Read Hell's Gate by Laurent Gaudé Jane Aitken Emily Boyce Online

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When his son is killed by gangsters' crossfire on his way to school, Neapolitan taxi driver Matteo is consumed with despair. An encounter with strangers in a café raises the possibility of bringing young Pippo back from the dead, if they can locate the entrance to the underworld . . ....

Title : Hell's Gate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781910477328
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Hell's Gate Reviews

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2018-12-18 02:27

    _Η αγκαλιά του διαβόλου ανοίγει στη Νάπολη_«Ας ακουστεί το γέλιο σου μέχρι εκεί κάτω κι ας ζεστάνει όσους μας λείπουν». Μετωπική επίθεση στο θάνατο με οδηγό το διάβολο και τοπογράφο τον Άδη επιχειρείται σε αυτή τη μακάβρια και βαθιά συναισθηματική ιστορία. Η δαντική κωμωδία και οι μύθοι του Ορφέα μας οδηγούν με απόλυτη ακρίβεια στην ξεχασμένη πύλη της κολάσεως στη βέβηλη και ιερή Νάπολη. Ένα εξάχρονο αγοράκι χάνει με βίαιο και άδικο τρόπο τη ζωή του και οι γονείς του έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με την πιο τραγική εκδίκηση της ανθρώπινης μοίρας, πρέπει να ζήσουν καταραμένοι και στοιχειωμένοι με την απώλεια του παιδιού τους. Η σχέση τους καταστρέφεται και ο καθένας ξεχωριστά βιώνει το αναπόδραστο μέσα στο έρεβος της δυστυχίας. Δεν υπάρχει χειρότερη κατάρα,δεν μπορεί να εξομοιωθεί με κανέναν πόνο,κανέναν εφιάλτη,τίποτα πιο οδυνηρό και σπαρακτικά αδιανόητο,όλα τα δεινά μαζί με την απόγνωση και την απελπισία ενώνονται,τρώνε σάρκα και ψυχή άσχημα και βίαια,όταν δυο άνθρωποι γονατίζουν μπροστά στον τάφο του παιδιού της. Το ρίγος της βάρβαρης απώλειας σκίζει ψυχές. Τα όρια της ανθρώπινης φύσης ξεπερνιούνται και τότε όλα μπορεί να συμβούν!Μετά απο το τραγικό γεγονός η μητέρα διαλέγει τη λήθη. Βουλιάζει στη λάσπη της δυστυχίας,εγκαταλείπει ότι αγάπησε,οδηγείται βίαια στην τρέλα και την αυτοκαταστροφή. Ο πατέρας θέλει να θυμάται. Διαλέγει τη μνήμη ως παρηγοριά στον αδηφάγο πόνο του,όμως δεν μπορεί να διαχειριστεί το ψυχοφθόρο θανατερό και αποφασίζει να εκδικηθεί. Ίσως,να είναι αληθινή η σκιά της ιστορίας που θέλει τη μνήμη να είναι η μοναδική επικοινωνία και η έσχατη επαφή ανάμεσα στους ζωντανούς και τους νεκρούς. Ίσως, πράγματι όταν χάνουμε έναν δικό μας άνθρωπο του δίνουμε μαζί εκεί που θα πάει ένα κομμάτι απο τον εαυτό μας για συντροφιά. Αυτά τα κομμάτια μας μένουν για πάντα κρεμασμένα στους αιμοσταγείς θάμνους. Είναι στην πύλη της κόλασης και δεν κάνει να περάσουν στην πόλη των νεκρών. Ίσως,οι ψυχές στην κόλαση να ζούνε και να ζεσταίνονται ανάλογα με το φως που εκπέμπουν,το οποίο τροφοδοτείται απο τη νοσταλγία των δικών τους ανθρώπων. Οι ψυχές φωτίζουν και χαμογελούν και κλαίνε απο χαρά όταν τις θυμόμαστε τρυφερά. Άλλες πάλι,κλαίνε και αδειάζουν,εντελώς διάφανες πέφτουν στο κενό,τις τρώει το απόλυτο κενό γιατί κανείς πια δεν τις σκέφτεται. Αν κατέβουμε στη χώρα των νεκρών θα διασχίσουμε τον Ποταμό των δακρύων γεμάτο ψυχές που στριγκλίζουν πριν παραδοθούν στη χειραγώγηση του Θανάτου αδιάφορες και υπάκουες. Θα συναντήσουμε διάφορες καταστάσεις ακαθόριστου τρόμου πριν φτάσουμε στην καρδιά του Βασιλείου του Άδη,εκεί που ο θάνατος στοιβάζει τις ψυχές. Και θα καταλήξουμε στο Κάστρο των Νεκρών στην καρδιά της κόλασης,εκεί που επικρατεί η απόλυτη παγερή σιωπή που διαπερνάει,ανασαίνει,πατάει και αισθάνεται τα πάντα. Όταν ακούσουμε τα ανατριχιαστικά βογγητά,τις κατάρες,τα έντονα ουρλιαχτά πόνου και βοήθειας θα έχουμε φτάσει στη «σπείρα των νεκρών». Είναι η πορεία των σκιών σύμφωνα με το φως που εκπέμπουν λίγο πριν οδηγηθούν στον «δεύτερο θάνατο». Στο κέντρο της σπείρας υπάρχει το έρεβος του απόλυτου κενού. Εκεί εξαφανίζονται για πάντα οι ψυχές δίνοντας τη θέση τους σε νέες αφίξεις. Η «πύλη της Κόλασης» είναι ένα βάρβαρα υποβλητικό βιβλίο και σίγουρα δεν ενδυκνείται για αναγνώστες που δεν αντέχουν το ψυχρό και θανατερό συναισθηματικό σύμπλεγμα του τραγικού. Συγκλονιστικό ανάγνωσμα -κυρίως για όσους είναι γονείς ή για αυτούς που πιστεύουν στην αιώνια αγάπη-αφιερωμένο στους νεκρούς που κάποτε υπήρξαν στη ζωή μας με όποιον βαθμό οικειότητας κι αν είχαμε και μας μεταβίβασαν λίγο απο τον εαυτό τους. Βασίζεται σε μια συγκλονιστική ιστορία ανάμεσα σε μύθο,φαντασία-πραγματικότητα και στορία. Οι πύλες της κόλασης εδώ ανοίγουν και υποδέχονται μόνο όσους τολμάμε μια κατάβαση στον Άδη και στο συλλογικό ασυνείδητο. Καλή ανάγνωση!!Κολασμένους ασπασμούς!

