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Here Be Monsters! (The Ratbridge Chronicles #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  983 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews

Skulduggery is afoot!

Welcome to Ratbridge. But beware -- for there is skulduggery afoot. Young Arthur has fallen foul of the appalling outlaw, Snatcher, and is trapped alone in the town with every way home sealed. Meanwhile Snatcher and his men are working tirelessly in secret on a fiendish and dastardly plan to take over -- and destroy -- the entire town. With the hel

Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2005)
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The Shayne-Train
Despite a slow-ish start, my little one and I ended up really enjoying this book. Up until this, we'd done most just fantasy for our "read aloud nights," so this was a bit of a departure.

How do I classify this book? Young Adult semi-Steampunk with an absurdist twist? Yeah, I guess that works as well as anything.

The story takes place in the city of Ratbridge. There are human characters, anthropomorphic animal characters, and pure fantastical creatures such as boxtrolls and cabbageheads. Oh, and
Maria Espadinha
Aug 16, 2015 Maria Espadinha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Abordagem fantasista e com muito muito humor da velha guerra entre o Bem e o Mal
Uma estória criativa e refrescante que nos transporta para um mundo irreal construído pela imaginação

Óptimo antídoto para dias de humor cinzento...
Feb 06, 2008 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on (10-yr-old) Alex's recommendation,and it was pretty good. It is a very quirky, unusual book which takes place in an "alternate universe" populated with unusual creatures who live side-by-side (and underground) with people.

I can't summarize it any better than Amazon:

"Ratbridge is populated by a variety of odd creatures and equally unusual humans. Underlings, including boxtrolls (shy trolls that wear boxes) and cabbageheads (they worship cabbage and wear them tied to their hea
Aug 29, 2014 Rowan rated it it was amazing
Here Be Monsters! I though was a really cute and clever book.

When I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie The BoxTrolls, I thought it looked good, so I wanted to read the book for the movie first to see if it was any good. Well, it was more than good. It was great!

I really liked all of the creatures in the book. They were very unique in their own way. There were the boxtrolls (a group of trolls who live in boxes and are very good with mechanics; and they're really cute) There were cabbageheads (
Apr 16, 2011 Annie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books
I've had this book for a couple years now. I remember buying at Borders back in either 2005 or 2006 when I was 9 and read probably twice as much as I do now. I also remember never being able to finish this book. There was something about it. Maybe I just didn't find it interesting then or maybe it was the 500 page length of the book. Whatever it was, I could never finish it.

I couple days ago I found this book on my bookshelf and decided to give it another read. I still didn't like it. The main
Oct 20, 2014 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4 of 5

