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The Good, the Bad and the Smug

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New Evil. Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR. Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet. Helped by an elf with a background in New Evil. Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR. Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet. Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that's where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.


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New Evil. Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR. Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet. Helped by an elf with a background in New Evil. Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR. Mordak isn't bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he's locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet. Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that's where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.

30 review for The Good, the Bad and the Smug

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/09/18/a... As a fantasy reader, not ever having read K. J. Parker has always been one of my private shames. But hey, now that we know he’s Tom Holt, does this count? Given how the books he writes under the two different names are apparently so completely different, I’m guessing probably not, huh? Oh well, can’t blame a girl for trying, right? I do admit though, that was one impetus that led me to try this book. Not knowing what I was 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/09/18/a... As a fantasy reader, not ever having read K. J. Parker has always been one of my private shames. But hey, now that we know he’s Tom Holt, does this count? Given how the books he writes under the two different names are apparently so completely different, I’m guessing probably not, huh? Oh well, can’t blame a girl for trying, right? I do admit though, that was one impetus that led me to try this book. Not knowing what I was in for, and not even being aware that The Good, the Bad and the Smug is actually the fourth novel in a series, I actually ended up pleasantly surprised and very impressed. Taking place in Holt’s YouSpace universe, this book can indeed be read as a stand-alone, and not being familiar with the previous books did not impede my personal enjoyment in any way. Working on the principle of multiple universes, this particular tale lands us in a fantasy world completely with elves, dwarves, and even goblins – a rare treat. Horrible, evil things they are though, those goblins, but their king Mordak is hoping to revitalize things with a rebranding. Of course, the first order of business is to make sure the media is in your pocket, which means buying up all the newspapers that say bad things about you. Efluviel is an elf journalist who promptly loses her job thanks to Mordak’s shenanigans, but when she is subsequently offered a position as the goblin king’s new assistant, how could she say no? Everyone’s gotta eat, after all. Meanwhile, deep in the dark forest lives a little man, offering all the human princes of the land his services to spin straw into gold in exchange for their first born children. As gold floods the market and the price of straw skyrockets, this sudden economic turmoil is just yet another thorn in King Mordak’s side. Humans are on the up and up, and that simply won’t do at all. Time to figure out what’s going on. Tom Holt’s style has been compared to Christopher Moore and Terry Pratchett, and indeed it seems he’s known for his satirical takes on various fictional themes, often in humorous and over-the-top ways. This most definitely describes The Good, The Bad and the Smug which admittedly is not my usual type of read, but I had a great time with it regardless. Humor is so subjective, and I almost always approach books like this with no small amount of skepticism and trepidation. One might even say I expect to be disappointed. The fact that this book defied my cynicism and ended up endearing itself to me is a pretty big deal. In truth, it’s probably more ridiculous than I would prefer, but I did laugh a lot. That’s something. That’s huge. Audiobook comments: The audiobook for The Good, The Bad, and the Smug was truly excellent, giving me no cause to regret my decision to listen to this instead of reading the print. It also prompted me to look up narrator Ray Sawyer to see what other books he has read, but I was only able to find the three other audio installments in the YouSpace series. His voice really is the ideal match for a story like this though, especially since so many of the jokes are best delivered in a deadpan manner, which Sawyer nails down perfectly in his performance. If I were to go back and pick up the previous books, audio would probably be my choice of format, just to hear him read again. He made Mordak the goblin king even more hilarious, and his timing and accents are dead-on. I confess, however, that I am not good at all with describing humor, so ultimately this is probably something you would have to try for yourself to see if it works for you. For me personally, this turned out to be quite a funny and refreshingly clever book. The plot is silly, but it’s not without substance. The writing is also sharp, with just the right amount of cheek. Satire is tricky, but Tom Holt’s style seemed to strike the right note with me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    If you are looking for a serious discussion on Good versus Evil then this book is not for you. But if you want a funny story that blurs the edges right off Good versus Evil and leaves a pile of short jokes then this is it. There are many spoofs and parodies of popular modern mythology. Here are some.. Some parts are set in New Zealand (my home land) where a movie is being filmed using lots of goblin extras. A sub prime investment scam about spinning straw into gold and back again. A reformed Dark Lor If you are looking for a serious discussion on Good versus Evil then this book is not for you. But if you want a funny story that blurs the edges right off Good versus Evil and leaves a pile of short jokes then this is it. There are many spoofs and parodies of popular modern mythology. Here are some.. Some parts are set in New Zealand (my home land) where a movie is being filmed using lots of goblin extras. A sub prime investment scam about spinning straw into gold and back again. A reformed Dark Lord having an executive meeting and directing his team to produce action plans on connecting with the community. Funny quotes.. "Ignore him, its the altitude. Goblins can't handle anything ten feet above sea level." "Watch out. You can get a nasty nip from them goblins" The author Tom Holt piles up joke upon joke until it becomes hard to see who are the good guys and how you think the story should end. Enjoy!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pam Baddeley

