All’s well that ends Hell

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.

John-Connolly, Hell's Bells

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?

10 responses to “All’s well that ends Hell

  1. A comedy set in hell – a boy and his dog dragged into the infernal zone, influenced by Dante and Monty Python … sorry, but this sounds like a complete rip off of my book Hellbent, don’t you think …?

  2. You write books???

    Sorry. OK, I suppose I’ll have to ask him about plagiarism, then. Did you also do one about Halloween before it? How much compensation will you be wanting?

  3. I know you’re being ironic, but don’t you see a similarity?

  4. Deadly serious…

    This is so difficult. Ice cream in hell is an obvious thing to have. And if he has read your book, it could even be that he has forgotten where the brilliant thoughts originated. The Resident IT Consultant is forever borrowing my ideas.

    And dogs are cute things, and Boswell was in the first book so had to go to hell. So to speak.

  5. In my house, Higgs Boson is a white rabbit who commits crimes and is never caught – sort of like a rabbit Macavity. Don’t ask me where this idea came from. It just did. Someone on the news mentioned ‘the elusive Higgs Boson’ and bam. I should mention this was before we had kids, too…

  6. Is that a real rabbit, or not? Can’t decide quite how mad you are.

  7. Not a real rabbit. He drives a little red car (a convertible) and used to honk the horn in the street outside our flat late at night, when we lived in Stoke Newington.

  8. Stoke Newington. That explains it.

  9. I agree – the Irish know how to do humor. 🙂 I linked to this review on the main challenge page.

  10. Pingback: Recommended reading for the 2012 Ireland Challenge – plus, vote for the March read-along book | BOOKS AND MOVIES

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