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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  124,728 Ratings  ·  13,685 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
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Danielle Hubbell 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)
Elias Oh yes, he's fantastic. I am the circle and the circle is me.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 sta
...more
karen
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
i have 2,410 friends on goodreads.com.

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
...more
Shannon
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
...more
Whitney Atkinson
3.5 stars

Forever crying because "Todd?"
Zoë
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5/5 - Read for my young adult literature class.
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
...more
C.G. Drews
READ #2: March 2018:
Okay I admit, I admit, I read this book 4 freaking years ago and couldn't go on because it traumatised me that much. But here I am, actually going to finish this trilogy (unless I throw it off a cliff). Peoples, it's a good series. It's good. I ACTUALLY HATE IT THOUGH. [insert me sobbing wretchedly] Honestly this has the character death that I think has affected me most, and I've read a lot of books ok.

Ugh I hate it. And I love the book, but I hate ittttttt.

Anyway, just a few
...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
...more
Warda
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
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.
April
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, you can't leave me with that ending!
Priscilla
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 :)
Laini
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.
Megs ♥
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Megs ♥ 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
...more
Samantha
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
...more
Nancy
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.
...more
Joyzi
Oct 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
...more
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
...more
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 heart
...more
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......
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
...more
Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister by: Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

(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
...more
Ivan
Second read 5th May 2017. Still great book and my opinion remains unchanged so my original review bellow will remain unchanged (not counting correction of few spelling errors that I missed initially).

This might be the best YA dystopian novel I read and what makes book great are not huge plot twists and big WOW moments, it's the small things.
First of all the setting.While it's never main focus and there isn't whole lot of world building but what is there builds into idyllic world, almost a paradi
...more
Shannon (leaninglights)
I have no idea why I waited so long to pick up this book. I freaking LOVED it. I 100% recommend the audiobook (which is currently on sale on Audible), because it was fantastic. I will listen to all of them on audio. It also lets you read the story without getting as caught up on the spelling of words. But that ending!!! Continuing with book 2 tonight because it can't wait!!
F
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I really enjoyed this book. Much more than i expected. Adventure and mystery. Great characters. The dog was my favourite. Love dog's in books. Thought it was really well done. One day I might pick up the next one in the series.
Dannii Elle
So for the entire month of February I have been Patrick Ness crazy! Like, CRAZY!! I had never read any Ness before so I thought I'd pick up one or two of his books as I had heard only good things about his writing. This led to me buying almost everything he has ever written and reading them all back to back, without even pausing to write a review in-between. So, let me begin this review by apologizing to my GR friends for the onslaught of Ness-related reviews coming your way today! Sorry (not so ...more
Choko
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
*** 3.25 ***

A buddy read with the MacHalo Freaks, because we obviously want to keep on torturing ourselves with dystopias!!!!


When I started this book I had absolutely no expectations and was kind of surprised a bit ago when I saw so many people hipped-up about it several years ago... Apparently I missed the popularity wave:) However, I do not think this is the reason I have so many misapprehensions about it. Maybe I am reading it wrong, maybe I am not seeing something, but my main issue is with
...more
Lotte
Edit: 03/12/15 - added an essay I wrote for university to my review.

The essay:
“Too much informayshun becomes just Noise." - Dialects and Slang on New World

If you were to ask a group of people what kind of superpower they would like to have, there would definitely be at least one person who would like to be able to hear everybody's thoughts. This person should read “The Knife of Never Letting Go” (2008) by American-born British author Patrick Ness and possibly reconsider this answer. Set on New W
...more
Kai
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2015
“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.”

3.5/5 stars

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
...more
Ɗắɳ  2.☊
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Ɗắɳ 2.☊ by: Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
“The Noise is a man unfiltered, and without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

I want to preface this review by saying, I loved A Monster Calls. I thought it was a brilliant allegory about suffering and loss, and having your heart ripped apart, yet trying to mend those pieces back together and somehow go on living. Such a powerful tale about the human condition, in general, and one that hit all too close to home for me. If you haven’t read that yet, do yourself a favor and add it to your lis
...more
Amanda
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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13,279 followers
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
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)

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“We are the choices we make.” 1714 likes
“Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.” 1019 likes
More quotes…