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Publisher's Summary

Starting a new job is always stressful (especially when you don't particularly want one), but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J. W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organisation that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they're not, of course. They're away with the goblins. Mister Tom Holt, Master of the Comic Fantasy Novel, cordially invites you to join him in his world of madness by reading his next hilarious masterpiece.

©2003 Kim Holt (P)2003 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • leslie
  • Seven Hills, Ohio
  • 11-29-11

A weird one but worth it

It took me a little while to get into this story, but once I did, I found it fun and interesting. Really rather a delightful listen. The narrator was good too - brought the fun out in the book! If you want something fun, a little odd, and imaginative, give this a go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-14-12

Alternative!

I have just listened to another of Tom Holt's books, and I like his style, and his very quirky take on life! I liked this book, too and I have the next one in the series in my library. Some parts are very funny, other parts are just silly, but it grabs you and you just have to listen to find the answer! Narration is good, without any annoying lilts that sometimes iritate me. It's not "Discworld" but it's not far behind!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • 12-24-12

Best belly laugh I've had in ages, from Tom Holt.

I was dubious about listening to Tom Holts The portable door as I had previously read the book & enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to be disappointed which usually happens when watching a DVD of a previously read book, however the quite the reverse happened, I could not disconnect much to the angst of my family. they sat in growing irritation & grew rapidly thiner due to them not being able to feed themselves, (that will teach them to find the food closet themselves). The narrative was far better than even my reading & Tom Holts quirky humour had me belly laughing all the way through.The story line of a luckless geek battling with the unimaginable was priceless,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Davis
  • 02-01-14

Adrian Mole Meets Harry Potter

Any additional comments?

Finally I've found another brilliant book series to read. Although The Portable Door starts slow, it's worth the wait, and the early mundanity is entirely complimentary to the story line. In fact the whole of Tom Holt's magical world is a beautiful beige in comparison to the perhaps rainbow colours of Harry Potter to which it nods it's head more than once. It's hard to ignore the similarities, but to Tom Holts credit, he uses the device of a parallel wizarding universe to invent a vastly different creation which has a lot in common with the drab but completely hilarious world of Adrian Mole. In summary then : Harry Potter meets Adrian Mole (in the best possible way). Brilliantly read by Ray Sawyer, and worth more than the one credit that I paid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eve
  • 12-02-13

Worth the Read

What other book might you compare The Portable Door to, and why?

This book is definitely from the Terry Pratchett school of writing. It is full of weird and wonderful creatures with a 21st century sense of humour.

Any additional comments?

It is a little slow to start, but hang on in there, it's worth it. I'm looking forward to reading more Holt in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Seagull
  • 05-12-18

Funny and original

So how does it feel to find out that the only job you've been able to obtain is Seriously Weird? In this hugely enjoyable book, we follow Paul's adventures in a firm whose business is unlike any others. A wonderfully funny, complicated, original, engrossing story delivered by an excellent narrator.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart
  • 02-15-18

Less than the sum of its parts

To start with, I want to make the point that I did enjoy this book. It was mostly entertaining, the plot was interesting, there were funny bits, and the narrator was pretty good at narrating.

But.....
Yes there were funny bits, but it seemed to be trying too hard sometimes. Jokes and "funny" comments seemed to be crammed in wherever possible. Sometimes less is more.

The plot was full of inconsistencies. For example, the author seems to change his mind about whether going back in time allows you to remember what happened first time round, or whether it's a reset switch.

The most noticeable annoyance was the discrepancy between the apparent age / era of the main 2 characters (19 or 20 it seems, in early 2000s), and the language they use. They are about the same age that I was at that time, but they speak as if their age is somewhere between my dad and my grandfather.

Having looked it up, it seems they're using words and phrases that exactly match what I'd expect from the age of the author - not the age of the characters. A minor issue, but a constant one, hence quite annoying.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-14-17

A bad mix of better authors

I've never read tom holt before and I wouldn't say I'd bother again. It's ok as an easy read but if you've read terry pratchet, Neil gaiman. Douglas Adams or tom Robbins you'll probably find this book entirely predictable. It feels like a bad mash up of all the authors that do this genre...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • k r taylor
  • 09-30-17

Strangely enjoyable

I was a little bit hesitant about this book at the beginning, however as it progressed I found myself looking forward to the next chapters with anticipation.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have the next books in my wish list.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • theweeg
  • 06-22-17

Fantastic ideas, some irritating characters

Really enjoyed the storytelling and content but found it difficult to like the main character which meant I had to take breaks from the book at times. Brilliant imagination and humour throughout.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jon Cant
  • 01-31-17

Very slow start

I loved this book eventually, but you could pretty much dispense with the first half! I realise Tom Holt's style is to drag out the ordinariness of the situation before blowing it up, but seriously it only needed a bit of dull scene-setting. Once you get into the meat of the story I enjoyed it. Similarly though, I felt the plot had a whole bunch of potential that wasn't explored - possibly because it had such a long beginning.

I really want to love Holt's books, but right now it's just Barking that really hits the mark for me. Better than the Pursuit of Sausages though!