    This isn't the sort of book I would normally read because - apart from a few honorary exceptions such as Douglas Adams' Hitch-hiker's Guide - I quite often find humorous stories rather too heavy handed and to be trying too hard to be funny. However, this was passed to me by a friend who enjoyed it, so I thought I would give it a fair try. At first, I found this to be rather too overworked in the usual fashion, but after persisting was able to find the odd gem and to smile wryly or chuckle here a This isn't the sort of book I would normally read because - apart from a few honorary exceptions such as Douglas Adams' Hitch-hiker's Guide - I quite often find humorous stories rather too heavy handed and to be trying too hard to be funny. However, this was passed to me by a friend who enjoyed it, so I thought I would give it a fair try. At first, I found this to be rather too overworked in the usual fashion, but after persisting was able to find the odd gem and to smile wryly or chuckle here and there. So not raucously funny, but fairly acceptable as a one-off. I've just discovered it is the last book in a series, but it doesn't seem to suffer for that. Everything you need to know to understand the strange events transpiring are more or less explained during the course of the book, apart from the two odd people employed to deter the 'hero and heroine' at one or two junctures: I now realise they might be explained in an earlier volume. I use the terms hero and heroine loosely because the hero is the goblin King who is meant to be evil though didn't really come over as such and the heroine is his Elf woman sidekick who wants to become editor of the Elves' snobby newspaper. There are a lot of jokes which are really poking fun at things in our world, although I thought the author was steering a bit too near the wind with a derogatory description of a well-known food product, considering that brand names are usually all right to mention in fiction as long as nothing negative is said. The cover is also slightly misleading - no dragons actually appear and no one goes around armed with a bow and arrow, least of all the heroine. Anyway, it was a decent page-turning read and would probably appeal more to readers who really enjoy comedy fiction. A solid 3 star rating therefore.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gerhard

    The doughnut was definitely looking at him. Hello, sailor, it seemed to be saying. Tom Holt’s latest foray into YouSpace is a bit of a detour into fantasy, probably at the insistence of K.J. Parker. Terry Pratchett inevitably springs to mind, who kind of perfected this trenchant inversion of modern institutions and mores. Or was it Charles Dickens? Nevertheless, this is a happy comparison. Smug is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. But it is not slipping-on-a-decapitated-elf’s-h The doughnut was definitely looking at him. Hello, sailor, it seemed to be saying. Tom Holt’s latest foray into YouSpace is a bit of a detour into fantasy, probably at the insistence of K.J. Parker. Terry Pratchett inevitably springs to mind, who kind of perfected this trenchant inversion of modern institutions and mores. Or was it Charles Dickens? Nevertheless, this is a happy comparison. Smug is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. But it is not slipping-on-a-decapitated-elf’s-head kind of humour. Yes, there is an element of gallows chuckles throughout, particularly some sublimely hilarious takes on YouTube and Wickedpedia. But behind the repartee and parrying is a very clever critique of modern economics. Not to mention High Fantasy, religion in general. And, of course, the Power of the Doughnut.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    4 stars Full review can be found at here at FantasyLiterature.com. 4 stars Full review can be found at here at FantasyLiterature.com.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jasper

