Ciò che mi è rimasto addosso dopo aver finito il libro è un grande "Mah". Insieme a fastidio e noia, se vogliamo dirla tutta.. Ma il "Mah" riassume abbastanza bene il tutto :D
Il libro è MONOTONO e privo di colpi di scena (Ma seriamente qualcuno è rimasto shoccato quando Todd apprende la verità?!?), con lo schema di "Fuga/accampamento/problema" ripetere N volte fino alla fine del libro, intervallato da rivelazioni fighissime che MANCO NOVELLA2000.. Vedete? MAH. MAH!.
Probabilmente se avessi letto il libro a 15 anni avrei potuto apprezzarlo, riuscendo magari ad essere sorpresa da alcuni elementi.. A 26 la magia non c'è proprio stata.
Aggiungiamoci il fatto che purtroppo io non sono minimamente riuscita ad empatizzare con Todd (No, nemmeno la me 15enne ci sarebbe riuscita!) e anzi, gli avrei dato tante di quelle sberle che alla fine non sarebbe nemmeno riuscito ad allacciarsi le scarpe da solo.. In realtà ho apprezzato il fatto che l'autore riesca a farlo crescere nel corso del libro ma l'antipatia rimane comunque il sentimento principale.
AH! Quasi dimenticavo.. La chicca finale che gli ha fatto perdere ogni speranza di arrivare a 3*.. La scena alla Star Wars. No. Cioè, ma proprio no....Continua
I absolutely loved this book! And the other two books after....
This book would have a very different rating were it not for page 350.
Okay so finally a book that lives up to my expectations. I really, really enjoyed this. Apart from it's slightly strange title there are very few faults that I can think of. The characters are so well written and mature that you completely forget that they are only supposed to be twelve years old.
So basically the plot centers around Todd, his pet dog Manchee and Viola. Todd is the last boy to live in Prentistown, a place where every thought is heard by everyone around you and all the women have died. They have begun to think of their thoughts as Noise because it is a constant stream of just that, noise. Todd's substitute parents force Todd to run away before he becomes a man, which in Prentistown is when you turn thirteen. He doesn't fully understand why he's running and when he meets Viola in the swamp, a girl who's plane has crash landed nearby, they decide to travel together. As they venture further away from the town Todd begins to learn bit by bit how false all his beliefs were and the true history of his town.
The characters are so gripping I just couldn't get enough of any of them and I put this book down wanting more which is always a good sign. Todd and Viola are slightly innocent but are brave decent people and Todd's dog Manchee is the most adorable dog ever. I love him, he's actually my favourite character! I loved the plot, thought it was really interesting and I was gripped throughout. I completely forgot this was a young adult book until I put it down and saw the quote at the back. It doesn't read like a young adult book and the characters have so much maturity and the plot so much depth that I think a young adult tag is detrimental to this book. Brilliant....Continua
The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book in a series of three. I get the feeling that it was made so it could be read like a stand-alone book, but is really just “part one of three” of a longer book, constituted by the Chaos Walking series. To make myself clear, it’s not exactly like “The Fellowship of the Ring” as opposed to the whole Lord of the Rings story, but it gets close.
Keeping this in mind, I really liked this dystopian Young Adult, with some reserve regarding certain points.
It is a competently written, engaging book. It takes you for a ride that leaves you nearly as exhausted as its main characters are by the end of it, and delivers a number of punches in the process, where it hurts the most. On the emotional level, it’s not a relaxing read.
Ness did a good job in characterizing his main characters, Todd especially, and I liked Viola as well. Ben and Cillian too, even though they don’t get that much screen time. The faults I found in the portrayal of Viola, in particular, can be explained by the fact that, after all, it’s Todd who’s talking. And Todd is a boy who’s grown in a town where he’s seen women and girls only in videos and in the minds of his fellow citizens. So it’s understandable if he has some trouble reading her.
Plot-wise, there’s not much going on: it’s a chase. Todd and Viola run, Big Bad follows.
The reason for this chase is to be found in the word building, which I liked. The world comes alive through small details, dispensed in small quantities all through the book. We discover its truths and story along with Todd, and this aspect of the book is well done.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend reading it.
On to the things I didn’t like very much.
The first one is, cheap tricks.
I’m not saying Ness doesn’t know his craft. He does. But, he could make an effort and not, just to offer an example, introduce a dog. And Then.
Yeah, you know how it goes with beloved pets. They die. Always. Because it hurts like a b****h, I mean, whether it was a dog or a cat or a goddamn turtle, at some point in your life some pet has died on you. Like it has on me.
Don’t do this, Mr. Ness. It’s cheap. I’m not saying it doesn’t work – it does. I cried. But I knew the moment Manchee said “Poo, Todd. Poo, poo, poo” that he was going to die, possibily be killed. Possibly viciously, by some random as—not very nice individual.
We should introduce the concept of “pets in the refrigerator” leitmotif or something.
I know, but I ain’t gonna tell ya.
Like Todd would say.
The book is told in first person present tense, from Todd’s point of view. It’s nicely done. Todd has a very distinctive voice, and the style itself is, I thought, pretty appropriate for a thirteen year old and for a story about thoughts broadcasting all over the place whether you want them to or not – it has a nice stream-of-consciousness-feel to it.
The problem is, one of the characteristics of this way of telling a story – first person present – is that the reader experiences the events along with the protagonist. Nothing is withheld, because it would breach an implicit contract between the reader and the writer.
Except, Todd withholds a great deal. For no good reason, he learns the answer to the main story question halfway through the book, but we don’t get to know the damn answer until much, much later. And, as an aside, oh the many ways Ness has to justify not telling you yet. Horses coming. Can’t really put it into words. I’m gonna tell you but--- no, not yet. Just kidding.
It gets frustrating, and not in a good way.
He can't possibly still be walking.
The Big Bad of the book is a corrupt politician veering a bit on the crazy-I-am-a-God side.
The Second-Big-Bad is a raving mad preacher, who hunts Todd down through the novel. He gets mauled, stabbed, hit repeatedly with heavy objects (mainly rocks), smashed in the face with said objects, bit by the dog, and yet he just won’t effing die. He keeps coming and coming and coming, and covers mile after mile like he’s out for a lazy Sunday morning stroll.
The first couple of timesthis man turns up after you thought him dead, and does so with an increasing quantity of pieces missing (mainly from his face), it’s kinda scary.
Then it just gets a liiitle bit hard to believe. Until it becomes just downright annoying.
And that’s it, these are the things that peeved me a little bit. There are broader issues that could and should be addressed, things that have to do with themes and ways of portraying women opposed to man and suchlike, but I want to read the whole story and see how it handles those points before speaking up my mind.