
That’s the only negative though. The rest of the play is astounding and the music was brilliant too. In the top right hand corner of the back of the stage, there was a box which opened up, and in it were a few men who made the music. It was really great.
The play had a 4 star performance for me. I was very impressed by the acting, as well as how simple the set-up was yet how beautifully they portrayed the play. It was honestly stunning.
So, I finished this book last night and I just had to write a review for it! It was astonishing! It’s the last YA book by Patrick Ness that I’ve read, meaning that I’ve read all of his YA books and so I don’t have any left to read. 😦
‘A Monster Calls’ is about monsters and it’s more of a psychological thing than a physical thing; even though the monsters are very much present, it’s sort of to do with the monsters that Conor, the main character, hides within himself, and is really intriguing. It’s a really sad story, in all honesty, and I felt my heart sink at the end of it.
It’s wonderfully illustrated too though, and the pictures really add to the story. The story probably wouldn’t have the same feel without those illustrations. They definitely add to the words surrounding them.
I had strong emotions about the characters too, getting annoyed at Conor sometimes because Patrick Ness is the best author at creating realistic, flawed characters. Without giving too much away, I will say that Conor definitely grows throughout the novel, despite other aspects of his life being crushed. The monster makes him see and that is the real beauty of the story. Conor is blinded by his hatred of himself but then he realises that there’s something more important… something that can make him see… This is with the monster’s help, of course.
I am just filled with love for this story! I wasn’t surprised, though, as it is by my favourite author. I can’t think of anything to criticise in this tale of relationships, truth, and realisation.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
I would love book suggestions too. 🙂