The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
Review by Floresiensis
Fantasy Book Review Children's Book of the Month, February 2011
The Iron Man: A Children’s Story In Five nights by Ted Hughes does indeed consist of five chapters; designed to be read a chapter per night, although some children may find it difficult to wait a whole day to hear more of this exciting story.
Set in an unnamed rural town, a town where a small boy called Hogarth goes fishing in the local stream only to come across an Iron Man with a head as big as a bedroom and eyes that flash from blue to red. The Iron Man begins his adventure in this town on the beach where, unwittingly, he steps from the cliff only to fall into several pieces on the rocks and sand below, but if you thought this was the end of the tale you’d be very much mistaken because the Iron Man returns and Hogarth must get to the town to raise the alarm, he must get home where he will be safe. The fact that when he does tell the grown-ups that they believe him and are unsure what to do really makes this story thrilling for children as they realise they are on an even footing with the adults. It is Hogarth that helps when the adults wants to trap it and when the Earth is in it’s hour of need; prey to an enormous bat-angel creature from space that threatens to devour every living thing on the planet, it is again Hogarth, the child, that sees the only one that can help is the Iron Man. We learn at the end of the story the space creature is actually a star spirit of peace, tempted by the greed it sees when it lands on the planet, but now destined to fly around the earth every night at the behest of the Iron Man and sing to the people of Earth until they too no longer want to war with their neighbour but live in peace.
“The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. How far he had walked? Nobody knows. Where he had come from? Nobody knows. How he was made? Nobody knows.”
The story begins in such a compelling way that you are horrified and thrilled at the same time as Hughes describes this seemingly otherworldly sentient machine that bites tractors in two and has seemingly little regard for anyone or anything other than filling its own belly. Rather than trying to understand this ‘being’ the adults plan is to bury it; hide it away and forget about it, but this plan of course ultimately fails so it is left to a child to understand the creature’s motives and create a solution that is beneficial to everyone. A simple premise once again repeated with the space creature. A beautiful tale of understanding and tolerance that is simply told and as enjoyable to read today as when first published forty years ago.
Ethen from Engaland
This is cool, I am learning The Iron Man at school.
Sean from UK
This is book is coooooooooooooooooool!
Janna from Egypt
Cool. I like this book too. Mariam is right, you feel that you jump in the book and start to have adventures (especially with Hogarth). I read the story at school.
Katherine from Scotland
I love the book but the film is a bit better. The iron man is real fun, too bad there isn't an Iron Man 2 because I'm sure it would be great.
Layla from Miami
This is full of AUSOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Miriam from United States
I am an adult, and though I know it's meant for a younger audience, I LOVED the book. And if you don't mind a slightly different story, try the animated movie that came out in 1997 or '98. ALSO, Pete Townshend (The Who) made a rock opera out the book. The music is beautiful and uplifting...
Ellie from England
I'm reading this book at school in class and so far I'm really enjoying it a lot. Need to read up to the end. I love this awsome book!!! My friends in class say its boring but it's not for me.
emily from wales
i have not got to the end of the story yet but i can not wait to read a nother chapter in school you roock me down
Anne from England
Ted Hughes has written a fantastic book! I love the use of repetition and onomatopoeia. The end wasn't what I was expecting ...
nicole from england
the iron man is the best book ever it is really fun and you always want to know what happens next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sean from Texas United States
I love the movie, it is one of my favs. It is great, you should get it. I'm gonna now read the book yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Peter from England
This book is AMAZING!!! I love it so much, I even bought the film, but the book is better. :D
Untitled from Untitled
Bestest book ever!
Mariam from Egypt
I loved the book, it was amazing, it was mysterious, adventurous and I especilially like adventurous stories as you feel like you are in them.
Thomas from England
Good but boring after the first chapter and it's so rushed.
Estere from Scotland
I think the Iron Man book is awsome with a capital S!!!
