The Knife of Never Letting Go

By Patrick Ness

An unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up, by an award-winning writer.

Imagine you're the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don't fit in with their plans... Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run...

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406320756
  • Published: 22 Oct 2008
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 496

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Customer reviews

Doug wrote:


Sophie wrote:

It’s a real page-turner! Furiously fast-paced, it takes you into a scary, different world where nothing is what it seems. It’s sometimes hard to tell which characters are good and which are bad; it makes you think long and hard about how society ticks.

kelly age 13 wrote:

just finished reading it and it is truelly astonishing, recomend it to all leaves you speachless as the exhilarating story of todd and viola overcome there fears and solve misteries and face up to the fear of many enimies. Fighting for there lives they go through pain losses of there family and friends. After reading this heartbreaking book i am going to the shops today to collect book two 'The Ask and the Answer' i can't wait!


'The story, narrated sparkily and saltily by its hero Todd, unpeels Prentisstown's dark secrets like the layers of a very rotten onion. Ness, an acclaimed author of adult fiction as well, moves things along at a breakneck pace, and Todd's world is filled with memorable characters, foul villains.' Financial Times

'An impossibly good novel. It is at once endearing yet unsentimental; compassionate yet damning; exhaustingly exhilarating and yet tempered by a staid and considered emotivity. Written in the first-person present tense in an unapologetically impudent manner, this novel captures exceptionally the brash bravado and the underlying insecurities that actively teem inside the minds and explode in the actions of boys on their path to manhood.'

'THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL excellent debuts in recent months and perhaps the most impressive is Patrick Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go. It's the story of Todd, the last boy in a community of men. In Prentisstown, the Noise virus has left men with the ability to hear each other's thoughts, those of animals too. The idea may send shivers up the spine, but how different is it to the constant intrusion of e-mails, texts, advertisements and CCTV we already suffer? When Todd finds a lone girl in the marshes he realises they have to escape, which isn't easy when your hunters can hear your every thought. Written in Todd's characteristic vernacular and brimming over with ideas about adolescence, faith and free will, this is intelligent, immersive storytelling.' The Scotsman

'A book like no other. It's one of the most gripping, fantastical reads around.' Sunday Express

'Darkly imagined and brilliantly created, the painful dystopian setting of a world full of noise in which all thoughts can be heard as if spoken is the background to this tense coming of age story.' The Guardian

'An amazing book that should be seen as a classic' Books for Keeps

'An unflinching novel about the impossible choices of growing up, by an award-winning writer.' Southern Reporter

'The first book in an electrifying and multi-award winning trilogy' ‘S’ (Supplement to Sunday Express)

'One of the boldest, bravest and most original novels of the last 10 years . . . it will take your breath away' Sunday Mail Glasgow, Book of the Week

'I don’t think I could speak highly enough of this book; it was just pure brilliance ' Growing Wings

'This harrowing and immersive book completely reimagines the possibilities of dystopian young adult fiction' Rolling Stone

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