Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Knife That Killed Me” as Want to Read:
The Knife That Killed Me
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Knife That Killed Me

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  473 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Paul Vanderman could be at any normal high school where bullies, girls, and annoying teachers are just part of life. But “normal” doesn’t apply when it comes to the school’s biggest bully, Roth—a twisted and threatening thug with an evil agenda.

When Paul ends up delivering a message from Roth to the leader of a gang at a nearby school, it fuels a rivalry with immediate con
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Ember (first published 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Rating TBA. Or not... still haven't decided on this one yet.

This review is going to be short and punch you in the stomach and make you think deeply about your life and morals and….things. What a coinkydink because that's exactly what this book does!
Actually, ummm OK, no, this review is probably just going to be short.
It’s kind of because of spoilers but mostly it’s because I’m not 100% sure whether I absolutely loved this book or absolutely hated it.
This book is brutal and I love brutal books. S
Mara S
Sep 05, 2010 Mara S rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shashank Aggarwal

This ingenious novel was written by Anthony Mcgowen. As I have never heard of this author I was a little unsure whether this novel would be worth the while. I referred back to the synopsis to check what other books he has written and what readers thought about them. And sure enough, there were some amazing comments.

It was the cover that intrigued me to open this novel. This story takes part in a small neighborhood and an average teen that goes to school, until he is face to face with death hims
May 27, 2013 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Varderman is an outsider in his high school, and outsiders are always vulnerable for harassment when they are alone. One day, a violent boy named Roth and his band of thugs Miller and Bates approach Paul about a package. Without much of a choice, Paul is forced to deliver the package to a kid named Goddo at the rival school Temple Moor. Paul's high school and Temple Moor have a violent history. When Paul's dad went to school, he had taken part in a massive fight between the two schools tha ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Varderman, a secondary student in an English Catholic School, is a loner until, just as he is becoming friends with "the freaks," the school bully encourages Paul to join his gang and gives him a knife to carry as an incentive. Paul is torn between his new friends and the demands of the implacable bully, Shane.

Setting: Bleak and vicious schoolyard where pupils ally themselves with bullies or outcasts.

Characters: Teachers and adults are either vicious, weak, or liars. They provide no help t
Eleni ( La Femme Readers )
The Knife That Killed Me was a gripping, unmistakably tragic story of a teenager spiraling down the wrong path. Paul, the protagonist, was a typical high school student that dealt with normal everyday issues until he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. His school was divided between two type of "gangs." One gang was run by the school's biggest threat and bully, Roth. His violent demeanor was intimidating and sick. Roth found physical pain to be pleasant and encouraged fighting to his follo ...more
Nov 14, 2010 jenni... rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 06, 2011 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Knife That Killed Me, by Anthony Mcgowan is a pretty good book. It deals with high school drama and situations that could possibly happen in real life, from bullying to peer preassure and even love. It is an easy read, that any high school student can comprehend. Now Paul (the main character) is just another face that you see in a hallway that you don't remember. The school (how I think of it) seemed like a pretty bad school, besides the cliques/groups, the teachers were weird and mean and t ...more
Jun 17, 2016 Gabby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2010 Kerstin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Pauls Schule regiert der Terror. Und der Terror hat einen Namen: Roth. Er und seine Gang brutaler Schläger demütigen, erpressen, prügeln - ihr Hass ist schier grenzenlos. Angst kennen sie nicht, aber sie können sie wittern wie Raubtiere. Auch Paul hat Angst, große Angst, und er kann nur hoffen, dass Roths Killerinstinkt dieses eine Mal versagt.

