Tag Archives: The Ask and the Answer

The Knife of Never Letting Go Movie Update
May 22, 2012 posted by Nichole

The Knife of Never Letting Go Movie Update

Readers went crazy when The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness was released in 2008. Since then he has released two more books in The Chaos Walking series: The Ask and The Answer and Monsters of Men. Ness has also sold the film rights for The Knife of Never Letting Go to Lionsgate Productions, who also just made the film, The Hunger Games. Even bigger news in the book world is that The Knife of Never Letting Go now has a screenwriter! Say hello to Charlie Kaufman, the man who is going to be working on the script for The Knife of Never Letting Go. You may have seen some of the films that Kaufman has worked on such as, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. A synopsis of The Knife of Never Letting Go can be found below:

 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?

What do you guys think about Charlie Kaufman writing the screenplay for The Knife of Never Letting Go? How many of you have read the book? How many have it on your TBR list? I actually just started The Knife of Never Letting Go, so I can’t say for sure what I think of it yet. I also haven’t watched any of the movies that Kaufman has been a part of. So, I can’t say for sure if I like the work he has created in the past. I’m definitely excited to read more of this book and to hear what you all have to say on the matter.

You can find more information about Charlie Kaufman landing this job here, and you can learn more about Patrick Ness and his novels at his website.

Monsters of Men: A Chaos Walking Novel
December 5, 2009 posted by Nikki

Monsters of Men: A Chaos Walking Novel

The third novel in Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy, Monsters of Men, has an official cover! Take a look:

On his blog, Patrick had this to say about the cover:

“Like the others, this just gives a slight impression.  The book itself will be black and the white printing will be on clear acetate sleeve like The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer, with the Noise stretching all over the spine and the back, too.  Wait ’til you see it for real, it’s awesome.

The US cover is also underway, and I’ll debut that as soon as I can (it’s looking pretty great, too).”

At yaReads, we’re very excited about the release of this book. So what do you think? Love, or hate?

August 3, 2009 posted by Nikki

Third Chaos Walking Title Revealed!

As promised, we have the title of the third Chaos Walking book for you right here!

As announced on author Patrick Ness’s blog, the title of the third and forthcoming novel in the series is …

Monsters of Men

To read more about the title, click here

July 28, 2009 posted by Nikki

Chaos Walking Trilogy: Book Three Title!

Patrick Ness has announced on his website that on August 3, 2009, he’ll be announcing the title for the third Chaos Walking book. For those of you that read the interview we did with Patrick recently will know that everything about the third novel has been kept top secret. That includes the title. So, as you can imagine, we’re very excited about this!

Stay tuned for the announcement!

Author Interview with Patrick Ness
Author Interviews
July 19, 2009 posted by Nikki

Author Interview with Patrick Ness

Patrick Ness is the brilliant author of the Chaos Walking trilogy. The second (and latest) novel in the series, The Ask and The Answer, is on shelves in the UK and Australia now, and is nothing short of spectacular. Patrick sat down with us last week to answer some of our burning questions about his beloved series…

Where did the idea of the Chaos Walking trilogy come from?

It was two ideas really, as I like to say, one serious, one stupid.  The serious one was that the world is a noisy place already, with mobiles and the internet and networking sites and on and on.  You can’t really turn anywhere without someone telling you their opinion.  So I thought the next logical step was, what if you couldn’t get away?  What if you and everyone else was completely robbed of privacy?  Especially if you were a young person.

The other idea was that I’ve never liked books about talking dogs, and I thought it would be funny to have a dog character talk like an actual dog would, instead of just being a miniature person.  And I think dogs would talk about things important to a dog, like eating and going to the bathroom and how excited they were to see you.

That’s how it began, and it just grew from there.

Viola and Todd are both incredibly mature for 12/13 years old. How did you decide on their age?

Well, they’re as mature as many young people on the cusp of adulthood:  really savvy about some things and just learning about others.  Plus, Viola was trained for her role as someone who’d scope out the planet (you find this out in the free short story about her available on booktrust.org.uk), and Todd was raised without a childhood really, having to get right in there with work and responsibility.  It’s a more old-fashioned idea of what 13 year olds used to have to do.

In The Ask and the Answer, it becomes clear that Todd and Viola are totally in love with each other. Do you think that they’re too young to really understand that kind of love?

I disagree that they’re “totally in love” with each other.  I think that implies regular teenage romance, which isn’t at all what Todd and Viola have.  They learn that they really have to rely on one another, in a way far beyond just a simple romance.  I think it’s deeper than that.  They’re lost people who found one another, and they may not being able to understand all the depths of that just yet, but I think they’re more than smart enough to know how important the other is to them.  And that’s because they’ve each earned it, through hard circumstance.

Todd has the bravery of a grown man. Where did he learn that?

I’m sensing some reluctance about Todd’s age!  Again, in a hard-scrabble farming community, he’d be forced through necessity to learn so much more.  He’d have no choice.  Plus, there’s the issue that the year may be a bit longer on his planet (13 months instead of 12).  And most importantly, he was raised by two great, kind men, Ben and Cillian.  Both of whom are very brave and who kept Todd as decent and kind as they could.  I think Todd is the recipient of some really excellent parenting, and that always helps.

When you started the trilogy, did you always know how it was going to end, or were you making it up
as you went?

I knew how it was going to end before I wrote the first sentence actually.  It’s a practice of mine; I may not know exactly how I’m going to get there, but I know how I want to leave the reader, the last feeling I want to leave them with.  So, yes, I knew the very last sentence before I wrote the first one and a general idea of the story.  I left it loose enough for surprises, though, and a few good ones popped up.

If there was one thing that you wanted your readers to take away from Chaos Walking, what would that be?