    originally published at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2015... I was first introduced to Tom Holt's books about 6 years ago when I was reading Christopher Moore. Tom Holt was a high recommendation based on his books. My reading adventure started with The Portable Door and to be honest that was one of the first books that really put a smile on my face. When it comes down to finding a smart and funny read, Tom Holt is the author to look for. The Good, The Bad and the Smug is already the fourth b originally published at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2015... I was first introduced to Tom Holt's books about 6 years ago when I was reading Christopher Moore. Tom Holt was a high recommendation based on his books. My reading adventure started with The Portable Door and to be honest that was one of the first books that really put a smile on my face. When it comes down to finding a smart and funny read, Tom Holt is the author to look for. The Good, The Bad and the Smug is already the fourth book in the popular YouSpace series with the earlier books being: Doughnut, When it's A Jar and The Outsorceror's Apprentice. The YouSpace series focuses on a multiverse principle, you know where you have not one universe but parallel universes to may have some things in common or may not. Well the multiverses that Tom Holt shows aren't wholly similiar as there are universes with elves, goblins and dwarfs! And that by looking through the whole of a doughnut! Be careful when you eat one and what you wish for. The story follows multiple threads but the most pronounced one is that of the goblin king Mordak. Over the course of time the human's on his world (were dealing with multiple universes here remember!) are strangely getting more and more income in the form of gold, and thus accelerating their growth with more weapons and other threats which could possibly cause the humans to win the war against the the goblin empire led by Mordak. This is something where Mordak can't sit idle and let it just happen. He wants to get to the bottom of how the humans get their new found source of wealth. To make it all worse Mordak is assisted in his endeavors by an elf, a female elf known as Efluviel. Elves and goblins haven't really gotten along in the past, and both are rather reluctant to work together in the first place. Added to this comes the fact that the elf community are rather peculiar in their doings and Efluviel is no exception. All that Efluviel wants to do is write piece for the magazine known as the Face, an stylish elfish magazine, but well now she has to work with Mordak, a goblin. With two opposite people AND Tom Holt's witty, sharp and stinging humor you can quite imagine that there are plenty laugh out loud moments. A different point of view is offered by a set of humans not the human that live in Mordak realm, the humans that want to win the arms race. But the human from a different universe. They stumble upon something that will have massive consequences for the multiverse. Because somethings just cannot be done without a cost. Rumpelstiltskin, give him some straw and the whole universe might collapse. These human are trying to find away to stop this from happening. Luckily there is always plan B! As with all of Tom Holt's stories The Good, The Bad and The Smug, really is an outstanding piece of humor (I can imagine that not everyone will be a fan of these books, well actually I can't, they are that funny!). There were so many funny moments that definitely puts Tom Holt on top of his game. He sticks to his own created puns en jokes but also uses that of our own. Like the one with "your mission should you choose to accept it" and plenty more where that one game from. For me Tom Holt's writing style is unique: it's clever, it's sharp, it's to the point and above all very funny. Now for the characters. Brilliant. Just brilliant. From the start I loved the small little goblin Mordak. Though he is seen as one of the dark lords he isn't that dark, he likes to eat humans, because well they are great staple, he wants to go to war because it is in the nature of the goblins. But next to that he isn't extreme. For such a dark person he actually has quite a good sense of humor. A sense that did have to grow mainly due to the forced interaction with Efluviel, the elf. It was a blast to see their interaction the constant outsmarting, trying to out do the other. Efluviel is also pretty sharp the part where Mordak falls and Efluviel rescues him is just awesome. It those kind of moments that make this book so much fun to read! I have read some books which also focus on multiversing but these had a more serious background. The idea of looking through a circular object with a hole that then transports you to place you think off is quite imaginable and can and actually does go every which way. This unique twist given to the science fiction theme of multiversing is just well pretty cool especially with the heavy influence of Epic Fantasy in the result of it all. Awesome. The Good, The Bad and The Smug continues the stellar and out of this universe YouSpace series perfectly. This is precisely one the things Tom Holt has made a name in for himself creating a smartly funny story. Wherein he not only challenges the reader but also himself in trying to write something funnier each and every time. The ending of the book shows that this might not be the last in the YouSpace series, I hope! Because when you look through a doughnut everything can happen! When it comes down to finding a smart and funny read, Tom Holt is the author you want to read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    I enjoy Tom Holt books and this one had plenty of the expected smart remarks, wit and satire. The characters were extremely well drawn and funny and although it is fourth of a series that did not matter. Enjoyable overall but did not satisfy as well as usual. Have read The Portable Door series and knew what to expect, but this did not seem to flow and connect between the various plots as well as other books and for me was too long. The narrator, Ray Sawyer was excellent, with some notable and appr I enjoy Tom Holt books and this one had plenty of the expected smart remarks, wit and satire. The characters were extremely well drawn and funny and although it is fourth of a series that did not matter. Enjoyable overall but did not satisfy as well as usual. Have read The Portable Door series and knew what to expect, but this did not seem to flow and connect between the various plots as well as other books and for me was too long. The narrator, Ray Sawyer was excellent, with some notable and appropriate accents for so many characters. His Prince Valentine had a very familiar Royal ring to his voice that I seemed to recognise, somehow.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert 'Rev. Bob'

