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The Knife of Never Letting Go

(Chaos Walking #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  184,190 ratings  ·  19,839 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 impossible, ...more
Hardcover, 479 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by Walker
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Danielle Langley I wasn't bothered at all. The misspellings aren't terribly invasive and I hardly notice them as the narrative plows on. The vernacular is very fitting…moreI wasn't bothered at all. The misspellings aren't terribly invasive and I hardly notice them as the narrative plows on. The vernacular is very fitting both for characterization and style; it makes sense that Todd, an illiterate farm boy, uses phonetics in his speech and storytelling--this is what the words sound/look like in his Noise, so why wouldn't they look the same to the reader as he's narrating? I also find it to be somewhat endearing because it adds authenticity to his voice, making him feel like an actual person rather than a character on a page. We're seeing everything through Todd; he is our lens and this is merely his translation of the world.(less)
Inna Antig You know he's a good villain when you don't even see him for half this series, yet you feel hate and anger towards him. haha. And him being a corrupt …moreYou know he's a good villain when you don't even see him for half this series, yet you feel hate and anger towards him. haha. And him being a corrupt politician hits too close to home lol. (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  184,190 ratings  ·  19,839 reviews

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Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
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
Emily May
“Knowledge is dangerous and men lie and the world changes, whether I want it to or not.”

Every once in a while I find myself back on the Goodreads page of a book I read and adored a few years ago. I see the cover and remember first holding it in my hands and not knowing I was in for a magical experience. My eyes scan the description and I get goosebumps as I'm taken back into the story, feeling echoes of the emotions I felt once again. Then I glance down... and see my "review".

That's when I s
Whitney Atkinson
3.5 stars

Forever crying because "Todd?"
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
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
i have never considered myself a maternal person. it takes effort for me to be around babies and children. i have always been told ‘its different when its your own kid.’ they couldnt be more wrong.

all it took was a young boy named todd, his dog, and how his love became the loudest sound in a world that is never silent. i would literally do anything for todd, my precious son. i felt like such an overprotective, yet proud, parent throughout this entire book.

and my bond with todd was only strengt
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5/5 - Read for my young adult literature class.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread! 5 stars, of course.

Initial review:
Perfect! Just perfect! Complete work of art. Everyone should read it and bless their sights with its glorious pages. I have nothing else to say.
Nov 05, 2008 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. ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, you can't leave me with that ending! ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Some books make you confused. Conflicted. Did you really like them? Can you recommend them? Would you read them again?

And you sigh, sigh, sigh.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is not this kind of book. Hey, I'm not afraid to say that it was insta-love for me.

☛ Does it make me a NA heroine? You tell me : I read 3 or 4 pages and I was like, "Oh. My. I'm gonna love this book!"

Yep. But perhaps you want to know why? How could I move from "pretty rational reader" (I think. I hope. Oh, shut up) to "bad
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 :)
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Edit: I originally rated this book 2.5 stars, but on further consideration, it is more of a 1.5-2 star book for me.

The writing and themes explored in this book are excellent. The writing style is unique and part of the world building in a lot of ways. I found the actual plot, particularly the "twists", as well as the characters, especially the villains, to be lacking. A predictable plot and villains who are evil for the sake of being evil can really kill a story for me and that's what happened h
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1), Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is a British-American author, journalist, lecturer, and screenwriter. Born in the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, United States, Ness moved to London and holds dual citizenship. The Knife of Never Letting Go is a young-adult science fiction novel written by Patrick Ness. It was published by Walker Books on 5 May 2008.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy left in Prentisstown, a small settlement on 'New World', an alien planet only recentl
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
The majority of my friends loved this book! But, I didn't and I hate that I didn't!

I love Patrick Ness but this book just wasn't for me and I won't be reading the rest of the trilogy. I will continue to read Patrick Ness books =)

I loved the whole concept of the book and it was cray. BUT, so much of the book made me feel crazier than I am and gave me a headache. =(

I'm so glad so many others enjoyed it because that's the beauty of books. I just wish I was one of them. Sigh......
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) I forgot how angsty YA books could be lol

This was darker than expected but the author handled the topic better than expected too.

(view spoiler)

Will continue but not in a rush.
Megs ♥
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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
Charlotte May
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up. I’m so conflicted with this one. The first 75% I had so many questions and so few answers that I was struggling to see the point in this story.

Todd comes from Prentisstown, a part of New World. This world is one where people moved, to start their lives afresh, to begin again. Though on arrival, suddenly everyone can hear everybody’s thoughts out loud - a term referred to as Noise. All except the women this is - the women of Prentisstown could not survive the Noise germ and have a
Cross-posted at Outlaw Reviews and at Shelf Inflicted

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.
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
Dannii Elle
This is the first instalment of the Chaos Walking series.

The book opens in Prentisstown, a fictional town in a fictional world. The occupants of this town are predominately farmers, entirely male and, oh, they can all hear each other's every thought.

The reader is immediately introduced, in the form of first person narration, to the first protagonist, who remains with us for all three of the books, Todd. Now I initially found Todd an unlikable main character: he appeared moody, quarrelsome and qu
RE-READ! 12/18/2020: —> 5 Stars

Star Rating: —> 5 Stars



[March 6th, 2019 - Just wanted to add the actual star rating & an original review date because I didn’t do that below! This is one of the first reviews I wrote on here I think? Anyway. This is one of my favorite series of all time. Its life changing stuff, Truly; it literally is for me... as I tentatively wrote a few sentences about (you don’t have
L A i N E Y
“I think how hope maybe the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, too, that’s it painful and risky, that it’s making a dare to the world and when has the world ever let you win a dare?”

Total mixed feeling.

Maybe I chose wrongly for my first Ness book but for some reason this story or more specifically, this plot is just not my thing and/or confused me. I can’t say I wholly grasp the deeper meaning of it, still.

I did like the main characters quite a lot. I want to give them hea
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Patrick Ness, how could you do this to me?

Bleakness. A terrible cliffhanger. Inhumanity and loss and disappointment. Oh, yes, and first person present tense narration, by a 13 year old undereducated boy.

SO MANY REASONS this book should irk me. And yet.

There's loyalty and love and hope, even in the midst of darkness. There's being a man by being true to your convictions, even if it's not what everyone around you is telling you defines manhood. There's stumbling and disappointing yourself and thos
Aug 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poo, Todd.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
The dog was my favourite.
Enjoyed this more than i expected.
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
Kai Spellmeier
“War is like a monster. War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows. And otherwise normal men become monsters, too.”

I found it kind of hard to rate this book, because I have many and very mixed feelings towards it.

First of all, Patrick Ness is an amazing author. He is creative and sets up a very special, dangerous, dark and unique fantasy/dystopia world. His characters are incredibly interesting.
I like the relationship Ben and Cillian have even though I'm never s
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I really want to start 2020 with this book.
And glad I did, I bumped up the rating to 4 stars.
I missed my boy Todd aka the 13 year old punching bag. And Viola! ❤
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What the hell! Why this book covers in dust, left at my chubby tbr for so long!

When I saw IMDb page of the movie adaptation, I realized moviemakers massacred another masterpiece by turning it into a meaningless adaptation. ( I love Tom Holland! But not every project he’s involved is box office hit) For paying my respects, I scanned my tbr and finally found the first book of the series and here I am!

This book has unique and captivating plot with impeccably portrayed main character. Tom’s genuine
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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 C

Other books in the series

Chaos Walking (3 books)
  • The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
  • Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)

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