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176 of 186 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gate House Is "Fast Out Of The Gate," Then Coasts Until The Last Twenty-Five Pages!
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...
Published on October 28, 2008 by bobbewig

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117 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but definitely not DeMille's best
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...
Published on October 31, 2008 by HeyJudy


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176 of 186 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Gate House Is "Fast Out Of The Gate," Then Coasts Until The Last Twenty-Five Pages!, October 28, 2008
By 
This review is from: The Gate House (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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117 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but definitely not DeMille's best, October 31, 2008
By 
HeyJudy "heyjudy" (East Hampton, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Gate House (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. Why did Sutter's former in-laws always hate him with such intensity? By the standards of these characters, he seems an ideal consort for their daughter. And the resumption of feelings between the former spouses also seems too fast to be realistic.

As for the "Gold Coast," Long Island's North Shore, I grew up near there myself (but light years away in terms of affluence) and DeMille does an excellent job of conveying a sense of the place. Dominick Dunne, however, does it better. With the exception of perhaps Palm Beach in the United States and certain royal palaces in Britain and Europe, there are few other communities where the occupants retain the expectations and entitlements of those remaining old-money families of the Gold Coast.

DeMille also makes good work of the region's fascination with the Mafia. He explores this fascination meaningfully, and his descriptions definitely feel authentic.

As for the terrorists, this subplot turns out to be insignificant yet, ultimately, important in advancing the story.

There are a couple of oddities. DeMille gives a retired Mafia lawyer the exact same name as am important Federal judge in New York; it does not appear, from the acknowledgments at the back of the book, that this was done intentionally, as a compliment. And he gives the Mafia Don's limousine company the same name as a car service/ limo company that has been a presence in New York for decades. Just seems sloppy, when one thinks about it....

In fairness, the whole story all works. The plot is intricate, careful and plausible. Maybe it was nothing more, nothing less, than unsympathetic characters, but I was not engrossed by THE GATE HOUSE. By the end of the book, I did not care about the outcome, one way or another. And this never before has happened to me with a DeMille novel, and it is why I found THE GATE HOUSE a disappointing read.
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119 of 132 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Give us a break, November 9, 2008
By 
Meredith Bradbury (Malvern, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gate House (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
1.0 out of 5 stars This was an awful book . . ., November 10, 2008
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This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
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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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a disappointment from america's best fiction writer, November 4, 2008
This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
Will the real Nelson Demille please get back to work. Six hundred and fifty pages of wise cracks about how much he distains his in-laws is not much to sink your teeth into. Having read all his books, some twice, he is the best fiction writer on the planet. Not this time. Lets hope this little throw away is just a filler while another masterpiece is in the works. If your new to Demille, read: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Lions Game or the dated but terrific: Charm School. The Gate House is a fun read for the first couple of hundred pages. but tedium sets in when another two hundred go by without a plot twist, let alone, a plot. He is laugh out loud funny when it comes to his self-effacing humor and political incorrectness. He has no peer when it comes to creating interesting characters, smart woman, plots, twists and intrigue. The Gate House is sorely lacking all of the above. "Come back Shane...Come back."
T.Harrison
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, November 8, 2008
By 
David Abramowitz (Charleston, WV United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of DeMille. I loved all his books but The Gate House was thoroughly disappointing. From start to finish, if was very slow moving with few surprises. It was mind numbing trying to finish this book. Not much better than a cheap romance novel. I sure hope DeMille gets his act together for the next one.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the Abridged, abridged Version, November 10, 2008
By 
This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
Since the original Gold Coast 18 years ago, DeMille has acquired a new wife, a new son and probably a huge mortgage on his own Gold Coast extravagance featured in the Times Home section. This book is about money--Susan's $100 m inheritance and DeMille's: The only reason this overpadded book is a wordy 674 pages. His publisher must have offered him a deal --royalties by the page count. If you like DeMille's thrillers and I did -- the last 30 pages are all you need to read--that's 30 minutes in a bookstore--unless you are really interested in how UberWasps spend their time in Locust Valley before they die of terminal boredom--Because DeMille is not Fitzgerald or Warton, or Auchincloss or Dunne--a 600 page plus book in which Susan and John and the Stanhopes and the Sutters drink, go to the club, drink, go to funerals, have sex, drink, go shopping, talk about inheritances and John Sutter, spends endless narrative reminding us of the plot of the Gold Coast, is not an effective comedy of manners. In the last 30 pages, DeMille goes Robert Parker, the master of the economical mystery, one better. He creates his usual suspense, violence, action and resolution. After page 200 we know that the young Bellorosa is going to extract venegenance --we have to wait until the last thirty pages to find out the four w's of good writing -who, what, when, where-I hope the Gate House sells enough books so DeMille can pay off his mortgage or whatever and get back to doing what he does best -- writing action thrillers.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Fizzler, November 12, 2008
By 
M. M. Weeks "book worm" (Westlake Village, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
DeMille messed with the Mona Lisa and came away lacking. The scene in Gold Coast when Wall Street attorney John Sutter dines for lunch in Little Italy with Mafia Don Frank Bellarosa is as good and funny as anything I have read in a novel. In the sequel, DeMille chooses to mostly ignore the juxtaposition of clashing social classes and focuses on 600 pages of smashingly boring reconcialiation with his neurotic and spoiled ex-wife, Susan Sutter. Was I the only person who threw the book across the room when John Sutter swooned so easily for Susan? Was I the only person who was disappointed when Sutter didn't have a no holds barred verbal confrontation with his nemesis and father-in-law, William Stanhope? Did anyone else want to see more character development of Frank's evil son, Anthony, who disappeared for most of the book?