  • Chris
    2018-12-20 06:10

    I received and advance copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for and honest review.The nice people at Gallic books sent me an email asking me if I would "Fancy a Trip to the Underworld" and asked me to consider reviewing this book. I confess that I wasn't sure about this one, but I do like Gallic and they have provided a constant stream of books that I love by authors that I am unfamiliar with but have now become favorites. Despite my hesitation, I gave it a try and hoped that this novel wouldn't turn out to be one of those allegorical mind-benders that just made my brain hurt. Wow, was I wrong.The underworld is painfully (and geographically) real as are the terrible circumstances that bring our protagonist Matteo to its bronze gates. His six year old son Pippo is killed in the cross fire of a gang fire fight and his sudden and violent death drop Matteo and his wife Giuliana down an elevator shaft of grief which destroys their relationship and leaves them reeling with violent thoughts of violence and revenge. Matteo reaches out to Guiliana but she is unavailable to him and instead gives him an ultimatum--bring me back my son or kill his murderer.Matteo sets out on a mission of revenge but instead winds up meeting up with other lost souls, also seeking comfort, and finds a professor who tells him, in all seriousness, that the gates to the underworld are real and that he can direct him to their location. With a faithless priest seeking redemption by his side, he enters the underworld with the intention of dragging Pippo back into the world of the living. The underworld is vaguely Dantesque in terms of the fact that the souls are in torment, but Gaude's underworld is much more like the Greek Hades. The inhabitants of the underworld are "shades" whose main suffering seems to be a unrequited desire to return to the land of the living and there apparently is no true heaven or hell. I won't go into more detail because to do so would be to spoil the pleasure of the discovery. Suffice it to say that Gaude's underworld is a very interesting and profound place with fascinating locations.Gaude's background is theatrical and it shows in this novel. In theater it is always all about the characters and this novel is very theatrical in that respect. You ache for these poor souls. The pain is relentless and it is impossible to not be moved by their suffering. However, I also found the plot, especially when we venture past the gates of the underworld, to be thrilling. Gaude is a wonderful writer with great style and depth.I am pretty sure that this book will show up on my 2017 favorites list. 5 stars.