Buncha nonsense, really. The stuff of pure fantasy - I loved it! One of those books I wish I could've read for the first time when I was like 11 years old. Aside from the quirky illustrations, I think my fave was the imaginative twists on reality, like "Oil of Brussels" used as a weapon. Because what kid thinks of Brussels sprouts as anything other than parent-sanctioned poison? Be warned: No matter what age, you will giggle A LOT whilst reading Here Be Monsters! (And if you don't,
Jan 31, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book b/c of the new movie coming out BOXTROLLS from Laika! I am totally excited about that. So I thought, why not read the source material. Its big and thick and has over 500 illustrations - so really! Its a good story too. With a lot of action and tight scrapes and a great mix of monsters and other sorts of creatures. Very British humour as well - meaning there are not too many underpants jokes. I really love the idea of the Nautical Laundry, so I might have to read all about that a ...more
Harriet Moar-smith
Jan 21, 2012 Harriet Moar-smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
I loved this book so much. It's what got me into this genre of books, kind of a 'steampunk' thing from an alternative world. I loved all the characters and they were all so quirky. I really couldn't put it down, and I mean that literally. I pulled an all-nighter before going on holiday just to finish this book. I don't care it's meant to be aimed at a younger audience I would reccomend this to anyone, it was so feel good but not in a sickening way.
Thanks to my sister, Trish....who gave this to me, I thoroughly enjoyed this little story that became the movie "The BoxTrolls." Entirely different story, but both original book, and storyline for movie were different and sweet.
Apr 13, 2009 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
This book was odd. The pictures on the cover and throughout the book intrigued me, and I picked it up at the library. The story was seriously lacking, though, and about halfway through I decided life was too short and returned it to the library.
Nov 24, 2016 Abbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow was an amazing, adventurous book. To all fans of the 2014 movie “The Boxtrolls,” adventurous readers, and readers who like to read the original versions of movies, this book is for you. I’m warning you now, this book is very long and starts off a bit slow, but in the end, it’s a great book. The author created the characters for you to easily fall in love with or deeply despise. Here Be Monsters! relates to the movie version in some ways, but is overall, completely ...more
Dec 30, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
The drawings were nice and the ideas were fun and original, but the book is too padded out. It would've been a much better book at half the length. The movie is better because it cuts out the padding and just leaves the good, fun stuff.
Sharon Ryan
Would be a good book for late elementary school or middle school kids. I probably only bought it because the pickings aren't that many here in Japan.
Nov 20, 2016 Yotam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
לא נהניתי מהספר הזה ולא הצלחתי לסיים אותו.
Apr 06, 2016 Samantha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve had Alan Snow’s Here Be Monsters on my shelf for years, with only the dimmest recollection of what it was about. I read it for the first time during convalescence after having my wisdom teeth removed, so it was perhaps little wonder that my memory was somewhat vague. I remembered it as cute, but nothing I would read again. However, when I noticed it on the shelf I thought I ought to give it another chance, seeing as my only trial of it had been heavily influenced by medication. Maybe I woul ...more
Книжни Криле
Продължаваме с книжно-приказно-чудовищната тема и издателство „Ciela” :) Нерядко се случва някоя книга да ти влезе в полезрението чисто и просто защото скоро по кината излиза филмова адаптация. Такъв е и случая с „Тук има чудовища – част 1”, началото на детската сага „Хрониките от Плъховмост”, послужила като вдъхновение за анимационния хит „Кутийковците”. Въпреки, че ако не се лъжа от „Ciela” я пуснаха навреме, не сколасах да прочета книгата преди да пуснат филма по кината, а не исках да пропуск ...more
Dec 16, 2016 Milena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Детските книги винаги са ме привличали с онази неподправена магия и онзи неустоим чар, които неизменно носят в себе си. След вълшебствата на Роалд Дал, които ме преследват още от дете, сякаш бях заключила сърцето си за нови приключения, или поне доста високо бях вдигнала летвата. Да ми се хареса някоя нова детска книга беше по-скоро трудно. А да ме впечатли и да отключи още мъъъничко място в сърцето ми – там, до Роалд Дал, виж, това вече ми се струваше почти невъзможно. Докато не се появи Алън С ...more
The wretched city of Ratbridge is a secret home to an underground society of engineers (the boxtrolls), farmers (the gibbering cabbageheads) and crafters (the rabbit women). When this delicate balance is disrupted by unscrupulous men, Ratbridge finds itself headed towards disaster.

Here Be Monsters! takes off running—and promptly trips over its own feet. A convoluted and improbable conglomeration of humor, fairy tale, conspiracy and whimsy, the novel throws so many things into its weird little st
Nov 12, 2014 Lydia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here Be Monsters! is a fiction book written by author Alan Snow. The main character, Arthur, has been living underground, beneath Ratbridge for his whole entire life, only going above into town to collect food at times. On one of these trips, he gets caught and all the ways home get sealed up. But he befriends Willbury Nibble along with some boxtrolls, cabbageheads, freshwater sea cows, Marjorie the frustrated inventor, and the crew of the Ratbridge Nautical Laundry. Meanwhile, outlaw Snatcher a ...more
Oct 13, 2014 Deeanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wavered between giving this a 4-star rating - it's just a children's book after all - and a 5-star rating. But I finally decided, why SHOULDN'T I give a kids book five stars? I plowed through it and thoroughly enjoyed the entire thing; I found that it was very entertainingly and well-written, and far exceeded whatever my vague expectations were.

