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Extended Audio Sample The Gates: A Novel Audiobook, by John Connolly Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,702 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Connolly Narrator: Jonathan Cake Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil Series Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781442300613
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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 Avenue. 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 which holds a pair of enormous gates—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 and impossible to put down, 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. Like Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Gates manages to re-create for grownups that magical and scary world of childhood that we’ve all left behind but so love to visit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A laugh-out-loud funny tale…With its endearing protagonist, rollicking plot, and dollops of weird but mostly true science, The Gates has a shot at becoming a middle-school Halloween classic.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The plot appeals to all of us who, on occasion, hear ‘tentacles being folded’ under our beds. But it’s the tone, the details and the allusions Connolly layers into the story that make it such a delight.” 

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Connolly plays this potentially spooky scenario strictly for laughs, larding the narrative with droll jokes, humorous asides and the slapstick pratfalls of Nurd, an amusingly incompetent subdemon…This light fantasy will strike even adult readers as divertingly whimsical.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Any reader who appreciates the imaginative fantasy of Neil Gaiman or the gentle wit of Christopher Moore will find a kindred spirit here.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Wickedly funny in the way of Douglas Adams, Connolly tells the story of a British schoolboy who happens to see strange goings-on through the basement window of a neighbor's house...Jonathan Cake…draws each character with precision, spotlighting that dry Brit humor that works so well in the right hands. And Cake is adept at bringing the whole cast to vivid life…Even the cops and clergymen, trapped by rampaging monsters, are cleverly drawn. Cake does adults, kids, and demons with an equally droll tone. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • A 2010 Barry Award Nominee for Best Novel
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ex Libris | 2/9/2014

    " Uneven. Overall it was a whimsical and fun, a quick summer book. The humor was sometimes strained which held the novel back. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley | 2/3/2014

    " This is a fun, silly read but it was a good break from the usual genres I pick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jana | 1/29/2014

    " I really tried to like this, but all I managed was not to actively dislike it. The kids are smart and likeable, the grown-ups do not get in the way too much. The villains are evil, but not everyone who should belong to the villainous party is actually bad. CERN and scientists. Scientists who take an e-mail sent by an 11-year old boy seriously. That's all good. But it didn't get me excited (and believe me, I can get quite excited about children's books). It somehow felt unfinished. I believe this to be the first part of a series and maybe further developments will add complexity and suspense, but I don't think that I will keep reading. There are so many other books and there's so little time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee Anne | 1/16/2014

    " Highly entertaining!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Traci Haley | 1/11/2014

    " Imagine, if you will, that Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett had a love child. That child turned out to be Christopher Moore. His godparents consisted of Douglas Adams, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Then you might conceive of the brilliance that is John Connolly's The Gates. Wickedly funny, awesome characters...reading this was like reading an offshoot of "Good Omens". I hope John Connolly continues to write books like this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason Barci | 1/6/2014

    " This is the second book i've read by Connolly. He's very entertaining. He writes what could be considered horror but with a humorist perspective and it's not R rated so it appeals to young adults as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 1/5/2014

    " 11-year-old Samuel Johnson and his dachshund witness neighbors create a gap in the universe, through which the gates of Hell are visible. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charlene | 1/3/2014

    " Awesome for kids. For adults.... eh, not so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glen | 12/26/2013

    " Excellent and funny. you read this and you will have no fear if the gates of hell do open! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucia | 12/13/2013

    " Very quirky and funny for a book classified as "horror". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christen | 12/24/2012

    " Cute story, reminded me a lot of Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 10/17/2012

    " Satanism, particle physics, and a Dachshund, what's not to like? This was such a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sabrina Rahman | 10/14/2012

    " I generally enjoyed this book a lot ! It was really funny but not as great as the book of lost things! But I still had a lot of fun reading this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Foxytocin | 8/12/2012

    " Wicked, wicked sense of humour...... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elke | 6/27/2012

    " Funny book. If you like Christopher Moore, you will enjoy the snark meets horror of The Gates. Demons of hell were never more sympathetic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimmyh | 3/4/2012

    " Was as fun a read as "Good Omens": Good stuff! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phailin | 5/21/2011

    " Very interesting and unique humour (but good) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 5/18/2011

    " This is not the type of book that I normally read, but I'm glad I did. The book was entertaining, unpredictable, the main character Samuel Johnson was very likable, and the story kept you interested until the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 5/14/2011

    " I haven't enjoyed a book in a while as much as I have enjoyed this one. The demon names alone are worth reading this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jocelyn | 5/11/2011

    " A boy and his dog discover the gates of hell opening. A fun and light-hearted read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Miko | 5/11/2011

    " More like 2.5 stars. I liked the protagonist, but I thought the author's voice was a little condescending, and the serious tone of The Book of Lost Things worked better for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Seth | 5/10/2011

    " I probably would have enjoyed this more twenty years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Letty | 4/30/2011

    " I found it slightly reminiscent of a Raold Dahl book, very clever, for youngsters with discerning taste. I recommend it for kids and adults looking for a quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 4/28/2011

    " A fun and entertaining read. I hope we get to meet Nurd again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 4/21/2011

    " A cute and humorous book about a boy named Samuel Johnson and his encounters with his demon possessed neighbors. I absolutely loved the footnotes because it would give random historical background or scientific facts, but I wish there were more! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Auriel | 4/19/2011

    " funny, and a delight to read! "

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About the Author
Author John Connolly

John Connolly studied English at Trinity College, Dublin, and journalism at Dublin City University. He is best known for his series of novels starring private detective Charlie Parker, but is also author of over fourty books and short story collections. Connolly is based in Dublin and divides his time between his native city and the United States.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Cake is a British-born narrator and actor in film, on television, and on the stage. His best-known film roles include First Knight, The Government Inspector, Out of the Ashes, and Diamond Girl. He has appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company, on Broadway in Medea, and in numerous television roles. As a narrator, he earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for John Connolly’s The Gates.