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The Creeps: A Samuel Johnson Tale (The Samuel Johnson Series) Hardcover – October 22, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Connolly (The Gates and The Infernals) roars back with a hilariously macabre conclusion to his Samuel Johnson series. Unfortunately, ever since the gates of Hell opened in a basement in the town of Biddlecombe, the place has never been the same. As per usual, all is not right in the topsy-turvy Biddlecombe universe and it remains up to young Samuel Johnson and his loyal dachshund, Boswell, to save the day. As the dynamic duo battle the forces of darkness, incarnated in the forms of various demons, in order to save the world from utter destruction and damnation, a lovesick Samuel also struggles with typical adolescent angst. Connolly proves once again that anything can happen when good battles evil, and the supernatural meets science. --Margaret Flanagan

Review

“Connolly’s graceful prose, laced with acerbically witty footnotes, is a joy to read, and he easily alternates among slapstick comedy, powerful drama, and skin-crawling horror.”—Publishers Weekly

“Brilliantly funny, often touching, with enough action to keep adventure fans on the edges of their chairs, this novel combines top-notch writing with cutting wit.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Roald Dahl meets Harry Potter.”—My Shelf Confessions

“Connolly lets his imagination and his wit run delightfully wild as he describes Hell’s denizens and the human band’s pilgrimage through its geography.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune
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Product Details

  • Series: The Samuel Johnson Series (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books; 1St Edition edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476757097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476757094
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and have, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a "gofer" at Harrods department store in London. I studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which I continue to contribute, although not as often as I would like. I still try to interview a few authors every year, mainly writers whose work I like, although I've occasionally interviewed people for the paper simply because I thought they might be quirky or interesting. All of those interviews have been posted to my website, http://www.johnconnollybooks.com.

I was working as a journalist when I began work on my first novel. Like a lot of journalists, I think I entered the trade because I loved to write, and it was one of the few ways I thought I could be paid to do what I loved. But there is a difference between being a writer and a journalist, and I was certainly a poorer journalist than I am a writer (and I make no great claims for myself in either field.) I got quite frustrated with journalism, which probably gave me the impetus to start work on the novel. That book, Every Dead Thing, took about five years to write and was eventually published in 1999. It introduced the character of Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. Dark Hollow, the second Parker novel, followed in 2000. The third Parker novel, The Killing Kind, was published in 2001, with The White Road following in 2002. In 2003, I published my fifth novel - and first stand-alone book - Bad Men. In 2004, Nocturnes, a collection of novellas and short stories, was added to the list, and 2005 marked the publication of the fifth Charlie Parker novel, The Black Angel. In 2006, The Book of Lost Things, my first non-mystery novel, was published.

Charlie Parker has since appeared in five additional novels: The Unquiet, The Reapers (where he plays a secondary role to his associates, Louis and Angel), The Lovers, The Whisperers, and The Burning Soul. The eleventh Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels, will be available in the UK in August 2012 and in the US in January 2013.

The Gates launched the Samuel Johnson series for younger readers in 2009, followed by Hell's Bells (UK)/The Infernals (US) in 2011. A third Samuel Johnson novel should be finished in 2013.

I am also the co-editor, with fellow author Declan Burke, of Books to Die For, an anthology of essays from the world's top crime writers in response to the question, "Which book should all lovers of crime fiction read before they die?" Books to Die For is available in the UK as of August 2012, and will be available in the US in October 2012.

I am based in Dublin but divide my time between my native city and the United States, where each of my novels has been set.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on November 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
All good things come to an end. And apparently, that is the case with John Connolly’s Samuel Johnson trilogy, a fantasy/horror series for young adults of all ages. This is unfortunate. In a perfect world, folks would be lining up at midnight (or bringing the Internet down with a volume-induced crash) to be among the first to purchase THE CREEPS, the final(?) volume of the Johnson canon.