To be clear, unlike some of the things I've been reading lately, (looking at you, Walter Moers) this isn't a "kids-book-for-adults". It's just a regula
Jan 17, 2014 Ishmael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Presonall, this book is one of the most original I have read. I feel it really appeals to all ages, as I feel adults can enjoy it for it's fresh take on the world, while children can enjoy it for it's colorful cast of characters and illustrations. For those of you who haven't read it, I'll try to put the plot in a nutshell: We begin with our hero, a boy named Arthur, in a flying machine flapping above the streets of Ratbridge, about to steal food to feed his grandfather, who is in the undergroun ...more
May 11, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book...

Okay, I only picked it up because LAIKA is doing their next movie off of it. I had never heard of The Boxtrolls (Here Be Monsters!) until I dug into some research about their next movie. I can say, I am rather pleased and it really is a story only they could pull off with animation, especially the stop-motion medium. I also see why they would consider using this book for their next film.

A lot was crammed all together at once. I did not know what was going on for a bit, at least, I kn
Dec 23, 2010 DeAnne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boy, fantasy
Alan Snow's books are reminiscent of a kinder, gentler Roald Dahl. Snow captures the concept of whimsical surrealism, but without the dark underpinnings that are at the heart of almost all Dahl books.

The book's protaganist is a smally boy named Authur, who has lived underground with his grandfather for all of his life. We meet Arthur as he is wearing a flying contraption that consists of leathery wings and a box with a crank, quietly fluttering across the night sky above the town of Ratbridge.
Richard Kendrick
I rather struggled to enjoy this book, but I wonder how much of the problem was me and not the book. I think I had some trouble staying in the right headspace. And I couldn't help comparing it a little to Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series, because of the cheese. But it's a totally unfair comparison. I think I have trouble staying engaged with the simple writing and wacky plot points that are targeted at middle graders.
On a more technical note: I read this as an ebook, primarily on my phon
Stacy Fetters
Nov 18, 2014 Stacy Fetters rated it really liked it
Arthur was a boy who lived with his crafty grandfather underground. His grandfather was charged with a crime he didn't commit. So, he lives in three caves underground. Everyday Arthur travels above ground to find food. He has wings that can make him fly. One day her gets caught while watching the banned cheese hunt. The cheese hunt has been banned since the cheese crash.

The evil Snacther steal's Arthurs wings. Arthur tries to get back home, but all the holes leading to the under ground have bee
Gaston Dorren
I'm not sure how I would feel about this book if I were child, but as an adult, I find it disappointing. I like fantastic and whimsical stuff, but it should all come together in the end, to give the story coherence and generate interest. There is much too little of that. Why do the cabbageheads have cabbages on their heads, why are the boxtrolls covered in boxes? If we don't get to hear that, at the very least these cabbages and boxes should play an interesting role in the story. The book is so ...more
Oct 15, 2010 Loraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I have to admit that, after spending the first 5 or so chapters with a permanent crease in my forehead, the book got better. Sure, understanding Cheese Hunts and Cabbageheads went a little too far into "silly" for me, but I'm 32 years old and checked it out from an Elementary School library. I can easily see that my fifth graders would LOVE this book and I'm sure, now that they know it's back on the shelf, they'll be arguing over who's checking it out first.

In short, it's a great book for eleme
Kat B
You think you know the Boxtrolls. You think you know how the story goes. You’ve only seen the movie! If you’ve never read the book you don’t know the REAL story!

All the things you think you know have to be thrown out the window when reading this 500+, that’s right I said it, page book. The book that the Boxtroll movie is based off of is 95% different. Yes there are Boxtrolls, and Arthur who lives underground but with his Grandfather, Snatcher and his other identity Madame Froufrou, The Cheese Gu
Jann Barber
I think I read about this book on Tumblr because it was to be made into an animated feature film and it sounded interesting.

I don't even know how to describe this book. It takes place in Ratbridge and the adventure begins when Arthur, equipped with his wings and flying box, comes up from underground where he lives with his adoptive grandfather. Boxtrolls and cabbageheads also live underground. Arthur has come up to find food. Stealing bananas is the beginning of his trouble.

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