Heaven doesn’t exist. Or so Stephen Hawking claims. At the end of John Connolly’s latest novel Hell’s Bells, one of Professor Hawking’s ‘colleagues’ working on the Large Hadron Collider says that Hell doesn’t exist. So we’re all right, then. Maybe.
Hell’s Bells is the perfect title for a children’s book don’t you think? Witty, a little bit of mild swearing and a fair description of a book that takes ice cream to Hell, and back. Almost. Even the Resident IT Consultant once shouted the words Hell’s Bells while we were in the car. Offspring found this hilarious.
Beware of going trick-or-treating. You just never know whose door you will knock on and what the knock-on effects are likely to be. You could, like Samuel Johnson, inadvertently open the gates to Hell. And just as we thought that had ended well in The Gates, along comes this one, where poor Samuel and Boswell the Dachshund are snatched back to Hell.
Luckily a few other people are co-snatched and together they will just have to try and defeat millions of horned and red-hot demons and worse. But with true friendship and some home-brew you can achieve anything.
This is a very moral tale. It’s anti-war and anti all kinds of other bad things. Friendship is good and so are wine gums. When faced with Hell, even vaguely inept policemen can come up trumps. And as for those dwarfs…
It’s also the most tremendously funny story. There really does seem to be something in Ireland that makes for funnier books than anywhere else. How you can be amusing while writing about such vile creatures, I don’t know. Perhaps because they remind us of our own dear leaders? The angry Mrs Abernathy and her handbag? The double crossing army leaders. They’re all there. And they have ice in hell. Did you know?
John Connolly is very intelligent and he knows about the LHC and stuff and writes knowledgeably about all sorts of sciencey things. Or was he making it up? Anyway, we should clearly be careful with the LHC thingy. You just can’t know what it will do.
And I still need to grasp this Higgs Bosun chap. Doesn’t he work on a boat?