Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Gates by John Connolly
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon & Schuster)
Publish Date: October 1, 2009
I've never read anything by John Connolly, so I am quite pleased to have started with THE GATES. I was quite amused by the covers - this one says "The Gates of Hell are about to open, nind the gap", my copy says "The Gates of Hell are about to open, want a peek?" Both are funny!
The writing is clever, humorous and darkly funny. The tone is sarcastic and mocking, which I find very desirable in a smart, funny book. It definitely reminded me of Neil Gaimon's GOOD OMENS. If you liked that, give this one a try! There are footnotes in most of the chapters, but instead of being annoying, I began looking forward to them. Here's my favorite:
26. Actually, teleportation is not nearly as far-fetched as you might think. Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland recently managed to teleport the quantum identity of one atom to another a few feet away. However, teleportation of humans is a long way off, as the experiment only works once in every one hundred million attempts. Therefore the chances of you being teleported and arriving as interesting goo at the other end, if you arrive at all, are very high indeed. You don't want to be the subject of the following conversation: "Is he there yet?" "Well, bits of him are..."
So, anyhow, young Samuel Johnson and his faithful daschund, Boswell se his neighbors crack open the Gates of Hell three days before Halloween. See, Samuel was trying to get a jump on all the best candies by trick or treating early. Unfortunately, no one believes him about the Gates of Hell. He does end up finding some unexpected help from a minor demon named Nurd: The Scourge of Five Dieties and a scientist who works on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Who knew that the LHC could be partially responsible for opening the Gates of Hell?
The demons seem to expect humans will be pretty easy to conquer and are surprised when they put up a fight...or ignore them altogether. Of course, arriving on Halloween probably didn't help.
I giggled most of the way through this book and look forward to reading more by Mr. Connolly.