The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean

Publisher: Puffin Books

The first of David Almond’s books to be marketed for adult and child audiences, in separate, very differently styled, imprints. This is not an easy read, not least because Billy tells his story in non-standard, phonetic language to which readers need to adjust.

Almond envisages a post-apocalyptic world in which Billy is hidden from others, immured in an inner room by his mother, ashamed at the manner of his conception, but also determined to preserve his innocence. Night-time visits from his father, at first loving, but increasingly hostile and conflicted, leave him yearning for knowledge of himself and his world and the ability to record his experience.

Complex and difficult issues are reflected in both narrative style and content.

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