WHEN IT'S A JAR by Tom Holt

WHEN IT'S A JAR

KIRKUS REVIEW

Another British-accented comic fantasy, a sequel to Doughnut (2013), whose entire plot revolves around the ancient riddle, the answer to which is the book’s title.

This is a story of space-time bottles and doughnut holes, where there’s always another universe “at ninety-one degrees to that time and place in the D axis.” However, only the brave would attempt to summarize the plot. In the first few pages, the unassuming and ineffectual Maurice Katz has his destiny foretold; is informed by his head teacher, Mr. Fisher-King, who’s simultaneously levitating a doughnut, that “[y]ou’re not just feckless, you’re a black hole into which feck falls and is utterly consumed”; kills a dragon with a bread knife; and misplaces his girlfriend, "Steve," a soldier on leave from Afghanistan. (Steve will reappear, much later and all too briefly, as an elf in a world swarming with homicidal goblins and dwarves.) Meanwhile, a naked man trapped in an invisible bottle deduces the existence of everything from first principles, only to have his memory wiped—repeatedly. He may or may not be named Theo Bernstein, may or may not have invented the YouSpace device, and may or may not have created the universe by blowing up the Very Very Large Hadron Collider. Elsewhere, Maurice’s hated rival, George, has invented stealth furniture, which is so completely invisible you have to stumble around the room patting the air until you find something to sit down on. Ever wondered what it would be like to talk to a burning bush or how a job interview would go if you were forced to tell the absolute truth about everything? The answers are here.

Shapeless, demented and frequently hilarious.

Pub Date: Dec. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-22612-7
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Orbit/Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2013




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