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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of the Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls comes one of the most provocative teen novels of our time. A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is this possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? The street seems familiar, but everything is abandoned, overgrown, covered in dust.

What's going on? Is it real? Or has he woken up in his own personal hell? Seth begins to search for answers, hoping desperately that there must be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife....

©2002 Reproduced by permission of EMI Music Publishing Ltd/Real World Music Ltd, London W1F 9LD. All Rights Reserved. (P)2013 Patrick Ness, original book published by Candlewick Press. P 2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. “Borrowing Time” written by Aimee Mann, published by Aimee Mann, sub-published by Fintage Publishing B.V. All Rights Reserved. “More Than This” words and music by Peter Gabriel

What listeners say about More Than This

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

What is reality?

I was a fan of Patrick Ness’s harrowing young adult science fiction novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go. That series explored some pretty dark, serious themes (adults lying to kids, religious craziness, manipulation, war) and had some interesting twists, so I thought I’d check out his latest novel.

More Than This is a book that mixes weighty issues with a Twilight Zone-esque premise and a narrative that turns at right angles, keeping the reader guessing. In the opening pages, teenage Seth is dying in the ocean, broken against rocks. He wakes up, if that’s the right term, in his childhood town in England. Except the town appears to have been abandoned for many years, and Seth seems to be alone.

As we learn from Seth’s flashbacks while he wanders the desolate, otherworldly place, which he dubs “hell”, his short life was rough. He’s had to deal with guilt over a terrible incident involving his younger brother, which he feels responsible for, two distant parents, homosexuality, and estrangement from his friends. Quite a lot for any young man. As it turns out, though, Seth isn’t alone in this mysterious afterlife. There are others, who are dealing with their own grief. And there’s also an enemy, a sort of literal Death figure.

The first half of the book keeps new revelations coming at us, each arriving like a bombshell that churns up the landscape of what we know so far. Questions are raised about which reality is really “real”, though the eventual vehicle for this is a somewhat clunky sci-fi backstory that might or might not be meant to be taken at face value itself. If I’m correct about “might not”, it would certainly be a bold choice for a young adult author to leave his readers with an existential hall of mirrors. Perhaps Ness will write a sequel?

But, even though the book ends with a lot of question marks and some of its action gets a little repetitive, MTT is carried by the intelligence of its writing, the maturity of its themes, and the emotional weight of Seth’s memories. Two supporting characters that arrive about a third of the way in are enjoyably written, and provide a degree of comic relief (which lord knows is needed). I suspect that a book like this might be a bit too heavy and epistemological-minded for many of readers in the intended age range, but there are always those that can handle it.

If you’re new to Ness, you should probably start with the more straightforward Chaos Walking trilogy, but this is a good next step. I’ll put it somewhere around 3.5 stars. Audiobook narrator Nick Podehl, who seems to be everywhere these days, delivers another solid performance.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing- just read it!

This book may be a little intimidating to some because of its length, but trust me, you'll be wishing for more. What a page turner! It will have your heart racing. I seriously checked out of the real world when I was reading this because it's a story that pulls you entirely into that world. There really is no way to summarize this book without plot spoilers, but there's also no way to explain what you're walking into. I'll admit, I wish there was just a tiny bit more closure for the supporting characters, but not even that could ruin this experience. It really does not matter what genre you're into, there is something in here for everybody.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Um no, it doesn't even have an ending

You thought it was going to tell you something ....... but it just didn't. Waste of time.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Matrix

Story is the matrix but with different characters. I had high hopes because of the reviews or recommendations but it just wasn’t well done in my opinion

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

connected well with book

I loved it. It was emotional on some parts. I rarely get emotional reading books

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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great

it was a beautiful story and a fantastic performance, but the ending was a huge cliffhanger that really left me wanting more, i juat wish there was atleast one more sentence to give me an idea of how it all really ended.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Not For Sleeping

I say not for sleeping because I fall asleep to audio books every night. This one had a lot of YELLING which woke me up before the 30 minute timer expired. Frustrating.

The book had a good sci-fi feel to it. The ending however left me a bit confused as it then invalidated so many things that took place in the middle.

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that first chapter blew me away

the first chapter had me hooked. You wouldnt believe what humans have done now. crazy

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Interesting story with a good reader performance

The writer creates strange and interesting world that has the feeling of a dream.

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Awful

I hated almost everything about this book. I went in expecting something new and interesting about the afterlife and simulation theory but it appears this was written by something with next to no life experience. A freshman in high school on Shrooms could write a more profound experience.