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Barking

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  992 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Duncan's boss doesn't think he's cut out to be a lawyer. He isn't a pack animal. He lacks the killer instinct. But when his best friend from school barges his way back into Duncan's life, along with a full supporting cast of lawyers, ex-wives, zombies, and snow-white unicorns, it's not long before things become distinctly unsettling. Hairy, even.
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Published September 4th 2012 by Orbit (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cora
Apr 05, 2016 Cora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: graduates, office staff, adult fantasy fans.
Shelves: would-recommend
Barking was a wondering variation from the same old fantasy/vampire/warewolf stories (usually involving teenage girls).

As a 24 year old public relations graduate I completely empathised with the main character - a lawyer stuck in a job he hates- in fact, my heart bled for him. I wanted to run off into the sunset with him, our silhouettes holding hands, and never look back at the crushing mediocrity of office life.
This book gave me the next best thing, in the form of following him through a fanta
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Vergast
Apr 07, 2009 Vergast rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Tom Holt book, follow ups included a quick read i cant find here but was awesome in its portrayal of a man creeping along a tunnel hunting a monster. Of course this lead me to the second proper book of his i have which is 'you dont have to be evil to work here but it helps' which compaired to this one is a let down not only because an ex gf caught me reading it and is now convinced that she turned me to Tom Holt and now uses this whenere i run into her (which is too often we sh ...more
Jenny DuRoss
Brilliant. Utterly brilliant. I work at a law firm and that made this book even more laugh out loud funny than it already is. My boss borrowed it and never wanted to give it back, he loved it so much. Once again, Tom Holt manages to take the most ordinary, boring job and turn it into something hilarious and bizarre - all while maintaining the mundane realities that make you feel as though he could be talking about your own office.
M.Y. David
Jul 22, 2015 M.Y. David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Tom Holt book that I had ever read and it was this very book that introduced me to Holt and his collection of other amazing works.

Highly imaginative, very funny indeed and a very clever storyline - well done, Holt!
Kris
Not one of Holt's best efforts, it was amusing in places and damned tedious in even more places. The story really doesn't get rolling until about the two-thirds point, up til then it's a lot of "Oh my life is shit... superpowers are cool but my life is still shit." The last third of the book is fast paced, humorous and worth the read. I suggest skimming the first 200 pages and dive in around 230 or so.
Soho_Black
I've tended to avoid comic fantasy in recent years. Part of the reason for this is that no matter how hard I've tried, I've always failed to find anything that could match up to Pratchett and Gaiman's "Good Omens" for comedy value. I tried Matthew Thomas' "Before and After", which turned out to be a pale imitation of "Good Omens". I was encouraged to try Robert Rankin on the recommendation of friends, but didn't find his brand of humour to my taste.

I am, however, a big fan of comedy. In films an
...more
Hilary Bein
Oct 12, 2016 Hilary Bein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at an airport bookshop based on the title and liked it so much that I sought out a number of his other books. I loved the premise and the humor throughout.
Sara
Apr 10, 2012 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: like-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annette
Jun 11, 2009 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book over several week's time in my favorite local bookstore - the one with lots of comfy seating encouraging you to try before you buy - before finally purchasing it when the new baby made it clear that reading for more than 5 minutes at a stretch in a public place was going to be pretty unlikely for the next few months (years).
It was worth the price: Tom Holt is a new favorite. I really enjoy his blend of the depressingly mundane and the fantastic, as in this book starring a group
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Judith
Sep 03, 2011 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barking by Tom Holt starts off a bit dull unless you are terribly fond of puns or your ideal protagonist is a hopeless twit who became a tax lawyer and found his work really boring. Once you give serious consideration to Holt's idea, however, that the practice of law is really better suited to werewolves and vampires than humans, things pick up rather nicely. How lawyers accommodate the effects of a full moon, for example, makes for some colorful scenes, and eventually when it happens that the s ...more
Brian
Oct 28, 2009 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barking is a clever book that combines the common theme of vampires versus werewolves with the not-so-common theme of, well, lawyers. The result is a book full of inside jokes about practicing law in England with enough of the supernatural thrown in to keep non-lawyers interested. The only thing that bothered me was Holt's inability to avoid too much of a good thing. The biggest example of this is his climax-by-dialogue in which minor bursts of action are interspersed between really long convers ...more
Dean Ezra
Feb 12, 2016 Dean Ezra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A typical Tom Holt book, humorous and witty, depicting what starts off looking like an everyday set of characters (lawyers again). Which then turns out to be anything but.