  • Sue
    2019-01-11 04:18

    An unusual take on grief and remorse, and a very effective one. Matteo feels responsible for his son’s death and jumps at the chance to see if he can locate him in the underworld. He finds that ‘Hell’ is a place of no comfort, where the dead are constantly reminded of their mistakes and missed opportunities - much the same as Matteo’s life has become since his son died. His journey takes him through the different stages the dead experience before they are snuffed out for good. I was particularly taken with the concept of the Spiral of the Dead - a mechanism where spirits move inexorably towards oblivion at the centre of the whirlpool, their inner light dimming, some faster than others depending on how long they are still remembered back in the land of the living. I defy anyone to become at all engaged with any of the characters, they are so sketchily drawn, but their purpose is to lead us on the journey and that is a work of great ingenuity (and not too gruesome, which I found a relief).Review copy courtesy of Gallic Books via NetGalley, many thanks.

  • Aaron Nash
    2018-12-18 08:02

    2 and a half stars.Sometimes when you read a book it just doesnt do it for you. This was one of those times. It isnt bad, but i just found myself bored with it. The characters werent all that good to read about and for a relatively short book many times i found that it dragged. The premise itself is interesting though and the descriptions of hell were really smart. It was Good but not great. I received a copy of this from netgalley and these are my thoughts.

  • Cathy
    2018-12-22 04:28

    I received an advance review copy courtesy of NetGalley and publisher, Gallic Books, in return for an honest review.This is a strangely unnerving little book, blending a story of loss and vengeance with elements of magical realism and questions about the nature of life and death. Gaude powerfully depicts the impact on Matteo and his wife, Guiliana, of their son’s death. Matteo is consumed by guilt, constantly reliving the day his son was shot and wondering about “the minute microscopic changes that could have altered the course of events”. Guiliana’s response is implacable anger – at the man who killed their son, at the sympathy of friends and relatives, even at God for allowing it to happen – becoming like some avenging angel or heroine of Greek tragedy. Her challenge, “Bring me my son, Matteo. Bring him back to me” sees Matteo embark on a Dantesque journey. A thought provoking read that I admired rather than loved.See my full review at https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.c...

  • Mandy
    2018-12-26 06:07

    I enjoyed this up to a point. Gaudé writes so well, so fluently and so empathetically that his exploration of how grief and loss undo couple Matteo and Guiliana after the death of their son is both haunting and very moving. But I just couldn’t buy into the central premise of the book that there exists some sort of mythological underworld with access from our own world and the events that transpire in that cross-over from one world to the next didn’t work for me. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting and compelling tale and one that has stayed with me.

  • Jim Coughenour
    2018-12-19 08:01

    What began (I thought) as a Neapolitan revenge story shifted into a more sinister key, with visions of the afterlife more horrifying than anything in Virgil or Dante. I found the plot almost incoherent, and fairly sickening – despite (at mid-book) a somewhat enjoyable cast of disreputable characters, including a café owner who can craft a coffee for any mood or occasion. I need a cup now to chase this story from my mind. Death comes as the end, said Agatha Christie, and we can only hope she's right.

