The Gates

The Gates

eBook - 2009
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When Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell go trick-or-treating early, they unwittingly unlock a gap in the universe that opens the gates of Hell, and Samuel must now fight to reseal it.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2009
ISBN: 9781439173053
1439173052
Branch Call Number: eBOOK
PZ7.C761868 Gat 2011
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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If you like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, you will enjoy this new series from John Connolly. The author is well-known for his popular Charlie Parker crime stories, which are about as gritty and hard-boiled as anything in the genre. Here he tries his hand at humorous supernatural tales, perhaps aimed at young adults but good for older readers, too. They are notably sparse in belly laughs (though not without occasional chuckles), and that’s where Connolly really surprised me. Turns out he’s a dab hand at whimsy that never becomes cloying, and deftly sketching comic characters who delight and stay with the reader.

Samuel Johnson is a young teen who accidentally witnesses the opening of a portal into Hell (powered by a bit of carelessness at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN), and along with his dachshund Boswell (of course) is drawn into events of world-shaking import. Gently satirical portrayals of small town English types generate most of the laughs as they take on fearsome demons with garden rakes and a hideously potent and vile beer known as Spiggit’s Old Peculiar.

The Infernals takes a decidedly more epic and darker turn, with the action set in Hell itself and the stakes even higher than in the first volume. Now Samuel must face the perils of the realm of the Great Malevolence himself, and there are truly frightening moments. The power of a friendship that stretches across the dimensions proves a match even for the essence of Evil. The last pages hint that Hell has not heard the last of Samuel Johnson and Boswell. We hope not. (submitted by JW)

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gaungthin
Jun 27, 2016

It is a witty, charming book that I was able to share later with my 10 year old son. It was quite reminiscent of Pratchett, with a slightly edgier "gremlins" feeling of mayhem which we both enjoyed.

d
dwolen
Nov 22, 2015

funny; style reminds me of Terry Pratchett's Diskworld series

k
katie_jones
Oct 07, 2015

This book is hilariously witty. I would probably say it is in the same vein as Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I loved that Connolly was able to combine the scientific with the fantastical.

SFPL_danielay Sep 10, 2015

11-year old Samuel, his wiener dog and a disgraced demon are all that stands between Biddlecombe and the end of the world. Doomsday fun!

Yellow_Cat_297 Jul 06, 2013

"The Gates" is an amazing book, with the right amount of horror, humor, and adventure. You even learn a few new things as you read it! It's fit for both kids and adults, and a great read.

Favorite character: Nurd the Scourge of Five Deities.

j
jandocr
Oct 03, 2011

I agree with the recent comments, about the wittiness of the author, and how it was a fun read overall. I took this book out because I had formerly read another book by this author and absolutely loved it. However, this one didn't meet my expectations and I'm not sure if I'd recommend it.

l
lslandry
May 05, 2011

Imaginative story. The author's simple writing style makes us think that the book is intended for kids, but then again, adults would enjoy it too.

I like the author's wit, which made it fun to read overall.

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puzzled
Feb 16, 2011

Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's style, but a little more over the top. This was a cute book, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

d
Dharriona
Oct 05, 2010

Fun and quirky.

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x4052383922 Apr 26, 2014

... unlike the small towns in television detective shows, where so many people die that it's a wonder there's anyone left in the town to kill by the end of the first series. You'd imagine that some of the residents might wonder about this and think, "Hmmm, our town appears to be populated entirely by murderers, or people who are about to be murdered, and since we're not murderers then we must be potential victims. Marjorie, grab the kids and the dog. We're going to live in New Zealand . . ."

Yellow_Cat_297 Jul 06, 2013

Although his experience of demons was rather more limited, something told him that if Nurd wasn’t exactly good – and, being a demon, it was hardly part of the job description (‘Wanted : demon. Must be good…’) – he was not entirely bad either. Like most ordinary people, he was just himself.

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gaungthin
Jun 27, 2016

gaungthin thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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