Science fiction, humor
February 21, 2011
The blurb, from Goodreads:
Tom Holt is back with a hilarious tale of magic, real estate, and a very important pig.
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.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages is my first introduction to Tom Holt’s writing, and what a fun introduction it was. I often start these reviews by talking about what or who the story is about. The who is easy enough, at first. Early on the narrator spends time primarily with brother and sister Don and Polly. Polly’s been having an odd time at work: returning to her desk to find that someone has drank her coffee, opening files to finish her work only to find that someone else has already finished it for her, and the dress she needs disappears along with the dry cleaner’s where she’d left it.
Something’s a bit hinky, and somehow it has something to do with the mathematics-inclined sow we meet in chapter one. How the two things are linked is a fun mystery to read, though it doesn’t seem like much fun for the characters, who have their lives turned upside down and inside out.
After meeting the sow, Don, and Polly, we gradually meet Mr. Huos, who apparently has the ability to do really nifty things like magic, and moving tectonic plates. The Williamses are living examples of those WWII propganda posters that say “keep calm and carry on,” which is exactly what they do when their lives are hijacked by the insanity unfolding in the novel. Then there is Mr. Gogerty, an investigator who specializes in, to paraphrase Polly, “weird.” It is through Gogerty, investigating the disappearance of a very important object, that various pieces of the “what the heck is going on?” puzzle begin to fit together.
As I was reading I was thinking that this felt like a mash up of Monty Python humor, China Mieville’s weird, and the pefectly paced mystery, with all the clues dropping in exactly the right place. I had a lot of fun reading Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages, and I’ll be looking up Holt’s other works now.
I’m pretty sure I did an inadequate job of communicating how funny I found this novel, but if you had seen me reading, you would’ve heard my little snort of amusement every few pages, seen me slap my hand over my mouth as I tried not to laugh too loudly whilst reading during lunch at work, and the generally dumb grin I had on my face the entire time I read it. It really was an entertaining read. If British humor is your thing at all, Holt’s your author, I believe.
Visit the author’s website.