Funny, scary adventure with a dachshund, demons, science - and footnotes
John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968. His debut - EVERY DEAD THING - swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers, and all his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He is the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award.
With nothing on the package cover to indicate otherwise, Connolly fans might expect a gritty horror thriller; what they'll find instead is a comic yarn about a British boy, Samuel Johnson, and his dog, Boswell, who are attempting to stop the opening of the gates of hell. The footnote-laden opening unfolds in a jaunty, conversational style reminiscent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, only not as amusing. Once the footnotes fade, the plot grows more compelling, allowing Jonathan Cake to show off his vocal versatility by portraying dotty scientists, snarling denizens of the dark domain, an undead and unpleasant bishop, a surprisingly likable subdemon named Nurd, and the dark lord himself, herein called the Great Malevolence. The author includes numerous satiric swipes at science, religion, British lifestyle, and horror fiction. But much of the material is arch and condescending, and the reading is tediously tongue-in-cheek. An Atria hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 31). (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Brilliant. I loved every word of it. John has found a voice that compares favourably with Stephen King and Monty Python which is not an easy trick. The Gates is delightfully horrific and hilarious and will create legions of fans among the living and undead, who will be bloodthirsty for more. - Eoin ColferDestined to be another runaway success appealing to both young adults and their parent alike. - Sunday IndependentIncredibly enjoyable. - FHMA demonic, darkly comic tale . . . satisfyingly peppered with science, history and amusing footnotes on everything from St Thomas Aquinas to quantum theory, and will go down well with readers of Eoin Colfer and Lemony Snicket. - Daily Telegraph