Irish mystery writer John Connolly tells us about his new spine-tingling and funny bone-tickling thriller for smart teens, THE GATES. And we air an archived interview with magician Alan Kronzek about THE SORCERER’S COMPANION, A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter.
The Gates of Hell Are About To Open, Want To Peek?
It’s that time of year again to turn away from the really scary things, like war, climate change and economic meltdowns to the lighter side of horror. Our first guest today is John Connolly. Best known for his Charlie Parker series, Connolly has also written a number of books that dip into the spookier side of fantasy fiction. One is The Book Of Lost Things, about a young boy who finds the characters in his books have come to life.
Connolly’s newest addition to that genre is THE GATES of Hell Are About To Open, Want To Peek?. He jokingly calls it “a book about satanism for kids” — older kids, ages 12 and up. Grownups can enjoy it too, as I did. It reminded me of my own childhood fantasy favorites, like Edward Eager’s Half Magic, Edward Ormondroyd’s David and the Phoenix, and the Chronicles of Narnia of CS Lewis.
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Although THE GATES is in that vein of magical adventure, it’s more of a tongue-in-cheek romp through horror. It also has a smattering of fascinating facts about science and religion throughout.
An intrepid young boy, his spunky dachshund, and a soft-hearted demon named Nurd save the world from an invasion from Hell. It all happens when young Samuel Johnson notices some strange goings-on at a house in the neighborhood, 666 Crowley Road. It’s all the fault of the *Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland, which has opened a crack in space-time to let through a very nasty advance party sent by the Great Malevolence himself.
A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter
Performance magician Alan Kronzek really likes the Harry Potter series. He also knows a lot of magic lore, including the Philosophers Stone, shamanism, wizards, alchemists, basilisks and manticores. He talks with us about these and the connection between magic and religion and magic and science. He’s the author of the bestselling book, THE SORCERERS COMPANION, A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter.
And check out our Halloween Book Picks For Kids (and Grownups!).