Jayden from United Kingdom
Even know the Book is quite unique and interesting I personally won't have picked it up off the shelf myself but it does have a good storyline ...!
Nirosika from England
I love this book. It was very good. I liked the plan and how Hograth trapped the Iron Man.
Kiruthiga from London
The Iron Man story wasn't good... it was fabulous! We are reading this in school. I very much like this book.
Shankiruthi from London
This book is awsome. I liked it when the Iron Man fell off and I all can say is I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this story.
Mua from Ha
Lulu Y. from New Zealand
It was an awesome book! I LOVED IT!!!!!!! =D I want to see the movie!!! We have to do this essay about it... AWESOME BOOK!!!!!! heheheheheehehe
Rose from Leicester
It was fantastic, the best book!!!
Henry from Long Eaton
I loved this book, it was smashing and fantastic.
Jessica from England
I think it's a great book and I think it is a brill adventure!
Ben from UK
On my first read I really didn't like this story at all. It is just simply ridiculous and, although you can do some nice work on it in the classroom (it is well-written), what are children actually going to take out of reading this story? That you should be nice to other people because the boy in the story was nice to a big metal man who went on to save the world from a bat-angel who now sings for peace for us all whilst orbiting the planet? Very bizarre.
Anne from Malaysia
It's okay. I'm not into these kind of books but I like the movie though. And I guess it is cool to have star spirit.
Ifshaa from England
We've been reading it and doing lessons about it and I've enjoyed it.
Phil from London, England
I first heard this story some forty or so years ago as a youngster, when it was read out at my school. After all this time, I still remember my reaction to it, it seemed back then like I was hearing something from another world, very mysterious and wonderful.
Ava from London
Brilliant book! I love it!
MINI from Scotland
I think it's OK but I have to do a critical essay on it and I'm finding it really hard. Please help me!!! I don't know what to do!
Chloe from Derby
I have read this book with school and it is great! I am really enjoying it. We have also watched the film, it is similar to the book and that is good too.
Alexandra from Athens
It is a very good book and interesting.
Laiba from Pakistan
I love this book.It was an interesting story but its best part was when Iron Giant fought against that black monster.
Alisa from England
The writing style was sharp and informative. I especially loved the way the author had expressed the character, Hogarth's passion for saving the Iron Man. The writer passed the events in the story well so that as the reader digested the information there was not a heap more waiting to be understood. The vocabulary used was simple yet very effective and the main storyline stood out very well. My approach to this book is very, very positive and I am certain that you will enjoy this book as much as I did. P.S. Did I mention I loved it, ;)
Sam agian from England
The Iron Man: A Children’s Story In Five nights by Ted Hughes does indeed consist of five chapters; designed to be read a chapter per night, although some children may find it difficult to wait a whole day to hear more of this exciting story. Set in an unnamed rural town, a town where a small boy called Hogarth goes fishing in the local stream only to come across an Iron Man with a head as big as a bedroom and eyes that flash from blue to red. The Iron Man begins his adventure in this town on the beach where, unwittingly, he steps from the cliff only to fall into several pieces on the rocks and sand below, but if you thought this was the end of the tale you’d be very much mistaken because the Iron Man returns and Hogarth must get to the town to raise the alarm, he must get home where he will be safe. The fact that when he does tell the grown-ups that they believe him and are unsure what to do really makes this story thrilling for children as they realise they are on an even footing with the adults. It is Hogarth that helps when the adults wants to trap it and when the Earth is in it’s hour of need; prey to an enormous bat-angel creature from space that threatens to devour every living thing on the planet, it is again Hogarth, the child, that sees the only one that can help is the Iron Man. We learn at the end of the story the space creature is actually a star spirit of peace, tempted by the greed it sees when it lands on the planet, but now destined to fly around the earth every night at the behest of the Iron Man and sing to the people of Earth until they too no longer want to war with their neighbour but live in peace.
Sam from England
I loved it. A short book, the first bit a bit bad. Overall good. I love the pictures. I love it.
