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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 17 August 2014
This is another great Tom Holt book; his early books were great, but for a while there they seemed to go a bit flat. His latest three books - Doughnut, When It's a Jar, and this one are all great and he is clearly back on top form.

It makes sense to read Doughnut and When It's a Jar before reading this one, primarily because this one against touches on multiverse theories, and there's an ongoing theme again with the doughnuts (you'll know what I mean if you have already read the previous two books). I think you could read this one as a standalone, but I'm sure you'd understand the context of it a lot better if you read the previous two first.

There are dragons, knights, woodcutters rescuing damsels from ravenous wolves dressed in the clothing of old ladies, wizards, goblins, dwarves and elves aplenty in this book. It takes a few chapters before you can see where the story might be going, but it's an enjoyable journey all the way through. There are plenty of laughs, and plenty of completely odd characters to enjoy the story with - I particularly had a soft spot for the goblin king Mordak, and you will find a couple of other characters from the previous two books who turn up again as well. Always good for a laugh, this book is definitely a great Tom Holt. Thoroughly enjoyable, and a very funny ending. It's good to see him on a roll again.
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on 12 September 2014
Despite some of other reviews, I found this much easier to follow than its precursors in the 'doughnut' series. Funny, imaginative, readable. Sure, it's not high literature, but it passes a few hours pleasurably, and it was the most enjoyable Tom Holt book I've read since 'Blonde Bombshell' - and, unlike some Holt fantasy novels, the ending wasn't disappointing either.
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"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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on 28 July 2014
Just doesn't really work tongue either too far in cheek or not far enough in, felt it was produced by rote rather then any real idea behind it. competently written and sometimes funny but overall a thin idea, that would probably have suited as a novella or longish short story rather than a full blown novel. None of the originality of earlier works
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on 21 August 2014
Tom Holt continues his wandering through the superbly surreal surroundings of his fantasy worlds. This one appeals to me more than the last couple he has written and I was gripped by the narrative and engaged in the story more. I was expecting something better (if you will pardon the pun), but he has got back on track. To fully understand the references and plot line, it helps if you have read "Doughnut" - but it isn't essential (and if you are a Tom Holt fan you will have read it already anyway).
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on 24 April 2015
If you are reading this then you are interested in Tom Holt books and will probably know the story line. Won't spoil that for you but you need to read / listen to Doughnut first.
All I will say is that Ray Sawyer, the narrator, does have a range of different voices for the characters and is quite good, but if you listen to the Terry Pratchet talking books, he's nowhere near as good as Nigel Planer who is superb.
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on 22 July 2014
Usual fun book by Tom Holt. However, I am not going to give it five stars as there are two many ideas repeated from Snow White and the Seven Samurai. There are not quite so many belly laughs as usual.
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on 15 April 2015
Kept me reading but nothing new which can be a plus and a minus. You know what you are getting and the threads from previous books work but at the same time I felt I'd been here before - maybe I've read too many of his books, or looked through too many toroids :)
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on 15 November 2014
I haven't read a Holt book in a while, and I was pleasantly surprised by this. It's laugh-out-loud funny in parts, and very engaging. I enjoyed it a lot. I usually read Pritchett when I'm in the mood for comic fantasy, but I think I'll be switching to Tom Holt in future!
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on 11 August 2014
Great fun as always! A follow up from Doughnut - totally different but just as good
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