The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean review by ...
The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean
by David Almond
Age Range - Mature Young Adult
Genre - Fantasy

Student Review

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Age at time of review - 15
Reviewer's Location - Fredericksburg, VA, United States
View MIZZIQ's profile

Know that I did not complete this book, so I haven't read the entirety of it. This book had a poetic feel to it. It didn't come out in rhymes, but it did come out in a very metaphysical tone and made you wonder what was actually going on. This book took you on a roller coaster and left you wondering what was real and what was storytelling.


This book grabbed me with its description of a boy telling his own story. It seemed to be a mix between a horror and an autobiography, which it most definitely was. One of the first barriers to reading this book was a textual hurdle. Everything was typed out in nonsensical spelling. I wasn't ever sure whether that was for an effect for the experience of the book, or if it was just a sloppy choice of creative thought. While I appreciate expanding the ways to print, and use the paper with which you print a book, this did not work. Nearly every word was spelled wrong, phonetically.This made it incrediblly difficult to get through the book, which, in the end, I never did. The next suprising thing to me was the edginess of it all. I was fully aware that it came with a mature rating, however the things in this book really just weren't okay to be dwelling on. I'm not sure if that was clarified later in the book, but it honestly doesn't matter all that much. There was adultery, abuse, language, a boy who was locked up in his room from childhood.

The intriguing and confusing parts of the book usually came when the boy was describing his own psycological troubles. While I really do appreciate troubles in someone's life used to demonstrate something specific or to help you learn new things, in this context, it was not appreciated. The first words had me reading the book aloud to be able to read it, and it continued on with obsenities that I didn't feel necessary to fully understand the troubles the boy was experiencing.

This book was a dissapointment compared to what I expected, and had I known what it was or what it was supposed to be, I would have never attempted to read this book. I was frustrated by something as simple as the choice of misspelling the words because if that had been fixed I would have enjoyed the good parts found in the book to a fuller extent. The author dampened his possibly incredible affect on someone by choosing to make his book like this.

Content Rating:

Content rating - mature content

Explain your content rating: 

There was explicit description of a mother's adultery and a father's abandonment, language of all colors, and overall demeanor of the book was shallow and scary. All characters seemed to be struggling with psychological problems.




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