The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

(9.6/10) A true contemporary fairy tale deserving of its modern classic tag.

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.”

From: The Iron Man - Chapter: The Iron Man

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.

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153 positive reader review(s) for The Iron Man

9+

The Iron Man reader reviews

from England

This book is great! I love the book because Ted Hughes has used a lot of imagination. I give this book 9 stars because the book is very short. But apart from that everything is great!!

from England

I loved it because it was full of fantasy.

from United Kingdom

Very nice.

from UK

The Iron Man is a good and interesting book because it has so many details that so many people wood enjoy the book and consider it as there favorite book. I personally like the book because when I read it with my teacher I love how the author writes the book. If u like the book to and u are fan of the Iron Man like my review on the Iron Man.

from Jersey

It was a really good book one of the best.

from UK

It was awesome. I loved the book.😃😃😃😃😃😃😃

from India

Nice story I really enjoy it 😊😃😃😃😃😊

from United Kingdom

This book is amazing!!!!!!!!!

from Scotland

I obviously must have enjoyed this book very much as our teacher read this book to us in primary 4, 42 years ago and I have never forgotten it.

from London

I thought it was epic. I was touched, it was sad when he was buried by the villagers that mean Hogarth - how could they? Anyway, it was beautifully written. T H A N K Y O U for writing it Ted.

from UK

I have been reading your books and I am also reading your books at school.

from Canada

The book is very good, but is dificula for a chille, it is my opinion.

from America

It was good.

from Netherlands

Good detailed descriptions, good to learn text variety, grammar and words if you're not a native English speaker. Recommended.

from U. A. E.

I like the best. The funny part.

from Spain

Full of action, adventure and a positive message about being different.

from England, Somerset

This book is GOD!!!! We read it in school, even though we have only started Year 4. We are on chapter 4, I am amazed. I am really lucky as I have homework for this great book. I am only 8 years old and this amingzingly talented book deserves an outsanding 10 out of 10 stars.

from England

It was pretty good. I really enjoyed it. I recommend this to everyone.

from UK

I'm reading this at school, so far it is so eeeeppppiiiicccc (chapter.3)

from Tilbury

The story was so cool and amazing.

from Cairo

This story is very amazing and it's funny.

from Birmingham

It was enjoyable we read it in class when I was in year 4. My teacher loved it I loved it my class loved it.

from Egypt

How a great writer wrote a perfect story. We can learn how to understand each other and be kind...

from England

This book was incredible, lots of enjoyable parts for all ages. That's why I rate it 10/10 cuz it's amazing!

from Birmingham, England

This book was amazing I read as a class novel last year it was fantastic it never boring and always enjoyable.

from Australia

From reading many reviews about this book, it becomes evident that people are approaching this book on a very superficial level. Ted Hughes wrote a lot of poetry, and this is evident in the way he penned "The Iron Man": It is both powerful and beautiful in its simplicity. The way to get the most out of the book is this: Savour the prose as though it were a poem. Take your time. Read it out aloud, and hear the music in the lyrics - it's that type of book. It's the difference between taking a sip of wine and merely swallowing it, or taking a sip and letting it loll around your mouth, opening your palate to new sensations. This book is not just for kids - anybody can appreciate the craft of Ted Hughes' writing. So don't rush through the book, focussing only on plot and character. There's magic in them there words!

from Panama

El hombre de hierro es super entretenido (The Iron Man is super entertaining - thanks Google translator!) 

from England

I realy liked it because its fun and enjoyable. I am in year 4 and me and my class read it and all enjoy it we do work about in fact I am doing homework about it right now :)

from Poland

''The Iron Man'' is a five-chapter fantasy book.It is about an iron monster that became the champion of the Earth.My favorite part was when the Iron Man was flown to Australia to challenge the space-bat-angel-dragon.I love this book!I would recommend this book to other with joy!It is a very interesting book,read it!:)

from Poland

I read the book "The Iron Man" by Ted Hughes. It was a very interesting and motivating story. The main character was the Iron Man. Initially people were scared of him. However later they learnt that they can live in peace together. He helped the humanity and saved the world from the space-bat-angel-dragon. He proved what sacrifice is and gave example to people. Thanks to him, people became good. I loved the book. It teaches us not to judge the others without knowing them. After understanding someone who is different, we may find a good friend or even a savior! I have also learnt that our bad deeds may make other people bad. It is a bad example, bad influence. Therefore we should always be good so that others are good to us, too.