Zum Autor:
Anthony McGowan wurde 1965 in Manchester geboren, wuchs in Leeds auf und lebt heute in London. Bevor er sich ausschließlich
Ringo The Cat
According to KnifeCrimes.Org, a charity, supported by a.o. the UK Home Office, “A knife incident happens every 25 minutes - 4 in 5 offenders aged between 12 years - 20 years and a third of victims aged between 10 years - 17 years.” With more and more children and teenagers carrying a knife when going to school, Anthony McGowan’s third novel seems to be a sign of the times, a warning as well as a message. Almost completely devoid of all of the humor and wit that was characteristic of Henry Tumour ...more
Sean Dowie
Jan 30, 2016 Sean Dowie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This is my first Goodreads review)

Paul just can't fit in. He lives in a school that begets violence, and with teachers that for the most part, have lost their passion amidst all the ferocity and academic apathy. All of the school cliques share different interests than him. And he dwells in a home with parents who are kind, but can't give their son the attention and feeling of belonging that he yearns for (and what teen doesn't respect their parents, unless they're some badass warriors?) That a
Jan 05, 2011 Nakita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan is a book about the life of a high school student Paul Varderman. It illustrates the struggles he goes through while he's trying to find a place to fit in at school. Paul doesn't like being noticed by people, he would much rather just be invisible. One day while in geography class, Paul gets gum thrown in his hair by the school bullies. After school that day, the baddest bully in the school, Roth, approaches Paul. He's not rude to Paul, he just says t ...more
Any book that opens talking about the specifics of a knife that killed them has potential. There is little doubt in the reader's mind the narrator has been killed by said knife, instantly sparking numerous questions about the events that led to it and even who was holding the lethal knife. McGowan opens the book with mystery and weaves the tale smoothly up until the stunning ending.

Paul is a likeable character who tries to fly under the radar at his school but when the bully- or most influential
Mar 04, 2014 Sophia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul is your typical, middle of the road, middle of the pack, Catholic Comp student. This makes him an easy target for the sadistic school bully Roth. His usual MO is keep your head down, ignore them, and they’ll move on. However, one day Roth turns the table and incorporates Paul into one of his evil plans. Paul soon finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place, when Roth gives him a knife for safe keeping. He must choose whether to do the right thing and risk becoming ostracized again ...more
Alex Bennett
May 13, 2010 Alex Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, own
Before reading, I had heard both good and bad things about The Knife That Killed Me. And I had absolutely no idea what it was about when I started. But, wow am I glad I got the chance to read it because it was really… indescribable.

With a story unlike any other I have ever read, The Knife That Killed Me introduced me to a whole new world that I have been sheltered from my whole life. Living in a small, country town in the-middle-of-freaking-nowhere, USA, I had no idea things like this actually h
dani! ❀
Oct 30, 2011 dani! ❀ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic
I've wanted to read this book since I saw it in Year Eight--except it was in the school library, and it was a Year 10 and 11 only book. So I practically leapt at the chance to read it now I'm old enough. It could've been better, but I was expecting a different type of book and it was still really good. I ended up feeling really sorry for Paul (I actually stopped reading once because I got that feeling where I don't want to read because I know there's going to be some public humiliation... the la ...more
Dec 19, 2014 Kamil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kamil Sebti
14 March 2014
The book begins with the main character already dead.He was killed by a knife.He was in middle school and got stabbed by one of the bullies.The author begins by describing the main characters surroundings."I'm in a gray place now i always thought hell would burn you but here i'm cold. Therefore the main character is telling his story from hell.

In the middle of the story his friends start to find out about his death.They want to find the fingerprints on knife but the po
Watermelon Daisy
Dec 13, 2011 Watermelon Daisy rated it really liked it

Isn't the title amazing? I love the title! And also, the knife on the cover looked pretty gruesome. So naturally, I pick it off.

One of the best writing styles I've ever found in literature. The sentences are never too long, and vary to keep my interest. It's astounding the amount of description the writers puts in without me realising he has.

