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The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)
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The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  75,079 ratings  ·  8,724 reviews
Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee -- whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not -- stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is imposs ...more
Hardcover, 479 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by Walker (first published 2008)
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Shirley I was annoyed at first but I found it helped me "hear" his voice/accent a little better. The different fonts for the different POVs were helpful for…moreI was annoyed at first but I found it helped me "hear" his voice/accent a little better. The different fonts for the different POVs were helpful for me too.(less)
The Polka Dot Oh my goodness thank you! He is so brilliantly written, and you don't even see him in first person for the majority of this book. He is a villain, a…moreOh my goodness thank you! He is so brilliantly written, and you don't even see him in first person for the majority of this book. He is a villain, a father, a conqueror, a crazy as control freak mind raping man. In the next 2 though, jeez, you don't hate him nearly as much as you know you should. His son though.... :((less)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsInsurgent by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopia Novels
23rd out of 744 books — 8,319 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
38th out of 1,999 books — 17,592 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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i have 2,410 friends on

199 of them have this book on their shelves.
of that number, only 28 have read it.

to the other 171 of you, i say - "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???" and you can see i am serious about this, because i have done math in order to convince you.**

and i know, i know. there are a lot of books in the world, most of us are mortal, who has the time, etc. i myself had all three of the books in this trilogy just smooshed in the middle of piles of other books at my place, thi
The Holy Terror
Things that didn't bother me:

The grammar and misspellings - normally this would bother me, but I quickly got used to it, so I don't fault him there.

The swearing - you will notice from my status updates that I don't mind a well-placed curse.

The violence - I play violent video games, watch violent movies, and I don't mind violence in books when it makes sense.

The cliffhanger - maybe if I didn't have a copy of the second book on hold at the library I would be upset, but cliffhangers don't normally
Rachel Hartman
Boy oh boy. I can't remember the last time I felt so simultaneously positive and negative about a book. Hence the three stars, averaging everything out.

(Just realized that I reviewed this at my blog but not here. Here's the cut-n-paste)

This review will, by necessity, have lots of spoilers, because the things I liked (and disliked) are very specific. Insofar as I can give you something spoiler-free, here goes: I love the concept; the world is unique and well-realized; the relationship between the
Meg ♥
Mar 07, 2012 Meg ♥ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Meg ♥ by: karen

In this absorbing world Patrick Ness created, only men exist. All of the men can hear each other's thoughts, and these thoughts are called noise. When you turn 14 you become a man, and the anticipation for this is astounding.

Todd Hewitt is about to become a man. He was told that there are no woman, because they were all killed off. One day, when he's out with his dog, Manchee, he finds a spot where there is no noise. Surely, he thinks, this is impossible. Soon he is confused further, when his pa
Young Todd Hewitt is on the verge of manhood and living in Prentisstown, a world without women and where the thoughts of men and “creachers” can be heard. Todd’s dad died of illness and his ma was the “last of the women”, according to Ben, one of two men who are raising him. Todd likes to go to the swamp to collect apples, because it is the only place where he can get a break from men’s “Noise” – their secrets, their thoughts, their memories. While out on a walk with his talking dog, Manchee, To ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Joyzi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ifs yer a grammar nazi don hother *kidding*
Recommended to Joyzi by: The Hype
Complete, Edited and without effing Spoilers!

Caution: This book is not for sensitive and fainthearted readers. The book contains murder, misogyny, gore, violence against children, children doing brutal things and foul language. Seriously IMO this fits more to adult readers, it was just so sick and disturbing that a part of me believed that this probably should not be in the YA category (or maybe that’s just me). 16 years old and plus will do (I copy the same censorship of Elfen Lied and Higurash
Emily May
I'm always hesitant when it comes to reading books categorised as for 'children', but this is one of those books that is so important, clever and gripping it does not deserve to be limited by calling it merely a 'children's' book.

I'm finding it difficult to put into words just how much I loved this novel, I could not put it down. It makes you think, makes you laugh, makes you cry... this really is a literary triumph. It should be compulsory reading for everyone.

It tells the story of Todd, the la
Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

Okay, here's some first impressions:
1) Awesome.
2) Great.
3) EFFING awesome.
4) Manchee!!
5) Seriously?!
6) Non-stop, action, adventure, twists, unexpected relationships, character development unlike any other, heartache, anticipation, lovely, sweet, horror, anger, unique writing style, original and fresh.
7) Seriously chaos walking.

Watch out for a video review tomorrow :)
Nov 09, 2008 Laini added it
Hard to know how to rate this book. It is amazing and powerful, but so sad it made me angry and made me not want to recommend it to anyone. If you're up for a punch in the stomach. . . here's your book.
Kristin (KC)

(A Poo-Todd Audio Reread)

*4 Stars*

This book was a pleasant surprise, and not at all because I thought its storyline wouldn't work, but I was skeptical as to whether it would work for me.