Hannah B from Southall
I LLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEE! Give me an I! Give me an R! Give me an O! Give me an N!
I was not really a fan of this book, it was quite boring at parts but it was really interesting at some parts.
Alexandra from England
It was a nice story but not the best.
Maria from Edinburgh
I loved this book because I like this tyes of book.
Jessica from Essex
It was OK but it could have been more interesting.
Ellie from United Kingdom
I read the book and saw the movie and they were both diffrent to each other and amazing. I give 4 to the movie and 5 to the book all together it makes 9. Awsome, awsome, awsome.
Grace from Zangwill Place
I love it! We are learning all about the story. Perfect!
Cerys Lilly from Engaland
I like this book and it's wonderful.
The best book I have read.
Shajeda from Bedford
I LOVED IT,at the end it was a bit scary .
shajeda from Bedford
I love the story of the Iron man and a headteacher called Mrs Hemsley at Priory Lower School told us that story and at the first part of the story it was a bit scary and at Friday 20th January we stopped and we talked about what was going to happen and it was a cliff hanger.
Shania from scottland
The past few weeks in english i have been reading the iron man and we are writing essay on it.at first i didn't like it but then i started to enjoy it quite alot !!!!! But at one point you describe that the iron man has hair but at the start he didn't have hair!!!!! Other than that it was great !!!!!
Ephraim from Plymouth Road
I like The Iron Man, with all the similes and onomatopoeias. It's liked your dragged in the story.
Nichola from Bute Gardens
I loved The Iron Man and I am reading The Iron Women and it is really good and I am nearly finished it and then I am getting The Iron Giant and I heard that is really good and after that I am getting The Iron Man II!
Aditya from Bangkok
Is your teacher from Bangkok Prep? (in response to Chanisara from Thailand)
This is the best book especially the black dragon!!!!
chanisara from thailand
My teacher, Ms.Johnson, read the Iron Man to me and I like the part that when the Iron Man has a contest between the dragon and the last page. We did a drama of the iron man. I'm just in year 5.
Nichola from Bute Gardens
I loved the The Iron Man book in P5A. The teacher was Mr. Rainey.
Ayman from Spencer Road
I like The Iron Man book.
Nichola from Old Kilpatrick
I think The Iron Man is a great book, with his foot as big as a single-bed and his chest as big as a cattle truck!
Hannah from The World
It was absolutely cool! The space dragon loses! He has to sing!!! lol
Harrison and Jake from Leeds
A good book but it lacks emotion and drama. But it does get you thinking and inspires kids. My favourite part was the ending because everyone was peaceful. I would recommend this book to a friend. If I compared this to The Iron Women I would prefer The Iron Women. Hope you enjoy this book review.
Dorothy from Leeds
I loved this book because I couldn't wait to find out who won the battle between the Iron Man and the Space-bat-angel-dragon. I think Ted Hughes used great description which made the story very exciting. I would recommend this book to both boys and girls aged 9 or over... I didn't enjoy the Iron Woman as much because I thought the opening was a bit slow and boring.
Megan and Sean from Leeds
I love the language and the description Ted Hughes uses. It's full of fun problems and resolutions. It's very adventurous, but maybe a little too much.
Cool book! We're doing it in my class!
Praniti from London
The Iron Man book is brilliant. I read The Iron Man book in year 3.
Natalie from Clydebank
The Iron Man book is so brill! I LOVE THE IROM MAN BOOK!
The Iron Man is not good, it is outstanding. The book is ooooouuuuutttttssssstttttaaaaannnnndddddiiiiinnnnnggggg!
Luke and Jack from Scotland, the best place in the world
We love the book. I would read this 72 times and it is cool!
Ben and Ryan from Old Kilpatrik
The Iron Man is a great book by Ted Hughes.
Rinu from Scotland
Great book, I LOVE IT!
