on 23 October 2010
Nothing but blue skies; a wonderful tale of dragons, meteorologists and the british weather!
LOL - maybe that is not so exciting sounding, but when you have read Tom Holt and aligned your mind with his off-kilter sense of humour - appreciating the way he plays with historical characters and mythos - you will find yourself grinning inanely as you read this (which often causes people on the train to look at you and worry)
Holt has a great wit, a flowing style of writing and the skill to not drag out a story just for the sake of it. The tales are crisp, paced well and fun.
If you have not read holt before (oh, shame, shame on you!) I would recommend you start with Expecting Someone Taller: most people have at least a little knowledge of the norse Gods so can appreciate this one most.
Bule Skies is also an easy way into his works; as EVERYONE has familiarity with dragons; but I doubt if most of us were aware before that its them that cause the weather we are famous for in the UK. When you add to that a pair of weathermen who are furious taht their sunny forcasts are always wrong, and a manic Australian madia tycoon, and three "men in black"s (or are they?!) you have a brilliant narrative that will keep you awake all night (ok, I will just finish THIS chapter, then I will turn off the light to sleep... OK, THIS chapter)
The seller here dispatched the book quickly and well packaged: thank you
on 2 October 2006
Chaz and Dave's hit, 'Rabbit', tells of a woman who talks and talks and talks. Well if this song was made into a form of writing it may have produced Tom Holt's 'Nothing But Blue Skies'. Throughout the book Holt shows that he would rather explain something over two pages than in a simple sentence. To some this may be amusing but to me it grew very tiresome soon after the first few pages.
We follow the adventures of Karen, a dragon who has decided to take on the guise of a human so that she can be closer to the man she loves. Things only start to go wrong for dragon kind when her Father seeks her out and is caught by two weathermen. Will Karen be able to save her Father and will it ever stop raining?
I found some limited parts of this book amusing, mostly some of Holt's reflections on modern society. However, most of his musings fall flat and make the story feel more sluggish than it should do. This is definitely one of the worst Tom Holt books that I have read and am glad that he has written his latest books around his hellish Law firm. Only read this if you are a Tom Holt completist, if not avoid.
on 23 July 2001
In Tom Holt's latest mainstream comic fantasy "Nothing But Blue Skies" he manages to offer the reader a biting satire of fierce proportions. What Holt is lampooning in this new annal into the world of Danny Bennett is the climate; the bloody British weather to be exact. We've seen in past Holt volumes his penchant for going on tangents about how much he personally hates the Microsoft computer system, and how similar to a dog's breakfast Australia seems to him, so this time the fact that Britain is eternally accosted with horrendous conditions seems a funny concept to thumb his nose at. It *is*. Hilarious in some respects. In the zany pseudo-Britain of Holt's imagination in "Nothing But Blue Skies", weathermen are reminiscent of biblical-age prophets: people believe they have the ability to control the weather. When a fellow says on TV that he forecasts a shower tomorrow, and there is one, it's bloody well his *fault*. Or so it seems. The guilty parties in fact aren't the benign weathermen at all: Holt blames irritable Chinese Water Dragons, who, with a simple mood-swing can alter a nice, peachy day into a sleet-driven rain bucket. In a world where weather-weary forecasters are blamed for something they aren't responsible for, one can sympathize why Gordon and Neville, two such fellows go and capture the culprit, the Adjutant General to the Dragon King of the North West, to be precise, and trap him in the form of a goldfish. Karen, rebel estate agent and superbly wet fish, goes out in search of her goldfish-bound father, so that Britain can return to being a slop bucket of abysmal showers. Unfortunately, Gordon and Neville give the goldfish to a rabid militia man, who plans to *flood Britain*, invade Tasmania, and colonize the Moon--huh; meanwhile, Gordon and Neville are, themselves, captured by an equally insane whacko who has founded a State religion which worships Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. Strange? Not really... So it's no wonder why a group of hired guns wearing Ray-ban shades and pressed double-breasted suits go and prepare for the second Noah's flood, commissioning a fellow to build an Ark, and attempting to acquire two of every species of animal (yes, even okapis). Holt throws in silly gags with further complications; but the novel seems to wear thin at points, and at other points it drags on. He also seems somewhat short on characters--in previous comic fantasy novels he's offered us up to 24 main characterizations; in "Nothing But Blue Skies", he gives us 10, and most of these aren't all central to the plot (three of them don't even have *names*). If you had a restricted amount of cash in your wallet, you desired a good read, some winsome jokes, some quirky characters, all rolled into a novel published for this year only, than I'd suggest you go purchase Terry Pratchett's "Thief of Time" rather than this. Holt's new fantasy is the consolation prize: he manages to offer us an abundance of perceptive observations, and some new funny highlights, and the plot continues to struggle on through the farce. I'm wondering if he'll ever bring back Kurt Lundqvist, expert assassin, or Danny Bennett, BBC TV executive, his two only recurring characters. In the days of "Odds and Gods" and "Only Human" Holt was sublime. He works a lot of strengths into "Nothing But Blue Skies" but as the adage says: two many cooks spoil the broth.