Told through the candid and youthful perspective of a twelve year old boy on the cusp of manhood, The Knife of Never Letting Go presents an incredibly unique plot that's both simple in its storytelling and layered in its depth.

Todd is the youngest boy in a society consisting solely of men, and this is his norma

Initial Final Page Thoughts.

OMFG. Proceeded by a scramble to buy the next book. I think this book had a more intense cliff hanger than The Italian Job.

High Point.

This could also be a low point… but I’m going to class it as a high point, for I have found a series that grabbed me as much (maybe more… WOAH) as The Hunger Games. And yes, I may become a hermit and forget to eat while I read these books, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Manchee! I LOVE the writing style, it was annoying at firs
In a world where we're bombarded with technology, our senses are often overwhelmed by the amount of noise and it's becoming increasingly difficult to find true quiet anymore (especially since most of us just plug into our computer or iPod as soon as it is quiet). A constant stream of sound and images feed us information, prod us toward rampant consumerism, and entertain us. I've become increasingly aware that many of my students seem uncomfortable with simple quiet--always wanting some sort of n ...more
Dec 15, 2010 Rollie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dystopian Novels Fanatics
Recommended to Rollie by: Isamlq
What if you’re in another world; another planet? What if you haven’t seen a woman before? What if you hear people’s thought; what if animals’ too? What if you’re living with aliens? What if…what if… your dog talks?

Harry James Potter the boy who lived.

Katniss Everdeen the girl on fire.

And finally: Todd Hewitt the boy who can’t kill?

Well, I was hesitant to buy this book actually, for despite of the reason why I really wanted to read this book because of its 5-star ratings received from most of my
Mar 13, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Jo
Shelves: favorites
“How do you think you could have possibly come this far if you didn’t have hope?”

I jumped into The Knife of Never Letting Go knowing just two things—Jo recommended it and Patrick Ness wrote it. That was all I needed!

What I found was a new world with a western-sci-fi vibe, a language and tone all its own, new friends, and big, big lessons all wrapped up in love, suspense, and power. OH, did I say suspense? I meant SUSPENSE! Grit your teeth, white knuckle, I-can’t-turn-the-page-fast-enough suspen
Julie Kagawa
This is an excellent book. Not only is the concept unique, but the story itself is written so differently that I could not put it down. The author uses first person to tell the story of young Todd, capturing the diction and language of a adolecent, somewhat redneck boy perfectly with statements like: "The plans are still being planned, the preparayshuns prepared, it will be a party, I guess, tho I'm starting to get some strange pictures about it, all dark and too bright at the same time, but nev ...more
Jason Koivu
This isn't what I expected and that's a-okay fine, because The Knife of Never Letting Go is a razor-sharp story! (sorry, that was terrible)

I guess I was thinking this would be more cerebral, but it turned out to be a fast-paced, action-filled read that reminded me a bit of The Hunger Games in that it follows a kid in survival mode in a dystopian world.

Here's the story in a nutshell: A boy on the verge of becoming a man via his village's secretive initiation rites, flees the isolated community w
I am a big fan of dystopic & post-apocalyptic fiction, and The Knife of Never Letting Go is one of the most compelling pieces of dystopia I have read in awhile. I am all sorts of in love with this book. Find out why at The Book Rat.
Nov 16, 2009 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: YA book club pick
Shelves: ya, 2009, ala-ya-2009
I've never heard of Patrick Ness or "Chaos Walking" trilogy before. Luckily for me, "The Knife of Letting Go" was a November pick of one of my YA book groups.

"The Knife of Never Letting Go" is one of those "boy" books - there is a lot of action, there is a chase, a lot of mystery and very little sappy romance. The dystopian/sci-fi setting is exciting - an alien planet where people can hear each others thoughts. The protagonist - Todd - is a 12-year old boy on the brink of manhood in a town wher
K.D. Absolutely
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
You know how, by the time you hit the third season of Castle, you're kind of getting tired of the hit-and-miss chemistry between Castle and Beckett? I mean, you know something's happening between them, they keep moving towards each other, but then, at the exact point where you're about to get excited — ohmygosharetheyfinallygoingtokiss!, something happens and the moment passes. For the first two seasons, the sexual tension is thrilling and exciting, but by the time season 3 comes around, you jus ...more
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Pure and simple, The Knife of Never Letting Go is EVERYTHING The Hunger Games could have been. It had a dystopian/post-apocalyptic world that was original, exciting, but not ridiculous. This is a world that ACTUALLY is terrifying in a way that HG really isn't. And it has a main character you can actually care about, relate to, feel for, and root for. A character who isn't an emotionally-challenged doormat. And no love triangle. Pure and simple, this is *the* dystopian book to read and love.
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

Early one morning,
Just as the sun was rising,
I heard a young maid sing,
In the valley below.

Oh, don't deceive me,
Oh, never leave me,
How could you use
A poor maiden so?

