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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When It's a Jar
"This ... is a jar. A jar being a jar. Therefore it's not a door."

When I read Doughnut, the previously published book by Tom Holt, I thought at the time that he was really back on form; the old wit and delightful nuttiness of a Tom Holt book was back in this one. And When It's a Jar is even better. If you haven't read Doughnut, you are likely to want to,...
Published 6 months ago by Keen Reader

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
There is one problem with this Tom Holt novel. He forgot to make it exciting or interesting in any way. Essentially we have five or six characters chasing each other round different universes for no clear purpose. Because there is always an escape route (anything with a hole in the middle) there is no peril. The only surprise is that the characters are so inept at making...
Published 6 months ago by Camembaert


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When It's a Jar, 23 Jan 2014
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Paperback)
"This ... is a jar. A jar being a jar. Therefore it's not a door."

When I read Doughnut, the previously published book by Tom Holt, I thought at the time that he was really back on form; the old wit and delightful nuttiness of a Tom Holt book was back in this one. And When It's a Jar is even better. If you haven't read Doughnut, you are likely to want to, before reading this. Otherwise you may find this book a rather more mind-bending experience than Tom Holt novels generally are.

This book follows on in a fashion from Doughnut; that is, the multiverse theory, and Theo Bernstein and his legacy from Professor van Goyen are referenced, and a whole new series of misadventures result. Maurice Katz finds himself an unwitting `hero', and as he's not sure what that even means, killing a dragon that has appeared in his bedroom seems to be the least of his worries.

This is a wonderfully witty and funny book; I enjoyed it even more than Doughnut - I think When It's a Jar has a more coherent narrative and has found its feet in the multiverse whereas Doughnut was still laying down the credentials. When It's a Jar has a delightful cast of characters, of whom Maurice is a great example of a chap whose life goes so far off course that he feels like his brain is leaking out his ears when he tries to make sense of it.

I complained in my review of Doughnut that the cover picture of the gloriously sugary doughnut kept making me hungry; the lovely rich jar of jam on the cover of this one didn't help any - now I just keep thinking of jam doughnuts ...

Wholeheartedly recommended, although you should definitely read Doughnut before tackling this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 22 Jan 2014
By 
Camembaert (Northamptonshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
There is one problem with this Tom Holt novel. He forgot to make it exciting or interesting in any way. Essentially we have five or six characters chasing each other round different universes for no clear purpose. Because there is always an escape route (anything with a hole in the middle) there is no peril. The only surprise is that the characters are so inept at making devices with holes in. I can do it with my finger and thumb but that didn't seem to occur to any of them. None of them even though to carry a tube of polo mints around with them, though there were a clear references to the utility of the sweet.

Following on from the previous book, Doughnut, we are back in multiverse territory again with a very unlikely and reluctant hero by the name of Maurice Katz. We are supposed, by the end, to believe that Maurice in one universe is a no hope slacker but in another he is a a multi-billionaire high achiever. Unfortunately its the same Maurice in both universes so its totally unbelievable, even with the suspension of disbelief. We are also supposed to believe that the love of his life, Stephanie (aka Steve) is attracted to this putz while also being a highly efficient warrior. We are never offered any evidence of the latter as Stephanie is either absent or appears in a different disguise.

The baddy is a guy named George, but he is so badly drawn he is as shallow as the rest of the characters. He is also absent from much of the book and Maurice just isn't interesting enough to carry the story line by himself.

Maurice's motivation to be a hero is to rescue the love of his life, who accidently got used as payment for the removal of a dead dragon. OK, I'll buy that, but to rescue Steve Maurice must first rescue both Max and Theo Bernstein, characters from the equally dire 'Doughnut'. Theo is the guy who created the multiverse by blowing up the Very Very Large Hadron Collider and Max is his venal and feckless brother. This rescue takes up most of the book and just serves to show how inept Maurice is, making his multi-billionaire alternate persona look even more unbelievable.

So bereft of ideas is this novel that Holt actually has to revisit an idea from a previous book (Valhalla) just to pad out the story for a few more pages. I did get one small chuckle. Half way through there is an reference to a goblin by the name of Mordak who runs a news empire. But that was about it for humour.

I have been a lifelong fan of Tom Holt, but he's clearly run out of intersting or amusing ideas now so I won't be buying any more of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When it's ajar, 17 Jan 2014
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
What a great read. Should have more than 5 star. Couldn't put it down. Need more. Very funny, clever and witty.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing Tom Holt, 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Paperback)
In the past I have enjoyed all Holt's previous novels but not this one. The text was confused, dodging about from one place to another and never seemed to get going with a proper theme. I managed to finish reading it but it was hard going.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
Yet another triumph for Tom Holt. Well written, a little off the wall as you'd expect, but so well constructed with characters who come to life as the story develops. Looking forward to whatever's next.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate, 29 April 2014
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Tom Holt books usually have a nice idea behind them, this does, but not always well executed and sometimes confusing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars VERY VERY Weird, 24 Feb 2014
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
Definitely one of the weirdest books I've ever read (and I've read quite a lot of weird books!) but also very good. Funny in places, confusing in others, but it all comes together and works well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Holt at his lunatic best, 19 Feb 2014
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
I read this book before I realised that it was actually a sort of sequel to Tom Holt's previous book 'Doughnut' but it didn't matter, it can be read on it's own without knowledge of any of his other books. I've never read a Tom Holt book that I didn't like and this is no exception. Loved it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars When its A Jar its a Hoot, 13 Feb 2014
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Sonia (RYE, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
Tom Holt on his best form, clever, witty and engaging.
A must for established fans.
If you are new to Holt read the Portable Door
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comedic writing at his best, 12 Feb 2014
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This review is from: When It's A Jar (Kindle Edition)
Tom Holt is another brilliant SF author. His stories are lighthearted and
extremely funny. This book is comic genius at it's best.
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When It's A Jar
When It's A Jar by Tom Holt (Paperback - 17 Dec 2013)
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