May Contain Traces Of Magic Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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"Uniquely twisted . . . cracking gags." --"Guardian"
"Dazzling." --"Time Out"
"""The best similes since Douglas Adams. Buy it for heaven's sake." "--SFX "on "Little People"
"Holt is, as usual, absurd, funny, and light-handed enough with the completely ridiculous bits to keep the story moving, assuring that the reader doesn t actually notice how bizarre the story has become, or how tangled the mystery is, until it s nearly done." "Booklist""
"Holt has a touch that is equally breezy and serious: the story's twists and revelations feel like Douglas Adams emulating David Mamet." "Publishers Weekly "on "Falling Sideways""
" "The best similes since Douglas Adams. Buy it for heaven's sake. "SFX "on "Little People""
"Uniquely twisted . . . cracking gags." "Guardian""
"Dazzling." "Time Out""
Another slice of fantastic comic TOMfoolery.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Then his SatNav starts talking to him, and everything changes. A trainee, Angela, is lumbered on him to show the ropes, and demons start showing up. In his car. They're after the One who is to Come, but he has no idea who she is, and why he's involved in it all. Soon he starts wishing his life was back the way it was before, but no such luck. Just who is the One who is to Come? What do the demons want with her? Why are the demons showing up where Chris goes? And why on earth is his SatNav talking to him?
Wow. Just wow. This book is awesome! Tom Holt is a British author, and it's obvious from the writing. Such a typical British voice, and British humour! I giggled out loud on more than one occasion reading this book, it was just fantastic!
The characters in this book are great, but none match up to Chris. He's just so sarcastic and simple, and sometimes annoying, but you can't help but feel for him when his crappy life is turned upside down, and is genuinely flabbergasted at everything going on around him. He doesn't know what to do, and makes mistakes more than once, but you can't blame him. I can't really go into too much detail without spoiling things, but he's just adorable - a bit like an abandoned dog.
The plot of this book is just brilliant! You never know how things are going to turn out, who's telling the truth and who's lying, and just what will happen next. You find yourself trying to figure things out along with Chris, but then another disaster will happen, and your back to square one when more things are put in front of you to think about. It's mind boggling until the very end, and then everything makes sense. It's just such a fantastically written, and pretty damn funny book, with such an amazing plot. I highly recommend this book, it's just so awesome!
It's the typical Tom Holt one-remove-from-reality that makes May Contain Traces of Magic great fun, with its juxtaposition of mild-mannered fools, looking only for a quiet life getting inadvertently mixed up in fabric of the universe business. Even if I were to tell you who was the troublemaking Demon ruining Chris's miserable but comfortable life, Holt delights in constantly shifting realities to the extent that you're never sure what the truth is. Despite pushing the situation a little too far past its limits in this respect with unnecessary complexity, the story and Holt's writing remains consistently entertaining.
The story is about Chris, a salesman of magical good such as fold-away parking spaces and instant water. From the moment that he walks into the shop of one of his clients and finds the shopkeeper lying on the floor with his head mostly hacked off by a horrible demon, who is still scarily present and sitting on the top shelf observing Chris, his life falls to pieces. He has no idea who he can trust, whether they be human beings or magical beings.
Transdimensional travel is commonplace, which complicates matters enormously, and confuses Chris at every turn, even when guided by his mysterious magical SatNav.
To cap it all, his girlfriend, Karen, is hardly speaking to him and he is lumbered with a freshly graduated, objectionable apprentice, Angela, for his sales rounds.
There is so much imaginative creativity in this story, that you can't help but enjoy it. Watch out for subtle little twists, like the reference to the copra mines of Kiribati. There is always loads of copra falling with the coconuts onto the beaches of Kiribati, but I have never heard of it being mined before!
Read it and you will have a lot of fun.
I did like the bit towards the end where Chris Popham turns around and tells the shop owner he's just sold x dozen of the book that tells you what you need to know that they're crap and don't work.
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