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The Portable Door Paperback – 5 Feb 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (5 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841492086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841492087
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

hugely inventive and highly amusing ...His sharply observed dialogue and the desire to think round corners and u-bends distinguish Holt's books. He has the ability to make the reader laugh out loud and should be treasured. (COMPUTERCROWSNEST)

A definite must for all fans of comic fantasy (ENIGMA)

The jokes are delicious (SFX)

The best similes since Douglas Adams. Buy it for heaven's sake (SFX)

Book Description

The course of true love never runs smooth - particularly when there's a goblin in the way! A wickedly funny new comic fantasy novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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 refrains from quitting his insane job to stay with. Together they tackle the insanely boring tasks they're set and eventually become friends as they try to discover the true meaning behind the company. Their relationship is enjoyable to watch as it unfolds, beginning, as always, with what seems to be mutual contempt. The characters are well designed and the tension between them creates a lot of touching 'moments', all of which are amusingly noted by Paul himself. I found the story came together very well, with lots of very strange things happening near the beginning all being explained at the end. More than one of the revelations that occurred made me smile and say out loud 'Of course!', which I'd say was the mark of a good book. Topped with some insane characters (just wait 'til Mr Tanner's mum appears) and Holt's token observational wit, this is a madcap read that I highly enjoyed. Good stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Imagine yourself beeing twenty-something, a total nerd with absolutely no future involving women in any way. welcome to Pauls world. suddenly he finds himself stuck with a job he didn't really want in the first place, spending all day with a woman that he doesn't like (but nevertheless falls in love with, by old habit) doing utterly meaningless things. And then strange things start to happen.
Mr Holt is a captivating writer. he steals your time so effortlessly you don't even notice it until it's 4 o'clock in the morning and you know your alarmclock is going off at 6...
while reading this book my husband constantly had to ask me what's so funny, cause i kept laughing load, and calling mr Holt a sick person. his writing combined with my own vivid fantasy and vizualisation made reading 'the portable door' an experience. I'm looking forward to reading 'in your dreams' once i get hold of a copy...
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Format: Hardcover
Holt is back on form! After a couple of books which are good by normal standards, but not up to the author in full flight, we get a story which feels planned. It opens a bit like a re-hash of his previous book (Little People) and reads as if you could never have sympathy with the hero, but persevere, because it turns round into a wonderful comic tale.
The story twists and turns as you would expect from Mr. Holt and some of the throw-aways are beautiful. Try and count the references to other fantasy/comic fantasy books.
Overall a great read but only gets 4 stars because he has written better - see "Who's Afraid of Beowulf" and "Valhalla" or my own favourite "Flying Dutch"
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I <3 this book 💜 it so much
I liked it from beginning
paul is a man with no life
he has no girlfriend
not much money
and omg somthings cooking in this book
and in real life (mmm smells so good)
at first its a job interview not to much but enough
to keep you wanting to read !!!!!
then strange things happen I haven't finshed yet .
five star
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Format: Hardcover
"The Portable Door" is Holt's twenty-first comic fantasy, and is an insanely liberated romp with, allegedly, approximately 75% autobiographical material. It's the simple story of a crestfallen yet accessible loser named Paul Carpenter who perhaps thinks overly too much, and his exploits to secure the heart of a certain girl with the cheerful warmth of a hellfire, named Sophie. Thrown into the mix, as can be expected, is Holt's tangential comedic science fantasy eccentricities, mostly developing the subplot of Paul's newly appointed workplace, replete with goblin minions and training in the arcane arts of wizardy, and, er, bauxite mining (don't ask). Holt's always one for crazily groan-worthy puns and analogies, and he turns up this deft skill to 11, but sometimes it seemingly gets less hysterical, and more chucklesome... and this is perhaps why "The Portable Door" is not laugh-out-loud funny. However, what "The Portable Door" *is* is better than "Falling Sideways" and "Nothing But Blue Skies", which is calls for jubilant appraisal, as Holt's vaguely sauntering decline has continued for the last few years... but, hopefully, not any longer. "The Portable Door" is a satirically perceptive, observant novel, and thought it isn't high art, or Adams, Pratchett & Fforde, it nevertheless is fun, light, whimisical, and perhaps better than the last four novels he's produced. Holt has submitted the manuscript of a tentatively referred-to 'sequel' to "The Portable Door" to his publishers, and albeit the ending of *this* novel does not entirely justify its enjoyment or reading, I will continue to enthusiastically greet a new Holt volume (especially if Danny Bennett or Kurt Lundqvist continue to return to his bemusing pseudo-Britain). Read it: you probably won't love it, but it's enjoyable all the same.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think I would have given this book 4 stars when I first finished reading it, but it has stayed with me and I've enjoyed remembering it since. I had never read anything like it, so I was thinking "what? No. That's ridiculous!" constantly through the early chapters, then I got used to it and started to really like it. It was warm, charming, very funny and I guess it was fantasy in our times - strangely more difficult to accept than hobbits, perhaps because the world hobbits inhabit is not quite ours. I will read another Tom Holt novel based on this one and would recommend this one to anyone with a bit of imagination and a sense of humour.
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