The last few lines of this book... those are lines I'll never forget. They're haunting and completely paradoxic. The pl
Yangyang Cheung
Sep 11, 2012 Yangyang Cheung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2011 Ricki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Åd®¥ån P.
This book is about a High School student, called Paul Varderman, and how his life got mixed up to those of a gang. At first, Part described hating the school's gang leader, Roth, with the most infinite hate. Afterwards, when Paul stands up for himself to Roth, you see Roth suddenly being interested in Paul. Throughout the rest of the book, you listen to Paul's thoughts and you find out that he is between feeling respected and feeling disgusted since he was Roth's "mate". At the end of the book, ...more
In the novel, "The Knife That Killed Me" a boy named Paul feels nothing more of an outcast at his high school. Three bullies by the name of Roth, Miller & Bates make Paul's life miserable. Until one day Roth and his friends confront Paul. From reading only 36 pages of this story i can already relate to how Paul feels, Alone. This story really captures the struggles of the students and how they have to fear coming to school. Now, Personally i don't fear coming to school and wonder how I'll ma ...more
Candy Wood
This book probably made the longlist for the 2008 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize because of concern in the UK about knife crime. A warning on the back cover says that it's "not suitable for younger readers," and it isn't. Paul, the narrator, goes to a horrible school with bullying or weak teachers. Like many teens, he's ashamed of his working-class parents. Desperate to fit in somewhere, he's afraid of Roth (I was going to describe him as the school bully, but he's just the scariest of many) ...more
Fiona Chan
Sep 24, 2012 Fiona Chan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
Interesting dilemma of good guy Paul versus bully Roth. Throw in a so-called freak named Shane who tries to keep the peace for all. No one in Paul's school is strong enough to resist Roth, except for Shane. Paul falls deeper and deeper into Roth's clutches, despite Shane doing what he can to help. Unfortunately, things don't turn out the way Paul had hoped. This is a classic tale of teacher and student bullying which, unfortunately, does nothing to dispel the fact that bullies get away with ever ...more
Feb 14, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was overall a very easy book to read, so I finished very quickly. the book is about a very serious topic, dispite the slightly cheesy, in a morbid way, title. The book is about a high schooler who gets caught up in the wrong crowd after being a loner most of his life. The magnetism of the antagonist, Roth, is plain to see. after leading up to what seems an ovbious ending, the final twist will suprise you. Overall it is a very good book.
Sep 13, 2011 T.martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The name of the book i finished is 'The Knife That Killed Me' by Anthony McGowan.
I absolutely love this book it is not for the faint of heart, or non violent students. i enjoyed it because there isn't one moment there is not action. But the setting is in England and some words i had to go to google to understand. Overall this book is AWESOME.
Question. If you had a choice to get involved in the biggest gang fight ever and be remembered or stay away from it what would you do?
Mar 17, 2011 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty disturbing book about the effects of bullying. But the story goes deeper into the lure of dangerous people on those who ends up being their pawns. This is not a happy bedtime story, but cautionary. It is one that would be a good read-aloud and discussion book in a high school classroom of students willing to analyze hard issues.
Feb 29, 2016 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chilling and edgy, this book is like a mixture of Isobelle Carmody's "The Gathering" with a pinch of "Holes" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall", it's one of those books that takes a different approach to storytelling, making you neither hate nor like any of the characters, honestly the only interesting character was Roth, mainly because there were just more descriptions of him than anyone else.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Unhooking the Moon
  • Flash
  • Almost True (When I Was Joe, #2)
  • Naked
  • Exit Strategy
  • All Fall Down
  • Diary of a Witness
  • Being Billy
  • Kill All Enemies
  • The New York Five
  • A Swift Pure Cry
  • What Goes Around: Cracked Up to Be / Some Girls Are
  • What I Was
  • Jasmine Skies
  • Arson (Arson, #1)
  • The Snow Spider Trilogy
  • The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
  • Wasted

Share This Book

“Because, you see, the cruel gods are stronger than the kind gods, and they will always beat them in the end. You doubt it? Look at the world, my brother, my sister. And so the spirit of Roth is here with me also, and battles for my soul. And I don't know who will win.” 6 likes
More quotes…