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GROUP READS > The Knife of Never Letting Go

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message 1: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 15614 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for the Fall 2015 Group Read The Knife of Never Letting Go. Please post your comments here. This thread is not restricted to those choosing this book for task 20.10, feel free to join in the discussion. Warning- spoilers ahead!

The requirement for task 20.10: You must participate in the book's discussion thread below with at least one post about the contents of the book or your reaction to the book after you have read the book.


message 2: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi | 358 comments I loved this book in the end, although to begin with I couldn't really get into it. The concept is intriguing, the characters are rounded and the pace is fast. The ending (I won't spoil it) is a bit of a shocker and has left me dying to read the next in the series. Good choice, Goodreads!


message 3: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments I started listening to this on my commute this am - based on what I know about the book I think audio might be a way to enhance the experience


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan Kramer I have just finished this earlier this week (Wednesday, I think) and there was plenty I liked in here. The world- and character-building were excellent. The idea of the Noise, and different people's reactions to it, and the Spackle, and that they settled for religious reasons. But I had kind of figured out what Prentisstown's problem really was very early on, when Ben reveals it to Todd in his Noise. Then Todd basically says, "it's so awful I can't deal with it" and we are left with pages and pages of running and them getting hurt, and running again, and we (the audience - because the main characters already know) don't find out why until the author chooses to reveal it toward the end. So when We do find out, it was kind of anti-climactic. Also, Manchee. :( And that's all I'm gonna say about that.


message 5: by A (new)

A H I just finished reading this, and well, though not a perfect read, it was pretty good. I'm not much of a fan of dystopia but I liked the story of the book. It's written well, fast-paced and the characters were so very good. The storyline is intriguing and the end is such a shocker. Makes me want to read ahead. Overall, a good read.


message 6: by Karren (new)

Karren | 35 comments I really enjoyed this book. At first I didn't know what was going on, but that I think was the intriguing thing. I felt it was very different to any other dystopian book I have read before. The misspelled voice of Todd was difficult to read at times, although I did get used to it. The slow unfolding of the story kept me interested, but then the end was somewhat predictable. Liked the character building and the journey that Todd and Viola make to get to Haven. Loved how his noise tells you (the reader) that he says "effing or eff) but he admits he doesn't really say it. This story also says a lot about human nature and how women were placed in this dystopian world, without the noise they were a threat. Also, having colonised New World they practically killed off the existing life forms of the "spackle". Can't wait to read the next book in this trilogy - thank you SRC for introducing me to this


message 7: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7514 comments I'd heard abotu this book on and off over the last couple of years and it had been loitering on my to-listen list for a while, so when it popped up as the group read, i figured it was like a sign...

as mentioned above, I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the talented Nick Poehdl, and for me, that just improved on what was already a pretty good read. there were parts that I liked, especially Todd interacting with Viola, since he'd never seen a girl before and other times, i was just like, shut the f up...in my head of course....just like him (hehe).

I'm intrigued enough by the ending, that i've already requested the next two books in the trilogy to see what happens next


message 8: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 90 comments Good book, the cliffhanger ending leaves me wanting for more. Luckily the next two books are out, so i won't be left hanging for years, which seems like what usually happens.

I always like sci-fi and dystopian fiction, and this world really does a good job of drawing you in.


message 9: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 2021 comments I didn't enjoy this read as too many things about the book annoyed me.
I did like the fact that hearing people's thoughts was given a decidedly negative angle and the effect on various people was well portrayed.


message 10: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 3606 comments Coralie wrote: "I didn't enjoy this read as too many things about the book annoyed me.
I did like the fact that hearing people's thoughts was given a decidedly negative angle and the effect on various people was ..."


I'm with you, Coralie

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – ZERO stars
Todd is many ways a typical young teen – full of anxiety about growing up, certain he knows much more than he actually does, prone to rash actions, and lacking impulse control. My stars, but he got on my nerves. His use of vulgar language and everyone’s lack of grammatical English just made my teeth hurt. Add the “spooky” atmospheric music /sound effects to the audio and the cliff-hanger ending and … well, I can’t give negative stars … Can I?
Full Review HERE


message 11: by Cat (new)

Cat (cat_uk) | 2212 comments I enjoyed this one, though Todd was sometimes very annoying in his wilful ignorance (about why Prentisstown was so hated). The Noise was well done. I liked the various couples, Ben & Cillian, Hildy & Tam and Wilf & Jane. Was nice to see different personalities making their own partnerships work.

A good book, and I'm sure I'll pick the next one up from the library soon.


message 12: by Emily S. (new)

Emily S. (esondie) | 0 comments Coralie wrote: "I didn't enjoy this read as too many things about the book annoyed me.
I did like the fact that hearing people's thoughts was given a decidedly negative angle and the effect on various people was ..."


I agree with you here. There were too many things going on to really get into this, and I couldn't ever get used to the intentional misspellings. I'm a teacher, for crying out loud! I can't turn that off!

I may or may not continue with the series.


message 13: by Maddie (new)

Maddie | 45 comments Susan wrote: "I have just finished this earlier this week (Wednesday, I think) and there was plenty I liked in here. The world- and character-building were excellent. The idea of the Noise, and different people'..."

