The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe. A gap in which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out....
Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?
Bursting with imagination, The Gates is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy. It is about a quirky and eccentric boy who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power.
John Connolly manages to re-create the magical and scary world of childhood that we've all left behind but so love to visit. And for those of you who thought you knew everything you could about particle physics and the universe, think again. This novel makes anything seem possible.
©2009 John Connolly; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster
Fans of John Connolly's Charlie Parker series don't need to be told what a gifted writer and storyteller he is, but The Gates will come as a delightful surprise. The Parker novels examine the very nature of evil in men and its insidious roots in the human soul, giving life to villains so twisted that one has to wonder at the inner workings of the mind that created them. The Gates doesn't answer that question, but it does provide a peek at the side of Connolly that allows him to wander around freely without someone trying to lock him up just in case there's any part of him that is what he writes.
The hero is 11-year-old Samuel Johnson, an odd and inquisitive boy living in the quaint English village of Biddlecombe. The fun starts when the neighbors at 666 Crowely Rd., looking for something to do on a boring evening, open The Gates of Hell. Not intentionally of course, but these things can happen if you bring home odd, old books from the used book store written in languages you don't recognize, dress up in black robes and mutter incantations.
Meanwhile . . . on the other side of the world scientists in Europe are tinkering around with the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator designed to smash protons together with the hope of discovering the existence of other dimensions. Something goes horribly awry and the two events coincide to threaten to "end the world as we know it." Samuel happens to be peaking in the basement window when the Gate emits its first blue twinkle of evil and charges himself with the task of shutting back up the Gates.
The witty, wry prose is brought vividly to life by gifted narrator Jonathon Cake, whose portrayal of Connolly's imaginative cast of quirky (and mostly incompetent) demons, monsters and townsfolk sets a perfect stage for wonderful theater of the mind.
This book will delight both children and grownups and I thank Mr. Connolly for reminding me of the child inside that can still giggle out loud.
This is just the most delightful story I've read in such a long while. I love John Connolly's other work but this is a very special book and the narration is fantastic. I don't think reading it would be even half as entertaining and laughter-inducing if it weren't for the masterful work of Jonathan Cake. I'm on my third listen and I can't say enough good things about it. I especially like the footnotes. Very Monty Python-esque at times.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
A little bit cute, a little bit silly, a little bit LOL. This missed a fifth star by just a few giggles. Up until John Scalzi I did not believe I liked Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Humor books. Kurt Vonnegut and Douglass Adams had turned me off to such books. I like Terry Pratchett a little better, but not enough to keep me buying his books.
This stars an eleven year old and if your child is good with R.L. Stine, then I believe he/she will enjoy the book. I am not saying it is a children's book and I believe all ages will enjoy it. One of the side characters is Boswell the dog. Putting a dog in a story always makes the whole story better. Boswell is a great character in especially that he does what a dog does and nothing else. There are several side characters and a lot of them are demons. I really like the demon under the bed. The heroes of this book are the kids and a demon.
I first meet JC when I read The Book Of Lost Things and that is still my favorite JC book. I did not like so much The Unquiet or The Reapers, but this book has made me want to explore his writing some more.
If you like Fantasy with humor and if you like when Good beats Evil, then you will really like this book.
My wife and I thought this was one of the most entertaining audiobooks to listen to driving between home and work. It's a a real joy ride, and the reader is thoroughly entertaining. Great character voices!
addicted to audio books
Simply delightful, clever, witty, creepy and engaging. I loved every moment of this book. Elegantly written, hilarious dialogue and an amazing performance by Jonathan Cake.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This was a very entertaining story that is somewhat Gaiman-esque in it's ability to appeal to adults as well as the younger audience it obviously targets. The young hero is is quite likable and very resourceful. The demon Nurd is terrific comic relief and I just loved the brave little dog Boswell. The footnotes sprinkled throughout added some interesting information as well as much of the wry humor. If my high school physics teacher had been half as entertaining in his lessons I might have actually learned something and gotten a better grade.
Not quite 5 stars for the lack of fully developed supporting cast, but still a very worthy read appropriate for the whole family, especially with Jonathan Cake's outstanding narration.
I would have loved this as a 13-year old. I still enjoyed it as a 48-year old :)
This was a very clever and entertaining book with just enough comedy, intrigue and mystery woven in to make it enjoyable for all ages.
Those who don't enjoy fantasy or science fiction stories may not like it, in my humble opinion; but, if you enjoy those genres, and can set your mind to listen to a "Ghostbusters" type of story for 7 hours, then I believe you will very much enjoy this one.
Overall, the book is well written and very well narrated.
I recommend this one if you like this genre.
Hysterically entertaining listening.
Nerd's encounter with the policeman while driving his Porsche.
Had not heard him before on an audiobook, although had seen him in movies. He was very good in this.
I laughed all the way through.
I can totally imagine this as a Brit's reaction to an invasion from hell. The demons hadn't a chance.
I have recommended this audiobook to friends! It's great fun, packed with wonderful characters (the demon Nurd is one of my favorites), and the narration absolutely makes it.
The characters, and the footnotes (yes, the footnotes!) - very funny, yet still true to the facts they convey (science, history, etc.).
No, but I will!
Yes, although I didn't have time to do that, so it took 3 sittings.
Already a fan of John Connolly's thrillers, and now sold on his ability to write humor.
Who knew the invasion of demons from Hell could be so charming? This lighthearted fantasy is a quick, often very funny listen, absolutely worth a credit. I'll be checking out the sequel.
Jonathan Cake's narration is perfect.
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