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4.1 out of 5 stars80
4.1 out of 5 stars
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I always enjoy a Tom Holt book, so was keen to get hold of this latest novel and read it.

Theo Bernstein is a physicist who has a great life until he blows up the Very Very Large Hadron Collider, and some portion of Switzerland to boot. His wife leaves him, he loses all his money, and finds himself working in a slaughterhouse. So far, so bad. Then his friend and mentor Professor Pieter van Goyen dies and leaves Theo a legacy. Theo has no idea what to do with the legacy, and by the time he finds out, he is quite sure he doesn't actually want it. In fact, working at the slaughterhouse is starting to look pretty good again.

And the doughnut? Well, you just have to read the book for yourself to find out why that's so important.

This is a great book; Tom Holt is in top form here - funny, witty, relevant, and totally irreverent. The narrative races along, and the characters are all suitably wacky to fit right in the Tom Holt universe.

The only complaint I have is that the cover picture kept making me hungry ... mmmmm, doughnut ...
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on 14 August 2013
I love a Tom Holt book ..... usually. This was hard work. The first 3rd was usual, funny, good-dopey-character-does-daft-things fayre. Then it got samey, repetitive, less funny and knotty. By the end the main character had had to explain the plot at least 3 times to lesser characters so us mere mortals could keep up, if we could be ars*d. It is a shame that TH has moved in this direction, this is the same month that I read Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and had a similar 2-star shock, please guys, go back to what you do best. In Holt's case this is a departure based on him trying to do something a little more philisophical and scientific, I prefer ancient characters and goblins with slightly simplistic views on human life rather than complex plots that jostle out the humour.(the dedication was my favourite bit though, hats off for that)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 July 2013
While Doughnut is recognisably Tom Holt in that it constantly hovers between amusing and funny, requires a bit of background knowledge to get the most enjoyment off, etc. it is also updated for a slightly different readership - in my opinion one that is much more The Big Bang Theory - Complete Season 1-5 [DVD] avid.

From blowing up Very Very Large Hadron Colliders, to multiverse theories, the book is fast paced travel through the funny and improbable.The protagonist - Theo Bernstein - is likeable enough and the other main characters plastic enough in order to make the book a good read from that aspect as well. The ending is a bit more moralizing than I would have expected from Tom Holt but if you expect clean closures, it certainly delivers on that point.

Overall a good and funny Tom Holt book but in my opinion not necessarily one of his best ones. Many of the situations were amusing rather than funny and the book - for me - did not have the laugh out loud moments of something like Faust Among Equals or Nothing But Blue Skies. At the same time, if physics is close to your heart, as is Tom Holt, you will certainly not go far wrong with the book, and it definitely provides some hours of good entertainment.
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on 2 April 2013
I really loved this book. I thought it was ingenious and entertaining and original. I think the best book by Tom Holt yet. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Douglas Adams. Possibly a little more challenging than Terry Pratchett but easily as entertaining. Tom Holt you are a very clever man.
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on 3 February 2014
Taste differs - thanks God. I am a true fan of fantasy and SiFi, however the story was just too over the top and did not work for me.
The main character drifts confused through different multiverses and parallel worlds to find something and/ or someone. Soon I was as confused as the hero. A lot of rather extended and strange physic explanations made me jump from chapter to chapter, only reading half of them. All the exotic and spaced out happenings that pile up, leave the characters undeveloped. There is no story or dramatical involvement between the protagonists that could capture my attention. The little that there is was not enough to get me to the end. I gave up on the last 20 pages - hey, life is short!
But if you are fan of crazy and just different; give it a try!
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on 28 October 2013
Tom Holt was new to me and I didn't know what to expect, so I approached it with an open mind. I was reminded a bit of Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker, The plot was quirky and entertaining. If you like Harkaway, D. Adams and N. Gaiman, you'll like this.
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on 18 May 2013
I have been a Tom Holt fan for as long as I can remember, but I'm afraid he's starting to run out of ideas. This story is set against the backdrop of a 'multiverse' in which all things are possible if you can find the version of Earth that exists in the right dimension for it to happen. Not a new idea. Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter did something similar last year in The Long Earth and I'm sure other sience fiction writers have already visited this space.

It isn't possible to describe the story without giving away key plot points and I don't want to spoil the limited enjoyment that there is to behad from this book. Suffice to say it requires the hero to hop about between dimensions risking life and limb as he tries to work out what's going on. In the end I found that I didn't really care any more and only wanted the story to end.

The characters are shallow and self interested to the point where I couldn't take any interest in them. None, including the protagonist, is sufficiently engaging for me to engage with them in any way. There is a bit of drama, but as we find out quite early on in the story out that there's always a way for the protagonist to escape it means what ever drama there is is limited. At best the story is a puzzle to be solved, and I can get a better puzzle on the back page of any daily newspaper.
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on 31 October 2013
I love Tom Holt anyway ,so a negative review is unlikely .I will say that this isn't quite up to the Paul Carpenter series ,or Barking ,or May contain traces ,in my estimation ,but it is never the less a damn good way to pass a few rainy afternoons .The concepts aren't that hard to understand and there are moments of pure hilarity but the characters didn't quite engage me as much as others have .That said ,if you enjoy the genre it's well worth the money .I'm looking forward to his next offering .
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I just love the mad surreal world of the Tom Holt books. You never quite know what you are going to get but you know that firstly it will be funny and secondly it will scoot off in a direction you didn't expect. This is no different.

It is funny with characters that are classic Tom Holt. Quirky and very British in their humour and design.

The story is good, although not quite as cohesive as some of his books hence the loss of one star. Yes, essentially all his stories are off the beaten track but some hang together better than others. However I read his books for the humour and fun because there's always something that gets a grin on my face.

I'm not going to try and précis the plot - because I can't. I'm still not 100% sure of how it all hangs together, which is I suspect part of its design as it's based around quantum electrodynamics which if anyone who has any knowledge will attest to is still not understood even by the greatest physics minds.

Overall, suffice to say that if you have read other Tom Holt books and enjoyed them, you will enjoy this one too. I certainly did.
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on 9 May 2013
I am a massive Tom Holt fan and read every book as it's published. I struggled a lot with Life, Liberty... as it seemed a bit thrown together, so was a bit apprehensive when I got Doughnut but went for it anyway.

This was the first Tom Holt book I have been able to put down for a few days while reading, which to me wasn't a good sign. Within a few pages it all started seeming very Paul Carpenter-esque and while Theo seemed to acknowledge the weirdness and choose to ignore it (where Paul was just intentionally ignorant), this hit me as a Paul Carpenter story without the usual humour.

The more I read, the more it seemed like Tom had taken the same framework from Life, Liberty... and tried to wrap it around a Paul Carpenter-type story. I can't say any more without adding spoilers but maybe this book is fine if you are new to Tom Holt. For someone who has loved his writing for a long long time, this just seemed tired and, frankly, fairly pointless until the last few pages.

I think the next one will have to be a library visit, just in case.
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