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In Your Dreams Hardcover – 3 Jun 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; hardcover edition (3 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841491594
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841491592
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 831,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

Wacky humour bubbles through the polished narrative ... Holt doesn't skimp on the flashes of brilliance (SFX)

Book Description

A wickedly funny new comic fantasy novel featuring the further adventures of Paul Carpenter, hero of THE PORTABLE DOOR.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Well firstly, this book is a follow up to The Portable Door and before you go on any further I would stress that to aid overall understanding and enjoyment of the series, I would read that one first. Also that one is a funnier book and it's always good to get you in the right frame of mind.
Now that's out of the way... In Your Dreams picks up directly where The Portable Door finishes, Paul is still working for the highly unusual city firm J.W. Wells & Co but at least is now slightly more informed as to what the firm actually does. Now if your thinking that's typical of all new starters at city firms and that eventually everyone learns how they make money out of derivatives, you are a little of the mark. Paul is developing his magical powers in the highly competitive and not to say lucrative world of, erm, well actually... What do they do again?
As you may have gathered, things are far from black and white in the world Paul and his girlfriend Sophie inhabit. So much so that the addition of Paul's company car - Monika - causes him not to feel amazement, as one might expect when you drive a sentient car, but annoyance at its - sorry her - down right obstinance. Paul is going to have to overcome far more pressing issues though, if he is going to succeed in the cut throat corporate world, and unfortunately for him when Sophie leaves him to go to the Hollywood office, he is going to have to do it alone...
In Your Dreams explores more of the magic infested world that was created in The Portable Door and also gives us more of an insight into the Senior partners, most notable Judy di Castel'Bianco and the dashing Ricky Wurmtoter, as well as his assistant Benny Shumway. These are excellent characters to explore and are really well done.
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Format: Paperback
Don't be put off by any mildly negative reviews you read below. This book is a joy to read. I haven't read any of Holt's other works except The Portable Door (which I ordered as soon as I'd read the first few pages of this one and realised that, no, you may not need to read one as a prelude to the other, but it does help) but, as I had done with that one once I received it, with the luxury of half a day free I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. His writing style is easy without being childish, the jokes are subtle and in context (more situations than jokes), with the effect of making this an amusing fantasy rather than a fantastic comedy. I like the fact Holt doesn't use puns to bring a wry smile, nor obvious slapstick, just a story told with the right amount of cynicysm and depth of character to keep me amused and interested. Think Terry Pratchett without the footnotes and puns, or Robert Rankin without the slightly loopy prose and, to be honest, you're probably nowhere nearer imagining Tom Holt, but I'm no good at comparing authors so you'll have to make do.
If you've read The Portable Door then it's no-brainer that this book should follow. If not, read that then read this. I'm off to hunt through some of his back-catalogue.
Incidentally, four stars rather than five, 'cos it didn't change my life, but who wants a book that does that?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good to carry on the story and once again enjoying the company of characters you have come to know.
The ending left me a little, not disappointed, but flat. It is obvious now that I need to read Earth, Air, Custard Etc. to continue the story.
I like Tom Holt so he would have to write a complete bummer for me to dislike an offering.
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Format: Paperback
In Your Dreams is a funny book. Make no mistake about that. It blends a lot of every day life together with magic for laughs and has a lot of Pratchett/Adams style humour from taking things to their logical extreme. The language is good throughout with laugh out loud imagery and good use of hyperbole. Outside of humour the writing style is just solid in general, scenes and settings are well drawn.

With that in mind, the book has some problems. If you enjoyed the first book in the series (The Portable Door), or are a fan of Holt's work in general, you probably won't mind anything I have to mention below. Also, I'll say now, I wouldn't worry too much about this being the middle part of a three parter. I'll get to why in a minute...

The main shortcoming of the book is its characters. Or rather, its heroes. The villains and side characters of the book are exceedingly well drawn, from the lusty goblin receptionist to the main character's talking German car, to the Queen of the Fey, count Judy. These characters and more are well done and very enjoyable to read.

The problem is our hero: Paul Carpenter. Like most Holt protagonists he is a very generic, gormless milquetoast hero. Initially his cluelessness is a kind of attractive quality, as we, the reader, can identify. But as the book(s) go on, it becomes more and more annoying that Paul never has a clue about anything, and never has the confidence or the good sense to just ask people when he's out of his depth. He has no particularly notable or interesting character traits and this is so painfully obvious when he's standing opposite other characters who are better fleshed out. It's not impossible to get away with a somewhat generic main character, but they need just a little bit more.
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