I like the first half of the book where if you didnt read the title, you could be fooled into thinking it wasnt about werewolves!

I liked the way that Holt describes the school yard gang that everyone probably remembers from their youth. The hierarchy between 'friends' and the pack mentality fits very well.

I think holt could ha
...more
Nathan Dehoff
Jun 10, 2016 Nathan Dehoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the last of Holt's comic fantasies that I had to read, and it's pretty typical of him in many ways. The main protagonist is a lawyer who, when fired from his firm, joins up with his old friends from school whom he'd tried to get away from. They've all become werewolves, which makes them really good lawyers, and gives them canine habits. The description of their office sounds like kind of a parody of free work spaces, as the employees are allowed to take naps and chew on furniture as muc ...more
Jennie
I made it through the first hundred pages or so, then kind of got stalled. As with all of the Holt books I've read, the story starts out strong and funny, and then just buries itself in too-complex plots, a lot of talking about the plot, and a lot of nonsense to just muddy the waters. It's unfortunate, because with some tighter editing I could probably really enjoy these. The way it stands, though, there's just too much unrealized potential.

I don't know what's more disappointing: the fact that
...more
Audrey Hammer
This is a bit of an odd book, which is expected. I was hoping it would be a little more odd.

Duncan Hughes is a poor sap of a probate lawyer stuck in a crappy job. His old school chum barrels back into his life, and he realizes how much he never liked the guy. But the friend is oblivious to Duncan's annoyance.

After about a hundred pages or so, Duncan starts encountering creatures like werewolves and vampires and zombies. It's not immediately obvious who the true villains are. Ultimately, he mus
...more
Lori Whitwam
Aug 28, 2008 Lori Whitwam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, paranormal
What do you do when you're a mediocre lawyer who hates his job? And your best friend from school (who you now realized you never liked all that much), shows up again? And you're suddenly fired from your job? And your old friend bites you and you are instantly a werewolf? But you now make tons of money? Then find out your ex-wife is actually a vampire? And you now have an urge to chase a unicorn, and gnaw table legs, and can catch a rubber ball almost before you realize it's been thrown?

Read "Bar
...more
Bonnie
I needed a book to read on my final retur trip home from my days in Holland. What I didn't realize was that the info on the back cover should have been taken literaly and not as an overtone. The book took me by surprise, but Tom Holt does have a funny sense about him when writing this book. A couple times the story was hard to follow, but as I read on everything unfolded into the big picture. If you like stories of vampires and werewolves in the non traditional sense, then this book is for you.
Leigh Terry
Dueling old-firm law agencies -- vampires versus werewolves. Unicorns tempting men all across Great Britain. Zombies employed in menial task positions as a way to undercut off-shoring employment. Star-crossed lovers. And the philosophical debate of who actually declares you dead -- the coroner or the government's tax authority. Simply marvelous.

Wonderfully zany, and advert for one of my favorite novels, "A Dirty Job" by Christopher Moore in the back.
Corinna
I picked up this book as a filler to cure my book hangover; I just finished The Tiger's Wife and both books from Patrick Rothfuss' The Kingkiller Chronicle and this seemed a light enough read.