on 1 January 2014
I've read most of Tom Holts' books, some I've loved other's not so much. This definitely came into the first category which is one I would read again.
The story revolves around a girl called Karen, who is really a Dragon but as morphed into a human because she is 'in love' with Paul another human. When her father comes to look for her he is changed into a 'goldfish' by Neville a Newsreader, as he wants to prove that although the weather forecast gives 'sunny' the rain is really all down to the Dragon's!
Like Douglas Adams writing it all makes sense in the end! If you like Douglas Adams then I would recommend reading this and other titles by this author.
on 11 August 2003
Tom Holt does it again. Manages to please me with another of his fantastic tales of a woman who wonders why it rains so much in Britain. Something we all want to know, surely? Or maybe not, as Tom shows us why it REALLY rains so much in GB.
Top quality stuff again. Easier to follow than Valhalla or Falling Sideways, but still as good a read as the others. Enjoy the book. You will.
on 18 June 2001
Comparable to "Flying Dutch" and "Expecting Someone Taller," this book brought back to me why I have read all of Tom Holt's books: marvelous writing. Karen the water-dragon, who turned human to pursue a human (romantically), is a great character, constantly apologizing to all around her as her anger causes Noah-style rains, or her embarrasment creates distortions in the visual perceptions of humans. There are conspiracies, of course, and they all make sense, including the worship of the Queen as deity; hidden from the Queen of course, as they perform sacrifices to her. The weathermen who kidnap a dragon (one on purpose, one not quite on purpose) are themselves captured (along with the dragon) by an Australian media baron determined to lower his communications expenses. Add all that to a computer with a personality straight from Southern California, and this is an excellent book, whether your first taste of Tom Holt, or the latest. Enjoy.
on 1 September 2009
I'd not heard of Tom Holt before reading this book, and I certainly won't be checking out any of his other titles in the future.
As the title of my review states; this is literally the ONLY book I've never finished - and I've read a lot of books in my 27 years.
The plot sounds relatively bizarre and amusing but Holt's writing style is absolutely abysmal. I managed to read maybe a sixth of the book before I couldn't take it any more, and the whole time I was reminded of something that I couldn't quite place... eventually I realised what it was: all the failed attempts at 'writing a book' I made between the ages of about 9 and 14. The characters are awful and all extremely irritating in their actions; there is little or no development of these characters, the focus is just on whatever series of events is taking place (and this just goes on and on getting nowhere). The sentences are long-winded and almost seem to suffer from bad grammar (I know mine isn't perfect but this is supposed to be a published book for god sake!). As for comedy, I certainly didn't see any. The whole thing just has such an immature feel to it that I wonder if Holt, during a period of writer's block, didn't go back through all of HIS failed attempts at writing when he was a teenager, found this and hand it in to his publisher!
And I didn't give up easily - I really forced myself to read on, determined to find something I liked about it. It almost makes me mad - no, infact it DOES make me mad - that I wasted a portion of my life reading this appalling piece of writing when I could have been reading something so much better, i.e. anything.
on 7 July 2008
This is my first foray into Tom Holt and I find that its a good place to be! I will certainly be buying and reading more and that is the best review that anyone could give.
The story is wildly bizarre but truly unique and inventive, and it deals with a topic that is normal enough to everyday life that you can relate and keep your feet on the ground.
This story is about the weather, the good old British favourite, which is I assume why it is fittingly set in standard plain England (that is the normal everyday part). It basically considers why it rains, i.e. the dragons did it (that is the wildly bizarre and unique bits in one) what part weathermen play in that and how one megalomaniac is going to stand in the way of a happy ending.
One final point, Tom Holt is evidently brave enough to avoid the 'expected' happy ending. So keep your eyes open. Its good enough to know it wont be long until you get there.