  • Breakaway Reviewers
    2018-12-20 04:05

    There is no hope in this book yet it is strangely life affirmingAlthough this novel is set in Naples and its surrounding areas the author is French and the book is a translation from his mother tongue. Translated books often lose a good deal in the transition. There are a few wonderful exceptions such as “The Name of the Rose” and “Focault’s Pendulum” by the marvellous, late Umberto Eco and the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankell but by and large it usually pays dividends if books can be read in the original language in the same way that foreign films often benefit from being watched with sub titles instead of a dubbed version. Fortunately, this translation, as far as I can judge, retains all the flavour of the original.It is a story about love but more predominantly it’s one about death. The death of six-year-old Pippo who is caught in cross fire on an Italian street while being hurried along to school, gripping his father’s hand. The effect of little Pippo’s death on his parents, Matteo and Giuliana, can subsequently be experienced in the text which follows the opening sequence. Effectively their lives stop. Nothing in the world matters – not even each other.A chance meeting with other dark characters leads Matteo to a determination that he can go through the gates of Hell of the title and retrieve his son. He may have failed his wife but he will not fail Pippo. It may be arrogant to suggest it but I feel that no-one who is not a parent can fully understand the love of a parent for a child. It transcends all other types of love and most parents would give their lives for their children. What follows is a descriptive passage par excellence. The underworld in all its glory and the suffering of the souls of the dead.The novel in a strange way is life affirming even though there is no explanation as to why an innocent six-year-old should be trapped in the underworld. The reader is transfixed by the action which rolls out in front of him and totally suspends disbelief. There is little joy in the book. Instead there is total grief and endless sadness. It’s not at all uplifting yet it tackles a subject most people would prefer to ignore although it is a wonderful reminder that life is short and transitory and death lasts for infinity. It’s also a fine example of how a relatively short book can also be a great one. The read is well worth the effort and highly rewarding.mr zorgBreakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.

  • Becky
    2019-01-13 05:21

    I loved this story of guilt, revenge and loss set against the backdrop of Naples. The characters are brilliantly portrayed and the concept of portals to the underworld being squirreled away under various cities is handled very well. A really interesting and we'll written short novel.

  • Ryan Sparks
    2018-12-17 05:18

    I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Gallic Books. I know I'm not the first (and I'm sure to not be the last) person to pick this one up expecting a horror novel. However, don't let the genre deter you from giving this a read. I was pleasantly surprised to find this was not just another author's take on the horrors of hell. Instead, Hell's Gate focuses more on the grief and psychological effects parents go through when losing a child. There's not much to the characters in this novel, though. Each one, to include the main characters, father Matteo and mother Giuliana, were incredibly two-dimensional. I was not in any way attached to them and wasn't necessarily effected by their inevitable fates. If it wasn't for the fact that I myself have children, I don't think I would understand the motivations of the either of them. That's not to say this made for a bad read. To me, the characters were the only issue, but not anything that ruins the book. The story kicks off on a high note and maintains a high level of excitement throughout. You're made aware (kind of) from the start about what's going, with the details unfolding as you continue the journey. Even with the sequence in hell being a fairly short stint, there is no shortage of action. Gaudé was somehow able to take the aforementioned two-dimensional characters and place them in a unique situation, which made for a truly page-turning story.Overall, I give this one a solid four stars. I am able to forgive the issue with the characters since this a truly original story told from a unique perspective. I recommend Hell's Gate to anyone that's a fan of a non-horror story tackling the ideas of if life, death, and the after-life.

