Review: ‘Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of Sausages’ by Tom Holt

I had the opportunity to read a galley of Tom Holt’s hilarious Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Sausages last week and am squeaking this review in just before the book is actually published on February 21st. Picture Indiana Jones, sliding beneath the closing stone door in the hidden corridors beneath the palace in The Temple of Doom. Okay… this isn’t really like that, but that was a great scene, you have to admit.

I requested this galley largely in part due to the suggestion of a good friend who had the chance to read the book before I did and I’m exceedingly happy that I did so. Despite, or more likely, because of the many mind-warping aspects of this story, I highly enjoyed reading, puzzling over and laughing with-though never at-this book.


A short blurb about the book:

Polly, an average, completely ordinary real estate solicitor is convinced she’s 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.

More than a magical ring, indeed. Perhaps a magical… pencil sharpener? Sure! Why not?!

Between a dry cleaner’s that relocates at random, a housing development that periodically disappears while the pristine, untouched land where it used to be comes up for sale again, and a couple of knights that have been duking it out for hundreds of years, in the dry cleaner’s toilet, no less… there’s plenty going on to keep one interested. There’s a real estate solicitor who keeps finding her coffee cup empty to the one that keeps finding hers full… what’s funny is that they work in the same office. Literally,  in the same chair at the same desk talking on the same phone in the very same office. At the same time. But they’ve never met. Something is certainly odd!

The absolute silly kept me laughing and more importantly, kept me reading. The sheer ‘what the hell is going on?’ feeling that the bizarre events elicited in me was plenty to keep my interest up and keep me reading. Despite jumping from character to character, at times right in the middle of a sentence, it didn’t make the flow of the story any more difficult to follow. Was I confused by the events of the story? Sure. Was I interested in the plight of the characters? Absolutely. Did I enjoy the hell out of it? You know I did. I generally take breaks between chapters as long as the ones in this book but upon scanning the first sentences of a new chapter, I was sucked in and just had to find out what mind-boggling events would transpire next.

Definitely a fun read and you can choose to either fly through it or stop between chapters to ponder the possibilities… and the ridiculousness of such expensive sausages!

A few fave lines: “The world would be an OK place if it wasn’t for people.”

“It’s one of the basic laws of human nature that a man suddenly finding himself in possession of an unanticipated pencil sharpener will immediately proceed to sharpen all the pencils in his possession.”

“His satnav seemed to have given up entirely. It kept warbling, ‘At the end of the road, phase-shift into an alternate universe,’ so he switched it off.”