Lauren :D :D :D from Glasgow,Scotland
I love The Iron Man. It's super, great. Super cool. If you don't like it... Well you should like it!!!
Matthew from Dalmuir
The iron man is alright. I like the last chapter, it is good.
Oisin is cool from Old Kilpatrick
It is alright, it isn't the best though.
Kai and Stuart from Glasgow
We think The Iron Man is a brilliant book and I especially like the Iron Man himself.
Cool Caty :) from Scotland
I love this book, my favourite part was the cccrrraaassshhh :)
Gemma from United Kingdom
I like The Iron Man book because I am reading it at my school and I've also got it at my mum and dads house too.
Zara from Byfleet
Brilliant book !!!!!!!!!!
Sasha from Surrey
We're reading this book in year 4 and so far it is brilliant, I feel curious ! Ted Hughes is an amazing author!!
Aisha from Luton
I love this book. I've read this in year 4, it really is great. I'd love to read more Ted Huges books. I have seen the film of this book too, it is so cool!
Luke from Kew
It's an amazing book.
Anne-Marie from England
It is an absolutely fabulous book, especially the Iron Man and Hogarth. It is a very good story for children.
I LOVE IT!!! (:
Emma from Burnside Wigton
The Iron Man is the best book in the whole wide world!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monica Vong from Ripley
The Iron man is more metal than everyone but I like reading the book and I like him too.
The Iron man is a great book. My favorite character is the Iron Man. The best bit is the bit when he fight's the Space bat angel dragon... and wins and then the dragon has to sing!
I love the Iron man story! It was brilliant and very good. I like the part when the black-bat-angel-dragon is singing because I would like the world to be like that without wars. It was a shame that Ted Hughes died because he was a good author. The Iron man was happy in the end.
I loved the book Iron Man. I also did not like it as well because they caught the Iron Man in a pit. I also liked it because the Iron Man was happy in the end.
I love the Iron Man, it is a great book. All I didn't like were the sad parts but I suppose they are the most interesting. It is a very exciting book and you want to know what is going to happen next!
I love the Iron man book because when I close my eyes I'm listening to the story and seeing it in the head. I love the ending when the Iron Man and the space-bat-angel-dragon have that battle and after a while I love the part when the space-bat-angel-dragon sings all around the world to make it a better place. But from the beginning it seems boring. I love Ted Hughes' books.
It was funky, cool and weird all at the same time. It started of descriptive then it got a bit boring nearer the end when the space-bat-angel-dragon arrived. Still, it was a brilliant story
It's funny! A giant man going round eating things! Cars, buses, and other metal things! It's good a boy understands him, and helps him. Like they say... don't judge a book by it's cover: Don't judge someone by what they do!
It was a brilliant story at the start but gets a bit boring towards the end of the book because the Iron Man should go back home and have a little more of an adventure. I would give it a 8 out of 10 because I did not enjoy the end even when I like fantasy books like this one.
A strange figure turns up and eats machinary how very fabulous and mysterious at the same time. It's an amazing book; could he write any better!
Christine from Manchester
Ted Hughes is a literary GOD!!! His book, 'The Iron Man', is accessible to all ages. Hughes's story contains humour, pathos, horror. It is a perfect antidote to the increasing negative internal dialogues held by many today toward minorities.
Amy from Hampshire
I like the IRON MAN because of all the excitement and fun!
Joe from Highvew
It was a good story. I like the base line of it. I gave it a nine because I was not expecting it to happen like that.
Katie Frizzel from Orange
The Iron Man is an excellent novel and I am reading this book because I think Ted Hughes is an excellent author.
Nicole from Aldershot
I think The Iron Man is a great book because its gets me learning and its great fun to read!!!
Olivia from Luton
I loved it, it makes you want to read more. We are learning about it in school and I am so glad! It rules! What a shame Ted Hughes died he, was so talented to write such a great book.
I love The Iron Man, I think it is very interesting. I am learning about it in school we take it out loads of times.
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