Samuel Johnson is a somewhat unassuming young man on the cusp of adolescence who resides in the small English town of Biddlecombe with his mum and Boswell, his loyal if (largely) silent dachshund. Samuel has no particular talents or abilities, other than a quiet strength and courage that far exceed his tender years. To wit, while you and I have been going about our business, sleeping peacefully in our beds, young Samuel has saved the Multiverse, which includes this one, twice from the forces of darkness. And let me tell you, the forces of darkness as presented by Connolly and set loose upon Samuel are some scary forces, ones that make Lovecraft’s Cthulhu about as scary as the heavyset guy on “The Big Bang Theory.” If you are familiar with Connolly’s adult horror/mystery/thrillers and wonder where the antagonists in those books come from, the Johnson trilogy answers that question.

Which brings us to THE CREEPS, where one of the dark creatures that Samuel has handily vanquished isn’t about to go creeping into that good night gently by any means. Samuel has his hands full with the lovely if undeserving Lucy Highmore, who is interested in him but for all the wrong reasons. There is also the matter of Nerd and Wormwood, a couple of demon buddies of Samuel who are living in his closet, which is a sore point with Samuel’s mom, though not so major that she doesn’t tolerate them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Mackela on October 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I quite enjoyed reading this humorous, absurd, farfetched fantasy novel. I imagine that it is geared toward the Young Adult reader, but I went right along reading like I was young again. I must admit that I have liked a few YA series, and this one had the same sort of feel as Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl does, not a rip off by any means, just a similar feel. When I get the time, I think that I will have to jump back and read the first two books in the series.

I give The Creeps 4 stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. If you like Artemis Fowl or Diskworld, you will like this.

I received this Digital Review Copy for free from edelweiss.com.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Davie on March 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Third and last in the Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil urban fantasy series for, technically, middle-grade readers, and based in Biddlecombe, England.

My Take
Oh, oh, oh, oh…I so loved this series. It was so incredibly funny with everything a middle-grade boy could adore with fart jokes, poo jokes, and squashy eyeball jokes interspersed with quite intelligent jokes poking fun at most of the social conventions. That Connolly cracks me up left, right, and center! Although, ahem, I think Connolly cheats. By making this a middle-grade novel, it doesn't have to make any sort of sense in an adult world, and he definitely veers off, doing loop-the-loops as he soars through this silly and ridiculous world in which friendship and loyalty are so very important. Almost as important as taking the piss.

Read everything. The chapter titles, the footnotes, and oh yeah, the words between the chapter titles. If you aren't chuckling every few paragraphs, you must be reading the wrong book. One of the kids must'a snuck the real John Connolly off and left you with some sober tome.
Footnote 38. "In The Gates, Samuel discovered the Abernathys and their friends trying to summon up demons in the cellar of a house. I really should be charging you extra for this."

Footnote 39: "Take that, critics. You thought I was just making all this stuff up as I went along, but there was a plan, I tell you, a plan! (Cue maniacal laughter, and a gibbering henchman calling me…"

What could be the harm in a toy story opening? Haven't seen Chuckie, hmmm? It's a desire for revenge gone out of Mrs. Abernathy's control. It's too bad she keeps miscalculating Samuel and his friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Books and Lesser Evils! on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
John Connolly writes the dark, violent and visceral Charlie Parker murder mysteries that if you have never read, you are really missing out. It's the knowledge that he writes those books that make his Samuel Johnson novels so much damn fun.
The Creeps is the third book in the series, following The Gates and The Infernals that are geared toward the young adult market; but like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy before them, will be enjoyed by all ages. Only pick up The Gates and The Infernals first before starting the Creeps. If not be prepared to be duly scolded throughout the reading of The Creeps by Connolly for having to explained situations to you that had you read the prior novels, you would know all about!

"...But if Wreckit & Sons sold a lot of things that people might want, it also tried to sell a lot of things that nobody could possibly want. As he grew older, Mr. Wreckit became more and more eccentric. He began calling it Wreckit & Sons for starters, which annoyed his daughters greatly, as he didn't have any sons..."

Samuel Johnson, in this third installment is home in the small town of Biddlecombe, with his mom, his faithful dog Boswell and two slightly reformed hell spawn demons; Nurd and Wormwood. There are also two other demons; Shan and Gath, who hang around because they just love the beer. Shan and Gath have decided that they would rather brew beer than go around and be demons. You would know this of course, Connolly points out if you had bothered to read the prior two books. He will eventually have enough of you and accuse you of stealing this current book and probably not having the ability to read at all!
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