Good news: I am paying a visit to my local library today. I know for definite that they have the second book! (yay)
Bad news: I'll also be visiting my book-store to torture myself by staring at the beautiful UK paperback copies. *cries*

Well, I seem to be in a bit of a ruddy mess.

I absolutely ended up adoring this book. The premise,
If this book represents the relatively-new (to me) genre called 'dystopia', then I guess 'dystopia' is just not for me.

I didn't get it. I simply didn't.

Majority of the time, I felt agitated and stressed out (and that says a lot because you should feel relaxed if you're engaged in a good read... right?). I didn't like the way the story progressed (which is basically just the protagonists running and hiding, albeit impossibly, and then running again and hiding from an army, but for what reason t

In my heart of hearts (somewhere in that deep dark black soul I seem to have sometimes when reviewing books I've vehemently disliked) I don't know if this is a full five stars for me, and yet, it feels inaccurate to even think of giving it a four. I've got a rule with books to follow my heart and not my head. If a book demands my attention and the characters worm their way into my good graces and I'm worried for them, or I cry for them, then yeah, that book is getting those five shiny stars.
4.5 stars

"Who am I to stop the end of the world if it keeps on coming?"

And, boy, does it just keep on coming for Todd.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy left in a town of men. He lives in Prentisstown, a settlement on New World, and believes women have been killed by a germ released by the native species on his planet - the Spackle. A side-effect of this germ means the remaining men can hear each other's thoughts in a chaotic stream of Noise.

But Todd's about discover the heartbreaking truth.

As I tu
Jul 17, 2012 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci-fi/fantasy readers , YA reader, anyone who likes a dark read with uplifting aspects
First Review

The Knife of Letting Go forced me to release certain conceptions of how a book must be written. Due to its unorthodox use of grammar and various fonts and forms evident in speech I had to adjust for the first few chapters before being able to immerse myself in Patrick Ness' work.

Once I accepted the eccentricities of this novel I found it to be a brilliant, yet dark, read. This is one young adult book that's a little more adult than purely young. For this book centres around a town w
Tamora Pierce
Nov 06, 2008 Tamora Pierce rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teen and adult science fiction fans who like dystopias
Recommended to Tamora by: saw it on the shelf and liked the jacket copy
Very dark. It was only when I was a third of the way in that I learned that Todd's town and culture were science fiction, not just repressive religious. He is ordered by his fathers (there are no women in his town, and he is the last boy) to escape with his dog Manchee. One by one, all the things he has been taught--about the fate of the women, of the aliens who orginally populated the world, about the other colonists--are false. He is further helped/burdened by the legacy of the colony planet's ...more
As I plowed through the last 100 pages of this book or so, I was left with the same comment over and over in my head. "Dude, you should be enjoying this book more." I should. The voice is phenomenal and there is plenty of action to keep my boyish brain satisfied. But I have so many things that just aren't sitting well and the book ended! Please comment. Are my complaints justified? Did I miss something?

Spoiler Alert!

"The Knife of Never Letting Go" begins the epic tale of Todd Hewitt, a boy on a
Sep 17, 2008 Tasha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: teen
On the shortlist for both the Booktrust and Guardian Children's Fiction awards, this book will not disappoint.

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in his town. The youngest in a community of only men, he has only a few weeks before he too becomes a man. Todd can't escape the Noise of his town, where everyone can read everyone else's thoughts, literally. There are horrible things in men's minds, things that boys should not be exposed to, but Todd has to face them every day of his life.

When Todd goes out
Swamp. Todd. Boy. Sullen. Manchee. Pup. Annoying. Poo. Search. Apples. Quiet. Aaron. Surprised. Scared. Hurt. Run. Alone. Walk. Pup. Spackles. Quiet. Curious. Scared. Chase. Gone. Run. Prentisstown. Secret. Run. Home. Cillian. Ben. Relieved. Sullen. Again. Chores. Plans. Pack. Mess. Knock. Plans. Open. Prentiss jr. Cillian. Fight. Ben. Gift. Knife. Map. Bag. Things. Alone. Not alone. Manchee. Running. Together. Swamp. Crocodile. Danger. Knife. Quiet. Not Spackle. Not Aaron. Girl. Silent. Knife. ...more
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Use of words 13 20 14 hours, 56 min ago  
A Million More Pages: 1 - The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking): Mar 15 2 4 Mar 02, 2015 05:27PM  
Coffee Club with ...: The Knife of Never Letting 02/24-03/24 2 1 Mar 02, 2015 12:54PM  
Notizbücher: The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness 3 10 Feb 28, 2015 05:39AM  
The Knife Of Never Letting go 5 26 Feb 28, 2015 03:01AM  
Manchee's Death 122 922 Jan 31, 2015 08:11PM  
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Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Co
More about Patrick Ness...

Other Books in the Series

Chaos Walking (3 books)
  • The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
  • Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)
A Monster Calls The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2) Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3) More Than This The New World (Chaos Walking, #0.5)

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“We are the choices we make.” 1237 likes
“Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.” 706 likes
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