Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go (audio book)

Author: Patrick Ness
Narrator: Nick Podehl
Publish date: 2008
Source: Library
"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, something terrible has been hidden -- a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

I had never heard of Patrick Ness until I started seeing reviews for A Monster Calls. After doing some research, I discovered The Knife of Never Letting Go and read some rave reviews for the audio book. As a new audio book junkie, I decided to try this one out. HOLY CRAP. It was AMAZING.

Nick Podehl, the narrator, simply blew me away. I couldn't believe how many emotions he could convey with simple changes in his tone or style. The concept of Noise means that there are many different characters and voices throughout the novel and Nick nailed them all. I'm pretty sure his Manchee voice was my favorite, but everything was fantastic. It is now my goal to listen to any/all audio books that Nick Podehl narrates (of which there are many, I have discovered).

I thought Todd's dialect added a whole new dimension to the story. Because of the language, I think the audio book was a great choice, but I've also read that the words in the book are spelled like Todd speaks, which is also a cool technique. Overall, I think Patrick Ness took big risks with this book and to me, he succeeded. I didn't think the language was gimmicky at all. 

The plot was well-paced and I never found myself thinking it was dragging. I was scared for Todd the whole time and was so curious about the truth behind Prentisstown, its people, and the idea of Noise in general. I am definitely going to read the other two books in the series, The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men.

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