Review: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages by Tom Holt

10 May

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of SausagesMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book was an absolutely ridiculous, immensely fun (and funny) look at what happens when time and space go awry for some otherwise perfectly ordinary people. And a pig. And possibly some chickens (although it isn’t clear to me what ordinary life is for chickens). It’s a cautionary tale of what happens when competition is taken a little too far, and unanswerable questions are taken a little too seriously.

Summary via

Polly is a real estate solicitor. She is also losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner’s to pick up her dress for the party, it’s not there. Not the dress – the dry cleaner’s.

And then there are the chickens who think they are people. Something strange is definitely going on – and it’s going to take more than a magical ring to sort it out.

From one of the funniest voices in comic fiction today comes a hilarious tale of pigs and parallel worlds.

The humor is similar in style to Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett– no matter how bizarre the situation, the characters (and the author) continue to do their best to keep on going. Whether it is cups of coffee that mysteriously empty, a dry cleaners that appears in a different spot each day, or a pig mentally debating cause, effect & quantum theory, the story just moves on.

While the book was far from character driven, I was impressed by how well drawn each of the people in the story were, considering how few strokes went into those sketches.  The focus here was on the plot, and on the setting (in as much as time and place were the crux of what was happening).

I did get a bit confused at times, but that was all in good fun. This isn’t just mindless enjoyment– the whole book is something of a 4 dimensional puzzle. I’m actually amazed at how well the plot tied up in the end. I’d really doubted there could be an even semi-rational explanation for everything, but at the final accounting there was only one piece I didn’t quite buy, and I’m willing to let that one slide, given how much I smiled and even laughed while reading the book.

I read this book through NetGalley— thank you to Orbit for approving my review request and giving me electronic access to this book!

1 Comment

Posted by on May 10, 2011 in books, reviews


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One response to “Review: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages by Tom Holt

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