Written by: Patrick Ness
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Publication Info: Book Published 2008, Candlewick; Audiobook published 2010, Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
One Line: In this dystopian thriller, in a world where men can hear other men’s thoughts, teen Todd Hewitt finds out everything he knew is a lie and he must flee his hometown for his safety.
Brief Summary: Todd Hewitt, at 12, is the youngest boy in Prentisstown – he will become a man at 13, in about a month’s time. He can’t wait. His parents are dead, and he has been raised by Ben and Cillian, who love him but sometimes don’t show it. This is especially true for Cillian. In Prentisstown, all men can hear each other think because of the “noise” germ that the Spackles – the native life on this planet, which is clearly not earth – released in the war. This germ killed all of the women, so there are only men left in Todd’s town. This is the only life he has known, one of farming and working to keep life going. When he is on a walk with his dog one day, he hears something odd: silence. When he returns and tells Ben and Cillian about it, they tell him he has to go, that they’ve been planning his escape for quite some time, and then they present him with his mother’s diary, a map, and a bag full of supplies and push him out the door with his dog Manchee. Todd has no idea what’s going on, and he can’t read very well, either. When he is on the run, he runs into the “silence” again, and it turns out to be a girl. A real, live girl, who doesn’t have “noise.” The two make an escape from the town’s evil preacher, and soon end up on the run together, as Todd realizes that everything he thought he knew is a lie.
Thoughts: This audiobook is a pleasure to listen to. Nick Podehl’s voice is easy and comforting, and his accent for Todd brings you right into the story and the world, as it feels like an old-fashioned, pioneer accent of sorts, one that
Author Information: From www.bookbrowse.com: “I was born on an army base called Fort Belvoir, near Alexandria, Virginia. But I only stayed there for the first four months of my life and have never even been back to the East Coast of America. Since then, I've lived in Hawaii, Washington, California, and England.
I've only ever really wanted to be a writer. I studied English Literature at the University of Southern California, and when I graduated, I got a job as a corporate writer at a cable company in Los Angeles, writing manuals and speeches and once even an advertisement for the Gilroy, California Garlic Festival. I got my first story published in Genre magazine in 1997 and was working on my first novel when I moved to London in 1999. I've lived here ever since. I taught Creative Writing at Oxford University for three years, usually to students older than I was. I write for one of the UK national papers, and I've also been a writer in residence for Booktrust. Anything and everything to do with writing, that's how I want to make my life.