from Poland

I like this book because some parts were funny. my favorite part was when the IRON MONSTER ate barbed wire like spaghetti. It was an interesting book

from Warsaw

This book is about a,strange and strong man that is made with Iron. And this iswhy his name is Iron Man. I have my two favourite moments in the book. First when people found him his new home in scrap-metal yard and second moment when the Iron Man challenged the space-bat-angle-dragon. Thier fight was very funny and a little bit crazy. This book is a fantasy world,because of Iron Man, big black dragon and all unreal world. I like this book because it is interesting, but positive and funny to read. For me it was very easy to read. I would recommend this book to all people who like such stories and horrible characters. They will find a lot of fun there!

from Poland

It was super. It is for childreb, especially for boys.

from Poland

The book was vary good and fun. I like it. It's good for kids from 5 to 10 years.

from Poland

The Iron Man is a fantastic children's book, especially for boys. It starts off with the Iron Man jumping off a cliff, which captivates reader's at the get go. It slows down a bit with the Iron Man labouring over finding his missing pieces on a beach, but then begins to pick up once he meets Hogarth, a farmer boy who starts to feel pity for the iron giant who is trying to find his place in the world. Our grade 4 class has just finished reading this book, and although it contains some difficult words, it gives my students a chance to expand their vocabulary! It is a short read with a lot of substance to analyze and delve into. I would highly recommend this to any child who is trying to discover who they are, and where they belong on this big blue sphere we call home :)

from Limbu

This book is really good because it has adventures and exploring. I read this book in my school, my teacher reads it too the whole class. I know right I am on chapter 4 or 5 well yaaaaaa byeeeeeee

from London

I like this book. Partly I like this because the Iron Man challenges the space bat angel dragon and also I just finished the book.

from England

I like the book but it was sad when they trapped him but still it was epic.

from Bristol

This book is an amazing exciting book to read. It makes you have so many emotions all at once. When there is a cliff hanger all of a sudden it stops at a chapter. I really really like it, it's very cool and I think that Ted Hughes is an epic learner.

from UK

It was very amazing, very cool and very fantastic.

from UK

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.”

from England

It was epic.

from England

It is the best book ever to be made.

from UK

I llllloooooovvvvvveeeeee The Iron Man!

from Nigeria

OMG The best book ever. I wish Ted Hughes was still alive so he could write more amazing books!

from England

Bestest book I have ever read and I wish to read it again but the reason I gave it 9/10 is because Ted Hughes could of added a bit more action but still this book and is so cooolll!

from Mars

I think this book is really good but at the end it gets boring.

from London

I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

from England

I did like it but not so much.

from England

It is a very fantastic so never PUT THE BOOK DOWN!!!

from Cool Dude Land

I am still reading the book and it is so AWSOME so I am LOVING the book so far.

from Gambia

This book is lovely.

from UK

I love this book but most times when I read it in class I lose track of where I am and I get bored.

from Somalia

I love The Iron Man becuase so many things happend it is so coooooool!

from UK

This book is coooooooooool!

from England

It is so cool so far that I've read this and I am on page 100 and I would read it all the time it is so coooooooooooooooooooooooool!

from US

Sweeeeeeeeet!!!

from Bolton

I have watched all the movies, and they are good, like the book.

from Australia

The Iron Man is awesome!!!!!!

from Karachi

An excellent book for school readers.

from UK

I love The Iron Man because I find it really sad when he goes into the pit but it helps children learn how to describe a story and it's confusing when the space-bat-angel-dragon comes because the humans think it attacking them but it not.

from India

It's an average story and is delightful.