There were a few haha moments in the book but those occurred more in my head, than me chortling aloud. There was still a distinct Tom Holt voice in the book, but the messy story plot 3/4 in the book, was a bit distracting.
Ryan
Apr 07, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy and Humor readers
Without a doubt, this is Holt's most sensible book... and I mean that in a good way. He tends to start off solidly, develop an intriguing climax, and then lose me by the last third of the book. I still enjoy reading to the end, but I don't always get everything that happened. 'Barking' still has a bit of that, but it's far easier to follow, and that allows Holt's humor to shine through. Highly recommended.
Bookfrogglin
Aug 21, 2012 Bookfrogglin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was given to me as a present and having never read any Tom Holt before I was pleasantly suprised (I was told he could be "a bit patchy"). I found it funny, imaginative and relatively well paced. The twisty plot made it a bit less predicatble, and the characters had enough depth to keep me engaged. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon when the alternative was taking a very yappy dog (not mine) for a christmas walk...
Joy
Mar 04, 2016 Joy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although there were a few funny parts in the book, overall this book was a struggle to get through. The first couple of pages had promise, then it going boring. Around 18-19% through the book, it began to pick up. Even though it got more interesting through the story, it was messy and confusing.

Very disappointed in this read
Jay Little
It was... okay. Sure, it's a story of vampires and werewolves, but at least there are a few things to make it different, if not interesting. Granted, they are obvious and hit you over the head. Not a big fan of Holt's writing style -- he writes as if he's congratuling himself on what a clever writer he is.
Kris Nichols
Jun 08, 2010 Kris Nichols rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite liked this, bought on a shelf recommendation at Powell's in Portland, OR. Author's sense of humor was great, and I had a few out-loud chuckles while reading it. The last third of the book gets a little convoluted before the big ending, though, and I had to just sort of plow through assuming it would all make more sense later on.
Deborah
Aug 21, 2016 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When life seems all too much, and I need an escape, there's nowt better than sliding into the madcap alternative reality inhabited by Tom Holt's people. Wot Larks! His sense of comic timing is so palpable you can hear it while reading. I hope they don't ever turn his novels into films- the pictures are just so much better in my head.
Angie McGinley
I would say, it was OK. A little bit confusing at times, but the main character was confused so I guess I shared his journey. I guess I expected a little bit more and it seemed like the story was all over the place at times. It was still a fun read, and werewolf, vampire zombie lawyers is a hilarious combo.
Ross
Mar 10, 2009 Ross rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Christopher Moore.
This is a funny book, and definitely exemplifies British humor at its best, and occasionally, its worst (it sometimes reads like an overdone Monty Python sketch). Some of descriptions of the law firm life and rivalvries are pretty dead-on, and the descriptions of lawyers as vampires, werewolves and zombie warlords is sadly not that unimaginable.
Carole B
May 30, 2011 Carole B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holt finished this up in lovely style, and I enjoy his witty, clean, crisp narration. His characters were not likeable, yet I found myself wanting them to succeed- violently, badly, and it kept me reading. The contrast between the "real" life he'd been living before and his "new" life as a werewolf was at times hilarious, at times delightful.
Kara
Mar 14, 2010 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredibly long book. It is British humor which I don't get. I thought the ending was kind of anti-climatic. It is a nice twist vampires and werewolves that are lawyers. A shape shifting unicorn that is queen of the zombies and enemy to vamps and weres.
Margery
Aug 26, 2012 Margery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Tom Holt book, I was drawn to it because I liked the font he used for his name then saw the cover art and chuckled, then read the back. Bought 12 more after this one and that is really not much a dent in the Tom Holt library. Worth buying the paperbacks, you will lend them to friends.
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Tom Holt (Thomas Charles Louis Holt; born September 13, 1961) is a British novelist.
He was born in London, the son of novelist Hazel Holt, and was educated at Westminster School, Wadham College, Oxford, and The College of Law, London.
Holt's works include mythopoeic novels which parody or take as their theme various aspects of mythology, history or literature and develop them in new and often humor
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“Mostly I sit at home in the evenings watching the box and hoping that one day I'll evolve into plankton.” 12 likes
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