Hell's Bells Samuel Johnson Vs the Devil by John Connolly

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Samuel Johnson v. The Devil, Round II. Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Just start running. If you're looking for frights and a good deal of laught too, then don't miss the Samuel Johnson vs The Devil series that began with The Gates, is followed by this one and the third is The Creeps.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Samuel Johnson vs The Devil series a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review the first in the series, The Gates. Here's a taster....'a really brilliant, breathtaking book that captures your attention from the first word...'

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Hell's Bells Samuel Johnson Vs the Devil by John Connolly

Samuel Johnson - with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd - has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down. When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?


A small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review the first title in the series, The Gates. Read their reviews below.

Evie Scott-Sentance, age 10 - 'This is an exciting story but also surprisingly funny given it has such a dark subject. It made me laugh a lot and it reminded me of Lemony Snicket...I recommend this book as an exciting, funny read.' Click Here to read the full review.

Darcy Gray, age 11 -
'The Gates is a hilarious book and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I would recommend it to everybody.' Click Here to read the full review.

Josh Hall, age 13 -
'Extremely good and strangely realistic to say it was very much a fantasy book...It was a good book, the likes of which I have not read before' Click Here to read the full review.

Traviss Chaytors, age 10 - 'A brilliant book with demons, dogs and gargoyles and you just can’t put it down.' Click Here to read the full review.

Safiyah Afghan, age 15 -
'Hilarious and dark, this book is comical and darkly humorous. Full of adventure, humour and laced with scarier moments The Gates is perfect for all readers.' Click Here to read the full review.

Dylan Sweet, age 10 - 'This is a fantastic book about demons, a little boy called Samuel and a dog called Boswell and an amazing adventure...I would rate this book four star because it is scary, humorous and adventurous at the same time.' Click Here to read the full review.

Alice Watkinson, age 10 - 'a really brilliant, breathtaking book that captures your attention from the first word... A work of pure genius with spine-tingling twists and turns that stay in your mind forever.' Click Here to read the full review.

Jodi Coffman, age 11 -
'The Gates is a fast-moving, action-packed thriller. It is a real page turner and I can't wait for the next in the series.' Click Here to read the full review.

Octavia Sharman - 'I would recommend The Gates to any science-loving readers who are open to new ideas.' Click Here to read the full review.


Praise for THE GATES: 'Brilliant. I loved every word of it. John has found a voice that compares favourably with Stephen King and Monty Python which is not an easy trick. The Gates is delightfully horrific and hilarious and will create legions of fans among the living and undead, who will be bloodthirsty for more.

'Destined to be another runaway success appealing to both young adults and their parents alike.'

'Incredibly enjoyable.'

'A demonic, darkly comic tale ... satisfyingly peppered with science, history and amusing footnotes on everything from St Thomas Aquinas to quantum theory, and will go down well with readers of Eoin Colfer and Lemony Snicket.'

About the Author

John Connolly

JOHN CONNOLLY sees a strong connection between his adult and children’s books … ‘Most writers only have one or two themes to which they constantly return, and one of my themes is childhood. I make no apologies for that, and the Samuel Johnson books ‘are simply another aspect of that fascination – albeit one that allows me to be a little funnier than in my adult books, and permits my imagination a different, and perhaps freer rein.’ With strong opinions on how scary books for children can be, he brings a noire element to his writing for youngsters that will chill and thrill and entertain. Born in Dublin, he is a bestselling adult novelists known for his Charlie Parker mystery thriller books.

He has also co-written a young adult novel called CONQUEST with Jennie Ridyard.

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Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Publication date

10th November 2011




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