  • Lisa
    2018-12-19 09:06

    The Underworld doesn’t often make it into the books I read. I used to read Charles Mikolaycak’s exquisite illustrated version of the story of Orpheus and his doomed quest for Eurydice to my students, and of course there is Dante’s Inferno which tells the story of the poet’s journey through Hell, guided by the shade of Virgil. But as Professor Provolone remarks in this novel, the modern world regards such ideas as insane.Laurent Gaudé’s Hell’s Gate – with its allusion to Dante’s concentric circles of suffering on the cover – is a story of parents driven mad by grief when their eight-year-old only child Pippo is shot dead in the crossfire of a gangland shootout in Naples in 1980. But the story begins in 2002 with an adult Pippo on a vengeful quest. He is a barista par excellence who makes coffee that is just right for however his customers are feeling, but he’s about to abandon his growing fame because he’s going to take his revenge on Toto Cullaccio, the man who shot him and got away with it scot-free. And he’s not afraid of what he’s about to do…I sip my coffee slowly as the steam rises off it. I’m not afraid. I’ve already been to hell – what could possibly be scarier than that? All I have to fend off are my own nightmares. At night, the bloodcurdling cries and groans of pain come flooding back. I smell the nauseating stench of sulphur. The forest of souls surrounds me. At night, I become a child again, begging the world not to swallow me up. (p.6) To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2017/03/17/h...

  • Bo'ness Library Bookgroup
    2019-01-07 03:09

    "When his son is killed by gangsters' crossfire on his way to school, Neapolitan taxi driver Matteo is consumed by despair. But just when he feels life has lost all meaning, he encounters a man who claims the living can find ways into the afterlife. And legend says that there's an entrance to the underworld beneath Naples. What if Matteo had a chance of bringing Pippo back from the dead?"We found it impossible to categorise this book. It isn't Crime, although crimes are committed, and it isn't Horror, although some of it is horrific. It isn't really a book you "enjoy" as the themes of the loss of a child, the ensuing grief, revenge, redemption, and love make for quite painful reading. It is very well written, though of course we read it in translation, and it gave us a lot to think about and discuss. There is a very bleak portrayal of the underworld, very vivid and descriptive, reminiscent of Dante's 'Inferno', 'Pilgrim's Progress', and the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, some very odd yet likable characters, and the story line is unlike anything we had read before. Our rating of 2 stars is possibly a bit harsh, and as the book is quite short, we would recommend trying this if you like books that are unusual and intriguing.

  • Chrissie
    2018-12-23 03:24

    This is a brave book that changes the way we think about what happens after death .I found it very haunting and heart wrenching for the parents of the dead little boy ,but the aspect of a Hells Gate was very daunting and frightening .Why would an innocent child end up in hell, what happened to Heaven ? I loved the characters and its true that when a tragedy happens to a family it either makes them stronger or tears them apart .If you could exchange your life for the life of your dead child you would .

  • Jimena
    2018-12-26 02:15

    A thrilling story that will change the way to think about death and what lies beyond.

  • Clem's
    2019-01-01 10:27

    sublimissime... entre la mythologie, la marginalité et l'amour famillial... a mettre entre toutes les mains!!!

  • Jill Elizabeth
    2018-12-23 04:24

    “We no longer believe in anything. And in order not to depress ourselves we call that progress.”Oddly, this one was a slow start for me, but I’m so glad I stuck with it… The opening is rather banal – and then suddenly quite horrifying (I have a toddler) – and as I had not read the blurb recently, and couldn’t recall precisely what the book was about, I was having a hard time getting invested in the story as a result. Then I went back online to check the blurb – and knew I’d have to keep reading. I’m immensely glad I did. The book was a glorious tale of love and faith and the lengths we will go to for our families – both the ones we are born to/with and the ones we make. Giuliana and Matteo suffer more than any people should have to – and keep suffering long after one would expect the capacity of human suffering to allow… But ultimately they are each saved through their own, individual, brand of faith and it allows each of them to achieve their own, individual, form of redemption.I certainly didn’t take any comfort in Gaude’s vision of the afterlife – this is not the fluffy clouds of Renaissance heaven or the choose-your-own-adventure of Matheson’s What Dreams May Come… This is a brutal and harsh vision of What Comes Next, with no differentiation between the good, the bad, or the indifferent. It is also not a morality tale of any conventional format – there is no visible post-death reward for being good (or even innocently blameless), no punishment for evil, there is just a devastating wearing down. The redemption that comes in this novel is hard-won – it is not a reward for good behavior, but rather a result of painstaking effort and an unflagging faith. And maybe that IS, ultimately, the moral of the tale…‘But where is it?” asked Matteo, a new curiosity in his voice.‘Where is what?’‘Death.’‘All around you,’ was the reply. ‘In every dark recess and corner. Under every stone laid here millennia ago. In the dust that flies and in the cold that grips us. It is everywhere.’This is not a story for the faint of heart – there is devastation here, a scorching of the earth that leaves very few people standing through most of the tale… But in the end, love will out – even when it doesn’t look the way we thought or hoped it would. All in all, it was quite a beautifully moving tale – difficult to read but worth the effort.Hell’s Gate will be available May 10. My review copy was provided via NetGalley.