I agree with several other reviewers here and rank this one as a major disappointment with a totally predictable ending. If truth be told, DeMille hasn't written a really good book since Up Country. Skip this one unless you are a die-hard fan.

,
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad, November 6, 2008
By 
Denise M. "dml48221" (Palo Alto, California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
I enjoyed The Gold Coast so I was anxious to read this novel which was pegged as somewhat of a sequel. Same characters as The Gold Coast and that is where the similarity stops. It's the whole Sutter saga and one not need read The Gold Coast in order to read this novel. This story picks up with Frank Bellarosa's son Anthony who may be looking for revenge.

CONS
1-absolutely no character development, characters actually come off very shallow;
2-absolutely no plot, the story meanders from one chapter to another without any development of a plot or storyline;
3-much much too long, whomever edited this novel didn't do a very good job, could have been about 200 pages shorter ;
4-the main character John Sutter gets obnoxious. His repeated sarcasm is great for the first 300 pages but after that, it gets dull and I just wanted to yell "enough already!", it makes for a very tedious read;
5-the writing is pretty bad and not what I've come to enjoy from Nelson DeMille. Much of the dialogue is repetitive and not very enjoyable.
PROS
1-none that I can see.
I was very happy to see that it wasn't just me. In reviewing some of the posts, looks like I wasn't the only one disappointed by this latest release.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and Predictable, November 9, 2008
This review is from: The Gate House (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of Nelson DeMille which is why this book was such a major disappointment. When I read that a sequel to Gold Coast was coming out, I thought about reading Gold Coast again. I am glad I didn't because virtually all of the book was reproduced in the Gate House. It was as if DeMille added twenty new pages of material at the beginning and end of this book and then spent the remaining 600 pages endless discussing the story line from the Gold Coast from every possible angle. Then he wraps up the book with an ending that was entirely predictable. I enjoy well written dialogue and I don't require non-stop action in the books I read but I do prefer that a sequel add something to the story rather than spend virtually the entire book droning on about what took place in the previous book. In the end I had to force myself to finish a book from an author whose books I usually enjoy.
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The Gate House
The Gate House by Nelson DeMille (Hardcover - October 28, 2008)
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