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39 Reviews
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfying read
This is a brilliant book from a writer I enjoy but find rather hit and miss. Like others have mentioned, this is Tom Holt very much 'on form', with a well-written story full of wonderful wit and likeable characters. Paul Carpenter is the typical Holt pathetic main character, who starts a very strange office job with a sour-faced girl, who he happens to falls for and...
Published on 16 Jan 2004 by D. S. Roberts

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Being Harry Potter
This is my first Tom Holt book. Holt's writing style is very similar to other humourous British writers such as Robert Rankin and Douglas Adams, although on this evidence he can't quite match those authors skill in the genre. The "Portable Door" comes across like a cross between Harry Potter and "Being John Malkovich", to the point that I don't think this book would have...
Published on 10 Nov 2006 by Johnentwistlespout


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4.0 out of 5 stars strange, 8 Aug 2012
By 
Stephen Tallentire (durham...uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Portable Door (Kindle Edition)
this is the first book ive read by tom holt and am not really sure how i felt about it i kept waiting for something really good to happen but was let down, but on the other hand i still enjoyed it and thiink i will try another of his books at a later date, any suggestions?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy, 16 July 2012
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This review is from: The Portable Door (Kindle Edition)
This is the second time I've read this book, and it was good the second time as the first. It is a mix of the every day and the fantastical. It encompasses confusion at starting a new job, figuring out new people, and many different relationships, with rather a few curiosities on the way. Things move that shouldn't. How and why, is revealed slowly throughout the book, and not everyone is who they seem.
Great read, and although full of magic, doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility.
Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a fun read, 27 Dec 2010
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This review is from: The Portable Door (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book and the others in the trilogy. It's not taxing but it's a great book to relax with. The characters are strong and hold the story together. It has some great bits of humour and I found I wanted to know how it ended and then couldn't wait to start the next one in the series ( dangerously easy with Kindle!)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Twice as long as it needs to be, 4 Aug 2010
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Amazon Customer (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
This is the first Tom Holt I have read and I have ended up quite disappointed. It is so drawn out. The Portable Door itself doesn't make an appearance for the first 238 pages! The characters are mildly amusing but their key traits are simply over played to the extent where the reiteration becomes boring. If a story can be told in under 200 pages, why drag it out to 400? As a story it's just about ok, but I wouldn't recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Initialy didn't grip, but overall enjoyed, 6 May 2010
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J. R. Johnson-Rollings (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
I was actually attracted to Tom Holt's novels when Amazon recommended me 'May Contain Traces of Magic', but as that appears to be the latest novel in a series, I decided to start here with the first novel.

'The Portable Door' is the tale of Paul Carpenter, who has given up hope of ever finding a job or a girlfriend, when suddenly the opportunity for both come along at once. It's just a shame that his new employer has forgotten to tell him exactly what they do - and that he has to try very hard to ignore all the strange goings-on in the workplace - not least the question of where the long stapler has gone now.

I wouldn't say that this novel is 'laugh-out-loud funny', but it does have it's moments, and I'm not particularly prone to laughing at novels. It takes a little while to get going - in fact it didn't really grab my attention properly until about halfway through, and was only gripping in the final quarter. The characters started off rather unlikable - there was nothing in Paul that I could really identify with, particularly as he didn't seem to have any sense of curiosity at all.

When it did pick up though was where things finally began to make sense. Until that point Holt had expertly crafted the confusion - dropping in all the different elements in a seemingly natural way without making it obvious to the reader what those pieces would make when put together. In a way it's similar to the Dirk Gently novels of Douglas Adams. Then at the conclusion everything is pulled together and tied up nicely, before you are thrown into confusion again.

I had my doubts initially (particularly as the story I found myself reading bore only a superficial resemblance to the blurb on the back) but it picked up, and I'm definitely in the market for the sequel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EE, THAT TOM HOLT..., 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
...He does tell a good yarn
I haven't read as much of his stuff as, say, Robert Rankin, or Pratchett, and I was pleasantly surprised.
I've since read other novels of his, and the worst you can say is that it plods a bit. Not much. But it does. None the worse for that, though, because he's always entertaining even when the action is not exactly well paced.

I give it the thumbs up.
I do.
I do, I do.
Read it.
Go on, go on.
Frothy, man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A relaxing read, 28 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
The book reads well if you want something to relax with during holidays or a vacation. Characters are original, story has its twists and background is well put together. All in all - it all works. The book is relatively funny, but I'm a bit unwilling to go for five stars for the few spots in the text where I thought the humor didn't work. I'm comparing Holt with his own work - Only Human - and he is not at his top in this one.

Four stars I gave mean I'd definitely recommend this book for a relaxing reading, but approach as such. Great to read on the airport while waiting for you flight :)

I'm not a native English speaker and as such I found the language easy and comprehensible.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and fun., 13 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
I feel that I should nail my colours to the mast at the start - I like Terry Pratchett and find that most humourists don't compare. Years ago I read "Expecting Someone Taller" and thought that it was ok, but not as good as Pratchett in the field of fantasy humour. So I gave the rest of Tom Holt's books a miss until I picked up this one on spec. I'm glad that I did as it's very good. Not laugh out loud funny (for me) but interesting, clever and with good jokes. What more could you want? It is also a satire on business and the associated amorality of making money which is something we can all relate to.
My only quibble was that it felt a little unfinished, but then I found that it is a trilogy. So that explained that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! - Read it!, 1 Aug 2009
This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
The very best of Pratchett, Wodehouse and Rankin - set in a very familiar environment.

This is such a good book, I think to class it as a comic-novel is dismissive of how good a piece of work this really is.

All of the JWW Wells novels books are just excellent - so brilliantly crafted, well written and flowing they are a joy to read - they are the work of an incredibly talented and creative author at the top of his game.

Anyone who has read early Holt and enjoyed them - and even those who didnt - will be blown away by this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A magical romp, 19 Jun 2009
By 
E. W. Collier "tobyfin" (Cheltenham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Portable Door (Paperback)
Buying science fiction for a science fiction fan is a risky business. To the uninitiated, sci fi is a single, homogeneous genre, but the fan will tell you otherwise. So when my wife presented me with this book (my wife is NOT a fan) my heart did sink just a teeny tiny bit. For one thing, the packaging reminded me of Jasper Fforde's "The Eyre Affair" which is, to science fiction, what a hamburger van is to haute cuisine.

I needn't have worried. Tom Holt is a sure hand on the tiller. Reading it was a bit like reading Douglas Coupland's "Microserfs" and J K Rowling's "Harry Potter" mediated through Douglas Adams. There were moments of drama and tension, moments of agonising embarrassment and plenty of humour, all delivered in a thoroughly easy and romping style.
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The Portable Door
The Portable Door by Tom Holt (Paperback - 5 Feb 2004)
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