  • Janet Emson
    2018-12-31 06:17

    Matteo’s world comes to an end when his 6 year old son Pippo is killed, caught in the middle of a gang war. Guiliana, Pippo’s mother finds the only way she can cope with her grief is to never think of her son again. Matteo meanwhile, finds himself driving around the city of Naples at night. It is on one of these lonely drives that he encounters a man who tells him about the underworld. The world where souls roam and the dead live. And so Matteo vows to recover Pippo from Hell’s Gate.Though this is a short novel, it packs a lot into it’s 190 pages. Laurent Gaudé turns the idea of heaven and hell on it’s head. Here, in the harbours of Naples, there is a gate to the underworld, the place where souls go when the physical body has died. It is a dark, cold, horror filled place, one that Dante would be proud of. There are no golden gates and trumpeted angels in this version of the afterlife. The prose is brief but almost lyrical. Images of the underworld, of the sea of souls that must be crossed, of the vistas are vivid. The grief of Matteo and Guiliana is palpable and almost heart-breaking.Hell’s Gate is not a murder mystery, though a murder does trigger everything. It’s a study in grief and how it affects everyone differently. It is a story of love conquering all, even death and of how love can break people, the loss of a person turning someone into a shadow of their former selves.The novel was translated from French by Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken. As with all good translations it is easy to forget that the novel wasn’t written in English. The feeling that these are the intended, original words of the author is ever present in Hell’s Gate.Hell’s Gate explores the taint that death leaves on those left behind, of how we each of us cope in different ways. Not always an easy read and certainly not comfortable, this is a thought-provoking, unsettling, often heart-wrenching and moving novel.

  • Maria Beltrami
    2019-01-15 07:11

    Non è fino a oltre la metà che si capisce la vera natura di questo libro. Inizia infatti come una comune storia ambientata in una Napoli moderna eppure senza tempo, incredibilmente ben descritta visto che l'autore non è italiano. Un uomo compie una vendetta per una morte avvenuta tanti anni prima: un bambino ucciso da un proiettile vagante durante una sparatoria. Il bambino è l'unico figlio di una coppia che quella morte consumerà fino al suo limite estremo. Ma chi è quell'uomo, quale legame ha con quella coppia e quel bambino? Tra personaggi che solo Napoli può partorire, e per mezzo di una vera e propria, agghiacciante discesa agli inferi, tutti le risposte verranno date, ma il mistero più grande, quello costituito da un dolore così grande da condannare alla morte in vita, non potrà essere chiarito.Molto insolito e molto interessante, una Napoli magnificamente connotata, un libro da leggere.Ringrazio Gallic Books e Netgalley per avermi fornito una copia gratuita in cambio di una recensione onesta.It is up to more than half that you understand the true nature of this book. It starts like a common story set in a modern yet timeless Naples, incredibly well described considering that the author isn't Italian. A man carries a vengeance for a death happened many years ago: a boy killed by a stray bullet during a shootout. The boy is the only child of a couple that death will consume up to its limit. But who is this man, whose ties has with the couple and the child? Among the characters that only Naples can give birth, and through a true, chilling descent into hell, all the answers will be given, but the greatest mystery, the one constituted by a pain so great to be condemned to death into life, can't be clarified.Very unusual and very interesting, a Naples beautifully characterized, a book to read.Thank Gallic Books and Netgalley for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lestat
    2019-01-10 07:28