    Excellent, as usual. Holt knows his craft, and this fourth YouSpace volume tilts the series a little more toward fantasy from its theoretically SF origins. In the finest traditions of satire, there's plenty of snarky commentary to go around, on subjects ranging from moral relativism and economic manipulation to journalism and epic fantasy tropes. I thoroughly recommend Holt in general to anyone who liked Douglas Adams's work, and this series is a fine place to start... just, please, at the beginn Excellent, as usual. Holt knows his craft, and this fourth YouSpace volume tilts the series a little more toward fantasy from its theoretically SF origins. In the finest traditions of satire, there's plenty of snarky commentary to go around, on subjects ranging from moral relativism and economic manipulation to journalism and epic fantasy tropes. I thoroughly recommend Holt in general to anyone who liked Douglas Adams's work, and this series is a fine place to start... just, please, at the beginning.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kiwi Carlisle

    I usually quite like Tom Holt, butfor some reason this reminded me of a sort of bargain basement combination of Terry Pratchett, minus Sir Pterry's flashes of profundity, and Monty Python. I usually quite like Tom Holt, butfor some reason this reminded me of a sort of bargain basement combination of Terry Pratchett, minus Sir Pterry's flashes of profundity, and Monty Python.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Melbie

    Holt is soo funny and this book had me laughing out loud -- a lot!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edoardo Albert

    The Good, the Bad and the Smug was not as funny as I'd hoped and expected it would be. Tom Holt is a prolific author whom I've never got round to reading before, but I wanted something light and funny and I have a weakness for inverted fantasy tropes and the like, so I thought I would try him out. But it didn't quite work for me. Writing humour is, admittedly, the most difficult and subjective of skills: what will have one person laughing uncontrollably may barely raise a chuckle from someone el The Good, the Bad and the Smug was not as funny as I'd hoped and expected it would be. Tom Holt is a prolific author whom I've never got round to reading before, but I wanted something light and funny and I have a weakness for inverted fantasy tropes and the like, so I thought I would try him out. But it didn't quite work for me. Writing humour is, admittedly, the most difficult and subjective of skills: what will have one person laughing uncontrollably may barely raise a chuckle from someone else, so it's quite possible that other readers will disagree. But personally I think if one of the main characters is a goblin king then he ought to be a little more, well, evil than the one here - especially for a novel that bills itself as being 'beyond good and evil'. That's the book's other failing for me: its attempt at philosophical profundity via jokes falls as flat as the most of the jokes. Philosophy, being both ridiculous and profound, should raise great belly laughs, not the odd wry smile. So, for me, not enough good jokes and too much cod philosophising.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Robin-Tani

    While this book wasn't as hilarious as "The Management Style of the Supreme Beings," it still gave me plenty of smiles and chuckles. Mr. Holt is a master of back-and-forth squabbling between feuding fantastical creatures. While this book wasn't as hilarious as "The Management Style of the Supreme Beings," it still gave me plenty of smiles and chuckles. Mr. Holt is a master of back-and-forth squabbling between feuding fantastical creatures.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charley Robson

    A goblin king, a Dark Lord, an Elvish journalist, a little man who spins straw into gold, and Good and Evil, the lynchpins of morality themselves... what could possibly go wrong? Massive kudos must go out to Mr Holt for creativity and originality - though I have a taste for funny, subversive fantasy novels, where I can find them, I have never read anything with a perspective quite like this one. Who would have thought that bad banking could be made quite such a sinister threat to the existence of A goblin king, a Dark Lord, an Elvish journalist, a little man who spins straw into gold, and Good and Evil, the lynchpins of morality themselves... what could possibly go wrong? Massive kudos must go out to Mr Holt for creativity and originality - though I have a taste for funny, subversive fantasy novels, where I can find them, I have never read anything with a perspective quite like this one. Who would have thought that bad banking could be made quite such a sinister threat to the existence of the multiverse? Well, more than it already is, anyway. And yet despite that, I wish I could rate this book a little differently. On one hand, it thoroughly deserves the four stars it gets on a technical level; the writing, the plot, the balancing of chapters and characters is all superbly deft. However, I cannot help but feel a little disappointed. Perhaps I simply expected something other than what I've got, but my quibbles are large enough to bring down my opinion of the book overall. For one, most of the characters - funny and on the nose as they are - feel pretty arch, more like pieces being moved around in a game than people or things we're supposed to get invested in and care about. The few characters who break this trend are sadly minor, and one or two of them (looking at you, old man and boy who eats) are given neither enough page-time or sufficient explanation or closure for my liking. My biggest issue, however, is the feeling that the story gave itself too much to do. This includes characters who appear for one chapter and then are never seen or referenced again, and a few too many complications in worldbuilding and narrative that rather trip up and obscure the enjoyable story at its centre. How the many perspectives and story elements inter-relate is pretty unclear until the very end, and while it's all extremely clever and concise, the effort of having to tie up all these loose ends leaves the story without much of a climax. Despite the many warnings of the characters, there's never a sense of any real danger, trouble, upset or great philosophic re-orientation. Which is a shame, because the ending (or, rather, endings) themselves are a lot of fun and very satisfying, undermined only by how brief they have to be in order to fit them all in. The final ending left a rather bad taste in my mouth, too, but that was for entirely personal reasons I will not use to piddle on what is a rather fitting and very biting comment by the author. Overall, it's a very, very good book - it's original, it's clever, it's well paced and witty and so pointedly on-the-nose in its parodic elements that Tolkien himself needs a rhinoplasty. However, as good as it is, I cannot help but be left feeling that it could have been a great book, were there not a few complicated elements to tangle around its feet and trip it up. But, of course, I would not be so annoyed by these niggles if I did not like the rest of it so much. So, does it get my recommendation? Absolutely yes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Haley Mathiot

