The Gates by John Connolly

Samuel Johnson just wants to take more advantage of the whole Halloween business by trick or treating a few days earlier than everyone else. He never would have thought he would witness the opening of the Gates of Hell at his neighbour's house at 666 Crowley Avenue.

The Abernathys, aka the neighbours, just want to have a fun evening by pretending to contact the dead. They never intend to summon the one and only Great Malevolence himself.

Of course, it can't be that easy to open a portal between us and the Underworld, but a group of scientists in Switzerland have made a particle accelerator in the hopes of recreating the Big Bang, and just at the right time, something "escapes" from it and creates an opportunity. Thanks!

Samuel tries to tell his mom about what he saw at the Abernathys, but of course she doesn't believe him.  When will adults ever learn? Now demons, monsters, unpleasant things in general, are taking over the human world, trying to pave the way for the Great One, but humans are not going down without a fight.

John Connolly is most famous for his Charlie Parker detective series. This standalone novel is in the adult section of my library, but the whole time I'm reading it I feel like this can be an older kids'/teen book, and it looks like it's been re-released as such just a few months ago. The Gates is a lot of fun to read, complete with cheeky footnotes and over-the-top characterizations. The demons' naivety, like Nurd's first experience in a Porsche and encounter with the police, is rather amusing. Other reviews have pointed out the humour in this is quite similar to Hitchhiker's Guide or Christopher Moore or Neil Gaiman, and I think those are all fair comparisons. As my co-worker, who recommended this book to me, pointed out, you need to be able to accept and like strange and twisted things to enjoy this book.

Anyone out there read his crime novels? What do you think of them? Leave us a comment.
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  1. SeattleTammy said...:

    John Connolly just scares the wits outa me! The crime novels.. well I just don't know how to put it. They are sublime.

    Have you read The Book of Lost Things? I truly think his kids books are pure genius and works for the ages.

  1. Virginia said...:

    Sounds good! They're going on my reading list.

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