I always worry that if I start out thinking in terms like that then I end up writing a lesson rather than a story.  Hopefully, if I pay proper attention to what the story wants to be and try to make it the best story possible, then there will be things in there for the reader to take away anyway.  I think that’s the best way; that way you never preach.  Having said that, looking back on the books now, they’re probably most about how hope lies in the people we love, that if you can find someone to count on and who counts on you, then that’s probably the best meaning life is going to get.  A hopeful message.

From start to finish, how long does it take you to write a book?

Usually about year or so.  Six or seven months writing the first draft, then five or six rewriting and editing.  But I work pretty hard.  I should probably take a few more holidays, frankly!

Do you have any quirky habits that help you write?

Well, I’m a long-distance runner (a couple marathons under my belt), and running is great for sorting out plotting problems.  I get my best ideas while out running.  Probably the rhythmic meditative aspect of it.  Breathe in regularly for 20 minutes and your brain’s probably nice and calm.

Who is your all time fave fictional character?

I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great and glorious creation.  Smart, kick-ass, extremely funny, but recognisably with real problems.  Genius.  Not that I want be her, necessarily, but she’d be unbeatable as a friend.

When you’re not writing, what are you doing?

Usually running, my big hobby, though there hasn’t been much non-writing time lately!  The books are pretty long, and I’m working hard on the third volume, making sure the series has a good finish.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading Bettany’s Book by Thomas Keneally.  And next is Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz, which is just coincidence that it’s two Australians in a row, but you won’t find me complaining.

Before we go, can you divulge any insider’s secrets about the last Chaos Walking novel?

Nope, sorry.  Even the title’s a secret for now.  Though I can say I’ve already written the ending, and without giving anything away about whether the ending itself is  happy or sad (because you never know with me!), I can say that I’m really, really pleased with it and very happy for it to be the end of the whole series.  Rarely do you get exactly what you want when you set out to write, but this ending is exactly what I wanted.  And it may not be what you expect…

If you haven’t read The Knife of Never Letting Go or The Ask and the Answer, we suggest you put your shoes on and head down to your nearest book store and get yourself a copy!

July 15, 2009 posted by Nikki

Chaos Walking Giveaway: The Ask and the Answer

Courtesy of Walker Books, and in conjunction with our Editor’s Pick for this month, we’re happy to announce that we have five Chaos Walking prize packs to giveaway. The prize packs contain one copy of The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (book two in the Chaos Walking trilogy) and an Ask and Answer poster. All you have to do is leave your name in the comment field below! Contest closes July 30.

Product Description: We were in the square, in the square where I’d run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her – But there weren’t no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men. Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced t learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode. “The Ask and the Answer” is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second book in the “Chaos Walking” trilogy.

A Chaos Walking Novel: The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness
Book Reviews
July 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

A Chaos Walking Novel: The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness

“Your Noise reveals you, Todd Hewitt.”
A voice –
In the darkness –
Everything is shadows and blur and it feels like the world’s spinning and my blood is too hot and my brain is clogged and I can’t think and it’s dark –
I blink again.
Wait –
Just now, just
now we were in the square –
Just now she was in my arms –
She was
dying in my arms –
“Where is she?” I spit into the dark, tasting my blood, my voice croaking, my Noise rising like a sudden hurricane, high and red and furious. “

This is how the second novel in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Ask and the Answer, begins. My heart was thumping as I read every single word. Every single freaking word, and it did not stop thumping until the end, some 519 pages later. Even then, I had to take a walk around the block just to calm myself down.

For those that have read the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, you’ll be well aware that readers were left dangling in the midst of one hell of a cliffhanger ending. Fortunately, this installment picks up right where that one left off, only now our two protagonists are no longer together. Todd has no idea where Viola is, or even if she’s alive. But the Mayor (actually, that’s Mr President to you now, thank you very much) promises Todd she’s alive and that he’ll get to see her soon. Todd has nothing else to go off and has to believe what he’s being told. He just has to. The thought of Viola not being alive any more is just too much to contemplate. He tried to save her; he tried with everything he had. What if it wasn’t enough?

I know what you’re thinking. If Viola isn’t with Todd, how are we supposed to know what happened to her? Fear not, special readers, as Patrick Ness is the God of all Gods right now and he definitely factored that in. Viola fans will be super pleased to hear that she has her own point of view in this installment, which means – obviously – that she’s alive. But she doesn’t know where Todd is, either, doesn’t know if Todd is even still alive. The President has her being held ‘captive’ and wont tell her a thing. The President is no fool, and he knows better than anyone that keeping Viola and Todd apart is imperative if he wants to see out his plans successfully.

Can you imagine what would happen if they were ever reunited, what they could achieve as a team? Would it be their connection be as strong as it was before? Would they still need each other so desperately? Maybe you’ll find out, but then again, maybe you wont…

Todd grows a whole freaking lot in this novel. He displays the maturity and strength of character of someone much older than just thirteen. In fact, at times, I found it hard to believe (in an astoundingly impressed way) that someone of his age would know so much, would have the emotional capacity to feel the way he does. It’s almost impossible not to fall in love with Todd – even if he is only thirteen years old.

I adored reading Viola’s point of view, as well. Readers are afforded the privilege of stepping inside her mind and witnessing first hand how she thinks – and honestly, I can see now why Todd likes her so much. She’s a fierce, strong girl with a remarkable capacity for compassion. She’s a fantastic heroine, and a great role model for young girls everywhere.

The Ask and the Answer is completely unputdownable. I read the entire 519 pages in one sitting, not even stopping to go to the loo. This is one series I know I’ll read over and over again in the years to come.

Rating:: ★★★★★