    I love Tom Holt’s sense of humor and writing style. He is sarcastic, quirky, fun to read, entertaining, light-hearted, and hilarious. I fell in love with his world and his style when I read (listened to) Doughnut way back in 2013. Apparently TGTB&TS is book 4 in the series and I missed all the ones in between. But not once did I feel lost or confused. Actually I didn’t even know it was part of the series until I recognized the sound of “The Very Very Large Hadron Collider.” That being said, I’d I love Tom Holt’s sense of humor and writing style. He is sarcastic, quirky, fun to read, entertaining, light-hearted, and hilarious. I fell in love with his world and his style when I read (listened to) Doughnut way back in 2013. Apparently TGTB&TS is book 4 in the series and I missed all the ones in between. But not once did I feel lost or confused. Actually I didn’t even know it was part of the series until I recognized the sound of “The Very Very Large Hadron Collider.” That being said, I’d recommend reading book 1 before you read this, otherwise you will be so confused it would distract you from how funny the book is. Tom Holt has managed to take something so absolutely ridiculous and impossible and make it totally real. The characters are well built and real (even if they are goblins and elves and stock brokers pretending to be rumplestiltskin). The plot had my heart racing (trying to figure out why The Dark Lord is crying over patterned curtains is a serious matter) and the conclusion, though open to interpretation and somewhat confusing, was still fulfilling. I’m very happy with this book and look forward to going back (and forwards) to enjoy the others in the series! Content/Recommendation: some language, some mention of eating body parts. no sex. Ages 18+

  15. 4 out of 5

    Herman Fassett

    4.5 I actually read this whole book without realizing that it was the 4th in the series... Go figure. To be honest, I've never read any book quite like this. The biting satire and quick wit and humor... The comical parallels to everything from Good King Wenceslas to what I imagined was Dicken's Circumlocution Office. Even the style of story development is quite a bit different than what I'm used to; it definitely wouldn't have kept me as interested in this book without all the satire. Still not ce 4.5 I actually read this whole book without realizing that it was the 4th in the series... Go figure. To be honest, I've never read any book quite like this. The biting satire and quick wit and humor... The comical parallels to everything from Good King Wenceslas to what I imagined was Dicken's Circumlocution Office. Even the style of story development is quite a bit different than what I'm used to; it definitely wouldn't have kept me as interested in this book without all the satire. Still not certain if I'll go and read the other books in the series yet, but recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rpaul Tho

    Another great Tom Holt YouSpace novel. It was witty and fast paced and light hearted throughout. I’ve ordered some of Tom’s older novels as a result.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arminzerella