    So, apparently I had wished for this book on Netgalley, and promptly got it. I don't remember why I wished for it, it doesn't seem like my kinda thing. I don't know what to make of it either - its fantasy elements seem contrived and derived from so many known works of art. It doesn't feel very original, yet its foundation is overwhelmingly practical. Matteo and Giuliana are torn apart by the sudden violence that kills their son - the first third of the book wallows in their unending grief; their sorrow feels tangible and real. But, soon we descend into the realm of the fantastic, and this part of the book feels far too familiar to be novel. It's too derivative of the works of Dante's 'Inferno', without being a direct copy of the same. Despite this, it is a compelling and gripping read.I found the translation wanting. Despite being erudite, it was not polished. Nor was it free of errors - too often I found myself rereading sentences because there were missing words.There are enough twists and turns in the tale to keep even the most unlikely reader (me, for example) interested. The atmospheric setting of Naples and the well-rounded characters help carry the story along.While I don't think this story is memorable, the writer certainly has a firm handle on human emotions and the effects of loss in people's lives.

  • Andy Weston
    2018-12-30 08:12

    It's not an easy thing to use the supernatural to a good effect in a novel, at least, not to for my taste. Gaude does it really well here. For the concept of Hell there must be a religious slant but Gaude's handling of this is with great expertise. He is a Frenchman writing about Naples in 1980 just before their great earthquake. Several characters from the Church play key roles in the novel, but there is controversy as the priest central to the story offers safe haven to his colleagues who the church has seen it fit to disgrace. This isn't a murder mystery though it may seem so. Matteo has lost his 6 year old son in a shooting and will do anything to get him back. The novel deals with death and the Underworld, reminiscent perhaps of Dante, but still very much Gaude's own creation. This is a lot better than a crime novel, within its 200 pages there is a lot more going on.

  • Theediscerning
    2019-01-16 06:26

    There's no denying the power of the heartfelt pieces of writing about grief and redemption here, but I didn't particularly like the weirder, more metaphysical aspects of it all. The start, where you think you're reading one of the publisher's noir efforts, is great, as a man takes revenge on a Mafioso in bloody fashion, and a child gets killed in a gang shootout. After that you do need at times to brace yourself for what comes ahead – not just the daunting encounters with broken hearts and self-cursed people, but with the frankly odd. The mix of the unlikely and the brilliant leaves me partly in two minds about this book, but I do know some parts I would never fully enjoy, hence my middle-ground rating.

  • Mohsen Shah
    2019-01-11 02:06

    Loved the book. Dante crossed with horror.Lots of twists and turns. Quite a disturbing read.I enjoyed the book but couldn't understand why dad went through everything and the son quite happily returned leaving dad in hell . I could'nt put this book down but it was an uneasy confusing read and I couldn't take an ending from it.Really didn't like this book . Didn't understand it and couldn't sleep after reading it ! Sorry made me quite depressed!Shelf Readers Group

  • Jon Mackley
    2019-01-02 03:22

    Really enjoyed this book. It was was thoughtful and poignant. What would you do to recover someone who's life has been cut short too soon? How does grief affect us and cloud our judgment? What is the nature of revenge? Shades of Dante and Virgil, this is a short novel, but that's part of its impact.

  • Bateman Anne
    2018-12-25 02:12

    A disappointing Kindle cheapie which was mind-numbingly dull with sentences of on average 4 words.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-01-07 02:30

    Review to follow.

  • Scope
    2018-12-19 02:11

    Yeah, I visited the hell's gates of this book. And found only 1 star beyond it.

  • Daphne Sharpe
    2019-01-07 06:18

    I found this book to be a most unusual, yet rewarding story of love and loss,and the overwhelming grief experienced over the death of a child. This book will not suit everyone as it questions religious beliefs, but it is well written and conveys wonderful visual images. It is creepy in its telling yet awesome in all senses of that word. A young six year old boy is caught up in crossfire between rival gangs and is killed. Matteo his father was present but failed to protect his son. In the following days, he can only share his grief with a retired professor, a public house owner, a priest and a transvestite prostitute, all of whom he meets at a local cafe. After breaking the news of the boy's death to his mother, she gradually becomes twisted and bitter. The local people she curses as they only came to feast on her sadness, the church she curses as they cannot offer her any consolation. The marriage founders and she commands Matteo to bring her boy back to her from the gates of hell if necessary.What happens next is stunning and miraculous, but a heavy price is paid by both parents. I cannot give away any more of this story. I initially stumbled over this story, it was confusing with its talk of rebirth, but I am so glad I persevered. It challenges beliefs of revenge and Hell. I found this book brave and haunting ,strangely eerie and unsettling.

