Review of The Creeps by John Connolly – 5 stars

The Creeps (Samuel Johnson, #3)The Creeps by John Connolly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Samuel Johnson thought he was destined to live his happy ever after. He has his best friend (faithful dog Boswell), one of the prettiest girls in town (who is actually a spoilt brat) and his mum has allowed his two (demon) friends to live with him, he’s even been asked to open a brand new toy shop that is opening in town (the price of fame). Yet there is a lot that isn’t quite right in the quiet town of Biddlecombe, and the question is can Samuel and Boswell save the town (and the girl Samuel really loves) before disaster strikes.

Okay, so I have a confession to make, I didn’t actually read the back of this book before I bought it. I have read a fair few of John Connolly’s other books and had assumed this would just be the same as those. How wrong I was! For a starter, this is a book in part of a series (whoops) and secondly this book is like no other book I have ever read. It is a laugh-out-loud comic genius. Incredibly stupid in many places, yet surprisingly sophisticated and sarcastic in others. Ridiculous to the point you will question your own madness while reading yet something keeps you turning those pages over and over.

So what is it that keeps you reading? The characters, well… Samuel who is the star of this book is boring and plain, in fact, his dog Boswell is far more interesting. Yet, in this book you need that character to keep sane, especially with friendly (and evil) demons to contend with and of course the dwarves (also known as S.O.D.S. Stars of Diminished Stature) all stealing the comedy show.

This clever novel combines dark humour, sadistic storyline and mind-boggling madness so intriguingly well, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

I was thinking what this book is similar too and of course having not yet read the first two books in the series, can’t suggest those. However, it does have a few similarities with Neil Gaiman’s fantastic novel “The Graveyard”, perhaps slightly more adult but that similar dark comedy vein running through both.

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See below for my:

Review of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 

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Know Your History – 31st May – John Connolly born

know your history - writing

On this day… 31st May, 1968 – John Connolly born

Quite excited about today’s author. I have read quite a lot of his novels and although he is most famous for the Charlie Parker series, my favourite is “The Book of Lost Things” and I highly recommend it. A twisted adult interpretation of those much loved childhood classics, that is so well written and highly addictive you will wonder if this was the original tales.

John Connolly (born 31 May 1968, Dublin) is an Irish writer who is best known for his series of novels starring private detective Charlie Parker. Connolly was drawn to the tradition of American crime fiction, because it seemed the best medium through which he could explore the issues of compassion, morality, reparation and salvation. He credits veteran authors Ross Macdonald, James Lee Burke, and Ed McBain as influences, and is often praised for writing in a rich and introspective style of prose.

On Writing

Connolly has posted a few short stories on his website in a gothic horror style. (Visit Here).

I sometimes think that ghost stories/ horror tales are better suited to the short story form than the novel: certainly, I could assemble a collection of great horror stories more easily than I could assemble a list of great horror novels. I can remember great moments john connollyfrom supernatural novels better than the novels themselves, so the short story – which is, in the way I write, one of those ‘moments’ presented in isolation – holds more appeal. Also, in a short story there is less of an onus on the author to explain, or attempt to explain, what lies behind the incident at the heart of the tale. Perhaps too it’s to do with the suspension of disbelief, which holds better over the length of a short story than a novel, unless the novel is written by a superb craftsman.

Did You Know?..

John Connolly admitted finding it hard to write? On his blog he writes:

I find writing hard. It’s not as hard as laying tar on the roads, or coal mining, or at least it’s a different kind of hard. There are days when I don’t want to write, when I feel that I have nothing to say or no inspiration, and I have to force myself to sit down at a computer.

In that sense, journalism was a great teacher for me. There were many occasions on which I had a piece to do for five o’clock that evening, and with no idea how I was going to approach it. But I knew that if I sat down and began working that, eventually, I would produce something, and it would be good enough to print. Getting started was the hard part, and often still is.