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. An evil investment banker wreaks havoc when he decides to redeem himself (and right past wrong-doings) by creating stable economies and social harmony across the multiverse. He leaves a huge evil deficit in his home world, the inhabitants of which must scrabble to rectify (or explode out of existence). Thankfully, they find a supply of goblins (who are by definition, evil) to import and cryogenically freeze to balance things out. But this creates problems elsewhere, as does the banker’s Rumpelst An evil investment banker wreaks havoc when he decides to redeem himself (and right past wrong-doings) by creating stable economies and social harmony across the multiverse. He leaves a huge evil deficit in his home world, the inhabitants of which must scrabble to rectify (or explode out of existence). Thankfully, they find a supply of goblins (who are by definition, evil) to import and cryogenically freeze to balance things out. But this creates problems elsewhere, as does the banker’s Rumpelstiltskin scheme, and Mordak, king of the goblins, along with his trusty Elf advisor, Efluviel, must unravel these mysteries and set things to rights to ensure the mutual survival of their peoples. Clever and hilarious – fans of Douglas Adams, Tom Robbins, and Terry Pratchett will love this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Deb Whittam

    This is the first novel I have read by Tom Holt and I found it really easy to work out the plot and the characters. This made the book a really pleasant read where you weren't tasked with too much work. Would recommend for light entertainment This is the first novel I have read by Tom Holt and I found it really easy to work out the plot and the characters. This made the book a really pleasant read where you weren't tasked with too much work. Would recommend for light entertainment

  19. 4 out of 5

    Liz Warwick

    Go New Evil! What used to be called a rollicking read. Enjoyed ever word and look forward to reading many more of Tom Holt's books; may they all be a clever, funny and we'll written. Go New Evil! What used to be called a rollicking read. Enjoyed ever word and look forward to reading many more of Tom Holt's books; may they all be a clever, funny and we'll written.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nell

    I'm not sure if it's possible for a plot to feel all over the place in a good way, but that's how I'd describe this. It's not super focused on any one important thing, or on any one approach. Flexible and funny. I'm not sure if it's possible for a plot to feel all over the place in a good way, but that's how I'd describe this. It's not super focused on any one important thing, or on any one approach. Flexible and funny.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Like almost all Tom Holt books I have read, this one too is full of good ideas. Far too many in my opinion, and not followed-up properly and that's a pity. Some things are hilarious ( like the "transfusion cuisine" at the restaurants preferred by gnomes ). Like almost all Tom Holt books I have read, this one too is full of good ideas. Far too many in my opinion, and not followed-up properly and that's a pity. Some things are hilarious ( like the "transfusion cuisine" at the restaurants preferred by gnomes ).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    Very funny! Pratchett-esque, social satire. I didn't realize it was part of a series when I got it but I didn't feel like I couldn't figure out what was happening with the characters. Will definitely be reading the first three & more from this author. Very funny! Pratchett-esque, social satire. I didn't realize it was part of a series when I got it but I didn't feel like I couldn't figure out what was happening with the characters. Will definitely be reading the first three & more from this author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ann Dulhanty

    definitely a 4.5 . this book struck me for the inter[personal] interactions - really they were between goblin, elf, human, dwarf and various permutations of the foregoing - but they were great. realistic. snappy. some true laugh out loud moments. a good story too, with a zinger ending.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia McIvers

    Tom Holt - for when you're in the mood for sillyness. Of course there's a plot, too, and Good vs Evil (but who is on which side?) and pretty elves, ugly goblins, gold, gold into straw, and war. But mostly, oy. Silly and fun. Tom Holt - for when you're in the mood for sillyness. Of course there's a plot, too, and Good vs Evil (but who is on which side?) and pretty elves, ugly goblins, gold, gold into straw, and war. But mostly, oy. Silly and fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trish Graboske

    Library Journal compares it to Terry Pratchett, but I find it heavier-handed satire, rather labored and not as funny. Still, there are some funny bits, and engaging characters, so it's entertaining. I liked When It's a Jar the most, of the four books in this series. Library Journal compares it to Terry Pratchett, but I find it heavier-handed satire, rather labored and not as funny. Still, there are some funny bits, and engaging characters, so it's entertaining. I liked When It's a Jar the most, of the four books in this series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    I listened to this as an audiobook and had difficulties following the story at first. I had to read through a review first to catch up. Didn't really catch my full attention throughout. I listened to this as an audiobook and had difficulties following the story at first. I had to read through a review first to catch up. Didn't really catch my full attention throughout.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erik Dewey

    Very quirky and fun read. Has some good play on various fantasy tropes but never takes itself too seriously. I had fun with it and it read fine even though I hadn't read any of the previous books. Very quirky and fun read. Has some good play on various fantasy tropes but never takes itself too seriously. I had fun with it and it read fine even though I hadn't read any of the previous books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anna Gooding-Call

    Not my cup of tea.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David

    It’s funny and goes at a decent pace. It’s a lot better than the other books in this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Darren Thelwell

    Love Tom Holt, love this book!

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