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The Gate House Paperback – November 3, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

DeMille's follow-up to his bestselling The Gold Coast features protagonist John Sutter falling back into old habits and acquaintances as he comes home to Long Island. Narrator Christian Rummel gives an awkward reading, struggling to capture the character of Sutter through a voice that sounds manufactured and often uneasy. Rummel fares slightly better with supporting characters such as Sutter's ex-wife, though the first-person narrative from Sutter's perspective ensures that most of the novel is read with that same nervous tone. Rummel never finds his groove, eternally searching for the proper narrative tone that will captivate the audience. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 18). (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

In this long-awaited but ponderous sequel to The Gold Coast (1990), it is ten years later, and John Sutter has returned for the funeral of a woman who isn't dead yet. He's also looking to restart his life and possibly hook up with his ex-wife, Susan, who'd had an affair with a local Mafia don she later killed. Confounding the problem is the don's son, who has taken over the family business and wants vengeance against both John and Susan. While there are interesting characters, and Sutter's first-person observations are clever, it takes forever for the action to get going. Even an exciting climax doesn't help. DeMille has developed a reputation for fast-paced action thrillers, and this is neither. His name will guarantee a level of success, and those patrons who enjoyed reading about the lives of the rich and decadent in The Gold Coast will enjoy this sequel. The rest will hope DeMille's next effort is more compelling. For larger collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.]—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446564230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446564236
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (650 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in New York City in 1943. My father was a Canadian, serving at that time with the American Navy, and my mother was a Brooklyn native, trying to figure out how to grow a Victory Garden for the war effort.

My family moved to Elmont, Long Island, New York in 1947 where my father was a house builder, and my mother was a homemaker raising four boys.
I attended Elmont public schools, played football, ran track, and was on the wrestling team. I graduated Elmont Memorial High School in 1962 and spent the summer at the beach.

I attended Hofstra University, but left before graduation to join the Army in 1966. I served three years in the United States Army as an infantry lieutenant and spent one year in Vietnam as a platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division. You'll see that I used this experience in my novels "Word of Honor" and "Up Country."

After the end of my military service, I returned to Hofstra where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. I married and had two children, Lauren and Alex, and eventually divorced.

I held a series of good and bad jobs between 1970 and 1974, and in that year, for some reason I can't remember, I decided to be a writer. My first books were paperback originals, New York City police detective novels, thankfully all out of print and hard to find.

In 1978, I published my first major novel, "By the Rivers of Babylon," which was a commercial and critical success. Since then, I've written fourteen other novels and had a good time creating my characters John Corey, Ben Tyson (played by Don Johnson in the TNT movie of "Word of Honor"), foxy Emma Whitestone, Paul Brenner (played by John Travolta in the Paramount movie of "The General's Daughter"), sexy Susan Sutter, the never-say-die CIA officer Ted Nash, and my favorite villain, Asad Khalil, a misunderstood Libyan terrorist with unresolved childhood issues.

I am a member of The Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America (past President), American Mensa (thank God I don't have to retake that test), and I hold three honorary doctorate degrees (thank God I didn't have to study for them) from Hofstra University, Long Island University, and Dowling College.
I'm married to the love of my life, Sandy Dillingham, whom I met while I was on a publicity tour in Denver. We have a son, James, two years old, and he's keeping me young.

