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The Gates: A Novel | [John Connolly]

The Gates: A Novel

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween - which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (224 )
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4.3 (171 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Paging Tim Burton"

    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 05-28-10
    Kelly 05-28-10
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    "Delightful!"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Culver, OR, United States 01-10-12
    Cheryl Culver, OR, United States 01-10-12 Listener Since 2006

    addicted to audio books

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    "Fantastic!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Gates the most enjoyable?

    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.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wallace Arlington, TX, USA 05-26-10
    Wallace Arlington, TX, USA 05-26-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "The Gates - What a ride!"

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 08-29-12
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 08-29-12 Member Since 2005

    danmc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining Fantasy Novel: Great for a Young Teen"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 03-22-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Demon Under the Bed"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oenophile 02-02-13
    Oenophile 02-02-13

    In vino veritas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hysterical!"
    If you could sum up The Gates in three words, what would they be?

    Hysterically entertaining listening.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Gates?

    Nerd's encounter with the policeman while driving his Porsche.


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Cake’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Had not heard him before on an audiobook, although had seen him in movies. He was very good in this.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed all the way through.


    Any additional comments?

    I can totally imagine this as a Brit's reaction to an invasion from hell. The demons hadn't a chance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila 01-23-12
    Sheila 01-23-12
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    "Hilarious!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters, and the footnotes (yes, the footnotes!) - very funny, yet still true to the facts they convey (science, history, etc.).


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Cake’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, although I didn't have time to do that, so it took 3 sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    Already a fan of John Connolly's thrillers, and now sold on his ability to write humor.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gash 11-03-14
    Gash 11-03-14

    Avid reader/listener.

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    "Physics meets Metaphysics in a Roald Dahl style"

    If you liked Good Omens (one of my favorite all-time books and audio books) and you loved Roald Dahl books as a kid, you'll enjoy this book. It is a lot of fun. Jonathan Cake does an excellent job of bringing the book to life with a good range of voices and great comic timing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly Tempe, AZ, United States 02-25-14
    Shelly Tempe, AZ, United States 02-25-14
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    "Wonderful Vocal Performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Recommend to adults and children who enjoy fantasy. Great vocal performance, great writing.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot was fun, the voices were wonderful, slightly scary but very clever and fun.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Cake – was your favorite?

    Nerd was a crack up. But they all were - from the main characters to the minor ones.


    If you could take any character from The Gates out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Samuel and his dog. Definitely.


    Any additional comments?

    Clever mix of actual science and wild fantasy. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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