We’ve partnered with Candlewick to celebrate the reissue of Patrick Ness’s best-selling novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go. This award-winning book is celebrating its 10th anniversary and if you haven’t picked it up yet, we recommend checking it out for an engrossing read!
Set in a town where the Noise germ has caused people to hear each other’s thoughts constantly, Todd Hewitt is the last boy to become a man. But just weeks before his milestone birthday, Todd happens across a secret that the men of Prentisstown will do anything to keep. Forced to flee, Todd must run for his life and leave his home behind. When he runs into Viola – the only girl Todd has ever met – they must team up to escape the men chasing them and learn the truth about Prentisstown, the Noise, and their world.
In addition to celebrating the reissue, we’re also preparing for the film adaptation – titled Chaos Walking – to be released in early 2019. Starring Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, and Nick Jonas, among others, this adaptation is looking promising. Here are ten things we can’t wait to see in the movie adaptation of The Knife of Never Letting Go:
(Spoilers about the book are included below, so read ahead at your own peril…)
1. How the Noise is presented
The premise of this novel is that everyone in Prentisstown can hear each other’s thoughts all the time (the Noise), and that the disease which caused the Noise killed all of the women in town. When Todd discovers a secret and has to flee the town he grew up in, the Noise presents an overwhelming challenge in his escape. In the book, it’s easy for Noise to be typed out but film adaptations often struggle with converting things that happen in a character’s head to screen – will we hear Noise in voiceovers? Will it be skimmed over? We’re curious to find out!
2. The moment when Todd and Viola meet
Todd has grown up in a world where the only women he sees are in men’s memories or fantasies. So when he meets Viola for the first time, he’s a bit unsure of how to act around her. This scene has the potential to be awkward and charming despite the high stakes surrounding their encounter, and we hope it lives up to the book’s version.
Manchee is Todd’s devoted talking dog who plays a vital role in their escape, despite his somewhat dim dog thoughts. Now there isn’t an actor listed for Manchee on IMDB so we’re skeptical, but we hope that Manchee still makes an appearance. If not, it’ll be interesting to see how the story changes with Manchee’s removal.
4. The worldbuilding
It becomes clear in the novel that the story takes place on another planet that is able to accommodate human life. The settlements are quite spread out and pretty self-sufficient, not relying too much on outside help. Since the story doesn’t take place on Earth, there is potential for exciting visual worldbuilding in the movie.
5. The Spackle
Todd has grown up with the knowledge that the Noise was caused by a virus released by the aliens (called Spackle) on the planet as a form of warfare. He is also under the impression that the Spackle are now extinct. So, needless to say, when he and Viola come across a Spackle on their journey, he has quite a drastic reaction, which promises to require some interesting CGI magic. Spackle are described as looking human-like but with abnormal features – we can’t wait to see how this is interpreted onto the big screen.
6. The secret of what happens when Todd becomes a man
Todd flees from Prentisstown when he encounters a hole in the Noise and learns that there are many secrets to which he has not been privy. When the brutal reality is revealed, it’s such a heartbreaking realization for Todd that we hope it carries as much emotional weight in the film.
7. Todd’s relationship with Ben and Cillian
Because Todd’s parents died when he was very young, he was taken in by friends of the family Ben and Cillian. While they put him to work on their farm, it is clear that they care about Todd as if he was their own son, breaking laws and risking lives to keep him safe. It gets such a small amount of time on the page but their familial bond with Todd is one of the main reasons he continues on his journey, despite all of the challenges that block his way. We hope this relationship is shown to be just a strong in the movie.
8. Todd and Viola’s relationship
Todd and Viola get off to a tough start, partly because Todd has never interacted with a girl before, partly because Viola refuses to speak to him, and partly because they’re both going through traumatic experiences. But despite the bumpy start, they slowly form a bond that keeps them going when anyone else would give up. It’s impactful and inspiring and we hope it translates well onscreen.
9. The final fight with Aaron
Aaron is one of the main villains chasing after Todd and Viola, and certainly the one that gives them the most trouble. However, the last fight they have with him near the end of the book is especially brutal and powerful in equal measure. If done correctly, it could be a stellar scene.
10. The ending
The Knife of Never Letting Go is the start to a trilogy and its ending is a definite cliffhanger. If the movie is done well and the ending leaves you wanting more, there is a possibility for more films. So when Mayor Prentiss reveals to Todd that he’s taken over the New World and is now President Prentiss, there will be a lot of questions left to be answered…
If you couldn’t tell, we’re excited for the Chaos Walking film and have high expectations. Since the film doesn’t release until 2019, now’s a perfect time to pick up the reissue of The Knife of Letting Go to refresh your memory – or read it for the first time. Let us know what you hope makes it into the movie!