Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Portable Door, Tom Holt

Posted by lea at 12:54 PM
If you like comedy mixed with fantasy and a lot of imagination, this is the book for you. Paul, the hero, is average bordering on loser. He's unemployed, has no luck with the ladies and gets booted out of his family home when his parents decide to move from dreary London to sunny Florida. Out of necessity, he applies for a job as a junior clerk at J.W. Wells & Co - a company he knows nothing about - and to his great surprise, he actually lands the job.

In no time, the seemingly dull business (which he still has no idea about) begins to show its rather weird and wonderful colours - but mostly weird. From his previously mundane existence, he wakes one morning to find a sword stuck in an unbudgable boulder in his small flat, then discovers a roll-up door the size of toilet roll tube that becomes a portal with no boundaries to time, place or dimension. To his mortification, he also discovers that the never-ending parade of gorgeous receptionists is actually a goblin (the mum of one of the firm's partners) who develops an inexplicable and leering crush on him. Soon, he and Sophie (the other junior clerk - a skinny, angular, prickly girl whom he is unaccountably attracted to) are bound together in a journey to uncover the mystery of J.W. Wells & Co.

Paul is an extremely engaging character and the plot and pace of The Portable Door are simply fabulous. Tom Holt's writing is fantastic and his comic timing is awesome - around 3/5 in the guffaw-metre, 4/5 on the snigger-metre and 5/5 on the smile-metre. Thankfully, The Portable Door is the beginning of a series, so expect more posts from me.

PS - If you like Terry Pratchett, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this.

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