There's more about me on my website. Thanks for reading about me here, and I hope you enjoy my novels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If The Gate House was a race horse, I'd say it came out fast from the gate, pretty much coasted for the large part of the race, then put on the speed in the last couple of lengths. For this reader, The Gate House "placed" in the race but was not the big "winner." I've been a big fan, but with diminishing intensity, of Nelson DeMille since his first book, By The Rivers Of Babylon. Demille's The Gold Coast, to which The Gate House is the sequel, is one of my favorite books of his; and so, when I recently received an ARC of The Gate House I put it at the very top of my to-be-read list. Overall, I enjoyed The Gate House but not as much as The Gold Coast. I'd grade it a B-.The main reason being that with the exception of the last 25 pages of the 667 copy I read, little of any substance happens after the first 100 or so pages. In typical DeMille fashion, his character development is very strong -- particularly in regards to his main male character, John Sutter, whose sarcastic wit permeates throughout this book -- and his narrative ability is at the top of his game. However, after several hundred pages of appreciating these characteristics I was getting very impatient for some action and thrills to occur. I would have enjoyed The Gate House much more if it had 200-300 pages less fluff/filler. The Gate House, for me, is a classic example of the adage, "Less is more." Despite these limitations, if you're a fan of The Gold Coast you're going to want to read The Gate House, which takes place ten years later when Sutter has come home to the Gold Coast of Long Island to attend the funeral of an old family servant. I doubt if you're going to dislike The Gate House. As a matter of fact, you'll probably think it is pretty good. The purpose of my review is to urge you to not -- as I did -- expect a book as good as the one on which it is based.
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118 of 125 people found the following review helpful By HeyJudy VINE VOICE on October 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was so pleased to be able to read Nelson DeMille's latest novel that I didn't even wait for Amazon to it deliver to me, as is my wont. Instead, I rushed out to my neighborhood bookstore to buy an undiscounted copy on the day of publication.

First, let me state that DeMille is my favorite novelist, which may be obvious from reading the paragraph above. Therefore, it is possible that I hold him to a higher standard than I do other writers. Either way, THE GATE HOUSE is a good book. It's just not a great book, though I think that most authors would be pleased to craft anything as worthwhile as this. DeMille, however, may be a victim of his own success, because THE GATE HOUSE simply is not up to the bar he set himself.

John Corey, his protagonist in a quartet of books, is a wiseguy (not the Mafia kind) who is lovable in spite of his big mouth. John Whitman Sutter, the protagonist of THE GATE HOUSE, merely seems like a self-impressed, condescending jerk. I did read and like THE GOLD COAST, which also was about John Sutter, but I don't remember having such a negative reaction then to this character.

In THE GATE HOUSE, DeMille blends some of his favorite themes, including Long Island, the Mafia and the Muslim terrorists. The only thing missing is Russian oligarchs; having read and admired THE CHARM SCHOOL, I suspect that he is saving them for his next novel.

The novel is well-structured and never seems strained, as happens with many thrillers. At the same time, Sutter and his wife, Susan Stanhope Sutter, are so unsympathetic that it is hard to become engaged in their problems. It is difficult to care about them, it is difficult to like them.

In addition, a few plot points are a bit pat.
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119 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Meredith Bradbury on November 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Nelson, Nelson, Nelson...get an editor, man. And then get a plot. And then find yourself a nice quiet place where you can write undisturbed and undistracted. I've always thought Nelson DeMille was an uneven writer. I've loved some of his books, or parts of them, and barely tolerated others. But this mess was unreadable. I got through 150 pages and thought, "what am I doing with this time-waster?" The main character was insufferable and obnoxious. The scenes dragged on interminably. It took him 6 or 7 pages to get out of the old lady's bedroom from right when he was on the verge of leaving. And then he gives her a kiss! But I thought he hated her. Let's not even talk about the scenes with the Mafia Don's Son, Anthony. Just so much could have been cut here to make the book tighter and more interesting. No, I mean it, Nelson. Get away by yourself where you can think and then hire an excellent editor to help you craft your story. Then we'll see.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Vince Dattoli on November 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nelson DeMille has written a lot of great novels, but this isn't one of them. He gets into endless, excruciatingly boring detail and his repetitive, practically every other page sarcastic references to the affair his wife had had in The Gold Coast became tedious beyond belief.

His usually very funny wisecracking style that drew me to his books in the first place is totally absent here. I actually think I smiled three times. His comments are at best, obvious, and he even sometimes followed his remarks to Susan by ". . . (Susan) thought that was funny" as if we needed to be reminded.

From past experience, the prospect of a 677 page novel from him was anticipation of a feast to partake of, but I found myself starting to flip pages after a hundred and fifty or so, it got so tedious. After about 400, I just flipped ahead to the last two chapters to see what happened, and was met with a totally pedestrian ending.

If you have not read his other earlier work like the Gold Coast, Plum Island, The Charm School and Night Fall, you really should, but this is really not representative of his best stuff.
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