from England

I so love The Iron Man. I'm even doing it at school.

from England

It is so cool!

from Canada

Good book but it could better and its kind of for 6 or 7 year old kids like talking dragons and an iron man talking COME ON!!!!!!!!

from Leeds

Goooooooooooooooooooooood!

from UK

I love it so much it was cooooooooooooooooooooooooool!

from Scotland

I think The Iron Man is one of the best books I have read!!!

from England

This book is AWESOME!!! I'm also doing it at school with my guided reading group (I'm on the highest level!!!). It's SO COOL!!! The short sentences make you want to read on!!! We love Ted Hughes at my School (Pangbournne Primary School)!

from Engaland

This is cool, I am learning The Iron Man at school.

from UK

This is book is coooooooooooooooooool!

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.

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.

from Miami

This is full of AUSOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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...

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.

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

from USA

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 ...

from england

the iron man is the best book ever it is really fun and you always want to know what happens next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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!!!

from England

This book is AMAZING!!! I love it so much, I even bought the film, but the book is better. :D

from Untitled

Bestest book ever!

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.

from England

Good but boring after the first chapter and it's so rushed.

from Scotland

I think the Iron Man book is awsome with a capital S!!!

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 ...!

from England

I love this book. It was very good. I liked the plan and how Hograth trapped the Iron Man.

from London

The Iron Man story wasn't good... it was fabulous! We are reading this in school. I very much like this book.

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.

from Ha

It's AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

from Leicester

It was fantastic, the best book!!!

from Long Eaton

I loved this book, it was smashing and fantastic.

from England

I think it's a great book and I think it is a brill adventure!

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.

from England

We've been reading it and doing lessons about it and I've enjoyed it.

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.

from London

Brilliant book! I love it!

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!

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.

from Athens

It is a very good book and interesting.

from Pakistan

I love this book.It was an interesting story but its best part was when Iron Giant fought against that black monster.

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, ;)

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.

from England

I loved it. A short book, the first bit a bit bad. Overall good. I love the pictures. I love it.

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.

from England

It was a nice story but not the best.

from Edinburgh

I loved this book because I like this tyes of book.

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.

from Zangwill Place

I love it! We are learning all about the story. Perfect!

from Engaland

I like this book and it's wonderful.

The best book I have read.

from Bedford

I LOVED IT,at the end it was a bit scary .

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.

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 !!!!!

from Plymouth Road

I like The Iron Man, with all the similes and onomatopoeias. It's liked your dragged in the story.

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!

from Bangkok

Is your teacher from Bangkok Prep? (in response to Chanisara from Thailand)

This is the best book especially the black dragon!!!!

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.

from Bute Gardens

I loved the The Iron Man book in P5A. The teacher was Mr. Rainey.

from Spencer Road

I like The Iron Man book.

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!

from The World

It was absolutely cool! The space dragon loses! He has to sing!!! lol

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.

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!

from London

The Iron Man book is brilliant. I read The Iron Man book in year 3.

from Clydebank

The Iron Man book is so brill! I LOVE THE IROM MAN BOOK!

The Iron Man is not good, it is outstanding!

from Scotland, the best place in the world

We love the book. I would read this 72 times and it is cool!

from Old Kilpatrik

The Iron Man is a great book by Ted Hughes.

from Scotland

Great book, I LOVE IT!

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!!!

from Glasgow

We think The Iron Man is a brilliant book and I especially like the Iron Man himself.

from Scotland

I love this book, my favourite part was the cccrrraaassshhh :)

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.

from Byfleet

Brilliant book !!!!!!!!!!

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!!

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!

from Kew

It's an amazing book.

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!!! (:

from Burnside Wigton

The Iron Man is the best book in the whole wide world!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 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!

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.

from Hampshire

I like the IRON MAN because of all the excitement and fun!

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.

from Orange

The Iron Man is an excellent novel and I am reading this book because I think Ted Hughes is an excellent author.

from Aldershot

I think The Iron Man is a great book because its gets me learning and its great fun to read!!!

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.

9.5/10 from 163 reviews

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