  • A.
    2019-01-01 04:09

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Gallic Books, for an advanced review copy.Initially, I was expecting some sort of a horror novel, but Hell's Gate is surprisingly more. It is a tale of revenge, redemption, and love. The novel starts off with a rapid and violent beginning, reminiscent of something written by Jim Thompson. Then there is the backstory that fuels the revenge, a backstory that starts off as a simple narrative of a tragic event but then turns into a desperate story of madness and violence in the vein of Edgar Allan Poe coupled with a journey through the Underworld that could have been guided by Virgil as in Dante's Inferno. It was quite a ride, and I enjoyed it for the most part.The novel itself is briskly written, a page-turner from the start. This does not necessarily allow for the full fleshing-out of characters as other readers have noted, but I never felt like I didn't "know" who the characters were. The misfit band that helps Matteo on his dangerous trek are quickly assembled and each given a unique quality or quirky trait that makes them stand out, but they do feel as if they are there solely to help Matteo. In another novel, their stories -- the Professor, the Priest, the Prostitute, and the Proprietor -- would be interesting to read. But in Hell's Gate the concern of the novel appears to be the message of redemption, and the power of love to heal (temporarily; oblivion awaits us all) the worst that life can throw at us. Yet at the same time there is a shadow of violence and hatred that the novel does not escape fully if it indeed is trying to be in some way uplifting. There is too much blood on the page, and it seeps through to the end.

  • Leah Tonna
    2019-01-13 10:20

    At first I found this story fascinating, I felt so much sympathy with the parents of the little boy shot dead while being dragged to school by his father. However, the introduction of each new weird character confused me as to where the book was heading. I didn't really understand, (and still don't) the idea of a gateway into the Underworld....and it took a very long time to get there. Not one of my favourite books, sadly a little too muddled for me, too cruel and vengeful.

  • Célia
    2018-12-22 05:27

    “A Porta dos Infernos” é o mais recente livro do escritor francês Laurent Gaudé, tendo vencido o Prémio Goncourt em 2004. Deste autor, já foram também traduzidos em Portugal, os livros Noite Dentro, Moçambique e Outras Narrativas, O Sol dos Scorta, Eldorado e A Morte do Rei Tsongor (todos das Edições ASA).Neste livro, seguimos duas linhas temporais: 1980, quando Pippo foi atingido acidentalmente por uma bala, e todos os acontecimentos que lhe sucederam, nomeadamente a dor dos seus pais, a partida de Giuliana e a descida de Matteo ao Inferno para resgatar o filho; 2002, quando Pippo persegue o homem que o baleou para poder, finalmente, conseguir vingar os acontecimentos de há 22 anos.Esta é uma história que fala sobre o efeito devastador que a morte de um ente querido pode ter na vida das pessoas. Não pretende ensinar-nos a lidar com a dor, antes descreve a eterna vontade que temos de poder voltar a rever quem perdemos e de, muitas vezes, reparar a injustiça que essa impossibilidade traz consigo. É uma história forte, cheia de momentos de reflexão a juntar a elementos fantásticos/de terror. A descida ao Inferno é particularmente impressionante, e apresenta uma visão muito negativa da transição das almas para a paz eterna.Gostei bastante da escrita de Laurent Gaudé, da forma e carácter que deu às suas personagens. A única crítica que posso fazer-lhe é que gostaria que o livro tivesse sido um pouco mais desenvolvido, em especial no que se refere às personagens secundárias. De resto, bastante recomendado.