Yes to all of that! I was not a fan of this book. Not because of the spelling (if anything, I expected it to be worse!) but because of the inescapable despair that runs through it.

This book should be re-titled “The Knife of Never Giving the Poor Kid a Break.” Seriously, did a single good thing happen to Todd without the universe turning around and bringing something upon him that’s ten times worse than what he just survived? And what’s with the quasi-immortal preacher? Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns up again in the next book. (The sequel which I will not be reading anytime soon because I can’t handle another reading experience like this. Suspenseful, yes, but leaving you with soul-crushing despair and the certainty that evil always wins.)


message 14: by Cynthia (last edited Oct 29, 2015 12:10PM) (new)

Cynthia (cynthiabaxter) | 709 comments CYNBAXTER:

I enjoyed this story - a dystopic, high adventure! What's not to like?? I sort of wished that of all the Noise out there, we would not have been tuned in to Manchee's.

Todd and Viola's journey to Haven was the best part and I loved Todd's character. I imagined him as a sort of a Huck Finn type of boy and actually, was reminded heavily of the Mark Twain character...down to the dialectic writing.

I'm interested in reading on in the series....if I can make it fit into the next challenge, that is.


message 15: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (missellen82) | 221 comments Ellen R-S
Audio book is much easier to follow than print version. Dismal outlook on life.


message 16: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 1396 comments Brooke TX

I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, given that it's told from the POV of a thirteen-year-old boy. I liked the novel approach to the social ramifications of unwanted telepathy, although there were so many disparate plot elements - Noise and spacks and the history of Prentisstown and the various New World settlements and the inbound settlers and Mayor Prentiss himself - that inevitably some of them were unevenly developed. Still enjoyable, and I'll probably pick up the next book in the near future.


message 17: by JennRenee (new)

JennRenee (jennreneeread) | 1332 comments I really enjoyed this read. I listened to this on audio and the narrator did a great job. I liked hte concept and i thought it was something new. It had some real thought provoking ideas. can't wait to read the next one. oh and loved the dog!!!


message 18: by Paula (new)

Paula S (paula_s) | 487 comments I thought I would love this, but I didn't. It's a fascinating world, colonized by religious fundamentalists, and the fact that the telepathy impacted men and women differently was well handled. I would like to know more about the indigenous people and how people coped with the telepathy in the peaceful regions. The power hungry mayor was a great character, and Todd a very interesting protagonist.

But, I read the book in translation and the translator did a really bad job translating Todd's dialect. It didn't resemble any real dialect, just random misspelled words. I read an excerpt from the original book and the author seems to have done a good job bringing Todd's voice to life using dialect, so it's a shame the translator failed so completely in doing that.
I also didn't like the way important characters got possibly mortal wounds, that they then just shrug of. Not just the un-killable preacher, Todd himself keeps getting beat up, and still keeps running. Impressive in a way, but not very realistic.


message 19: by Colette (last edited Nov 28, 2015 08:44AM) (new)

Colette Guerin (coletteguerin) | 226 comments ColetteG

I did not care for The Knife of Never Letting Go very much either. I saw on a book page post that it was a highly underrated book. Can't say that I agree with that. A 13 year secret is somehow kept in a community where all thoughts are known. Feelings for a young girl from a young man are generally not read.

The idea of a society filled with noise sounded a little intriguing an I thought he was going to pull it off in his writing but I think he found it would have turned into a 2000 page book and he abandoned it unless it was one of his big scenes.

Personally, the thoughts of a "noisy" society intrigued me til I got into it. I am noise sensitive myself. After awhile I was just annoyed by the whole idea.

I think this is a below average book in a saturated YA dystopian market.


message 20: by Trish (last edited Nov 29, 2015 06:17AM) (new)

Trish (trishhartuk) | 2435 comments trishhartuk

Maddie wrote: "I was not a fan of this book. Not because of the spelling...but because of the inescapable despair that runs through it. This book should be re-titled “The Knife of Never Giving the Poor Kid a Break."

I think Maddie hit it right on the head. This is a really tricky book to a) read and b) classify. I can't even decide how many stars to give it, as I'm not sure how I feel about it.

It's definitely gripping, so I wanted to find out what happened next, which are marks of a good book. But at the same time, the author only lets up on the hell he's putting his characters through to make everything worse, up to and including the last two pages, which render the whole struggle of the journey completely pointless. Which makes the whole thing rather soul-destroying.

I started off hating the writing style, until I realised that the intention was to reflect the fact that Todd didn't have that good an education, at which point I found myself managing to gloss over that, and managing to concentrate on the plot.

More of a problem was that I didn't like Todd, himself, in the earlier chapters, although my view mellowed when Viola came on the scene, as she was a more interesting character. Sad to say, though, my favourite of the three was the dog!

As a "lost colony on a distant world" book, it has an interesting premise, with the Noise as an interesting differentiator. The clues pointing towards what happened in Prentisstown were reasonably well planted - although I'd figured out what they had actually done long before the reveal.

I'm in two minds whether I want to read the rest of the trilogy. On the one hand, I'm curious to know what happens next. But on the other, I imagine book two in the trilogy will only get worse (the way middle books and films in trilogies often do), so the question is whether its worth reading book two, in the hope that by book three there's actually a more positive ending.


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