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In Your Dreams (J. W. Wells & Co. #2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,887 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Ever been offered a promotion that seems too good to be true? You know - the sort they'd be insane to be offering to someone like you. The kind where you snap their arm off to accept, then wonder why all your long-serving colleagues look secretly relieved, as if they've been let off some strange and unpleasant hook...It's the kind of trick that deeply sinister companies li ...more
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Published April 1st 2005 by Isis (first published May 28th 2004)
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I'm sorry but I can't review this book. Not that I don't want to or that I'm too lazy to bother, it's just that the whole thing is so all over the place you'd have to be as insane as Tom Holt to try and review it. What? You think "all over the place" = bad book? Well, you've obviously never read anything by Tom Holt before.

Yes, sanity is greatly overrated in Tom Holt's world. I still haven't decided if the guy should be locked in an insane asylum for life or given a lifetime residency at Mensa.
John Rhodes
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only about half way through but it's good - gives me a nice warm feeling (usually when I turn a page and forget I'm holding my coffee cup).
Nathan Dehoff
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you rely on libraries for your reading material, it's an unfortunate fact that they rarely carry all of the volumes in a series, and the ones they do have often seem randomly selected. Such is the case with Holt's series set at the magical firm of J.W. Wells & Co., the company that makes a love potion in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Sorcerer. As revealed in Holt's books, they also deal in entertainment, politics, pest control (mostly slaying dragons and other monsters), locatin ...more
Rafal Jasinski
Trzeba jasno powiedzieć - Holt nie jest drugim Pratchettem i daleko mu do większości dokonań twórcy "Świata Dysku". Operuje on dowcipem dużo bardziej ciętym, humor jest tu o wiele bardziej cierpki, metafory mniej błyskotliwe a fabuła sklecona w sposób co nieco chaotyczny i raczej pretekstowy. Co jednak wyróżnia twórczość Holta na plus, w stosunku do ostatnich książek Pratchetta, jest pewna lekkość - autor po prostu nie próbuje przemycać jakiś głębszych prawd, unika moralizowania i dopisywania do ...more
3.5 stars:

Very funny book, and a very good sequel that mixes things up really well. Tom Holt's writing on this is very impressive, and very clever. He throws in several references to Lord of the Rings, but they're all in passing and from the perspective of the geeky hero. For example, listing out the titles of a hero went something like "Sir Wells, Slayer of Wyverns, Hero of the Northlands, and First Lieutenant Rider of Rohan". Or calling a monster a "poor man's Nazghoul". Holt also throws some
Jonathan Lupa
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In which our accidental hero formally completes his hero training, many amusing things are stumbled upon, and generally crazy people to crazy things. Still funny; Still Ziggy. Overall, enjoyable.

I'm developing two side opinions on these books:

1. Tom Holt can sometimes be a little bleak regarding the relationships of humans. I understand that most of the supporting characters in these books are sort of "light evil props", but the main characters seem to have a blindness to interpersonal relations
Markus Manhart
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
The successor of "The Portable Door" has been written in the same dark humor Tom Holt is known for. Even the story is tied to the first book, it's not more of the same but much the better. It's taking me to a journey of another world within our world.
A great book again.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follow the cold and naps.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't wait to go to the library to find number 3 in the series
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like the story really dragged its feet up until there was about 100 pages left. This could have really been condescend into like 250 pages. Holt's writing also just seemed a little "meh"; I remember loving the first book in the series so much more, the writing, characters, and plot were easier to engage with. This one felt wondering, unsure of a direction. I think it is because the dynamic between Paul and Sophie was so present in the first one while this one didn't have that due to Sophi ...more
M.G. Mason

I loved The Portable Door. It was a funny and quirky, lighthearted fantasy read. This is the first sequel in a trilogy. Paul and Sophie, the apparent mismatched couple, are now living together. The story begins with Paul offered an unusual promotion, a promotion that seems way beyond his abilities and a little undeserved. He takes it, naturally. And so begins the start of the trouble.

All seems rosy until he comes home one day to see that Sophie has left him. The note explains that she was offere
Lorna Johnstone
Perfect "Escapism" Read..

Tom Holt.
As ridiculous and ridiculously witty, clever, smart, obscure and perfect as always.

I've never read a Tom Holt book from which I've not saved at least one or two sentences or indeed paragraphs.

If you've read him... you get it.

If you've never read him? Please do. Simply suspend belief and go with his flow.
Fabulously clever, witty stories.
Each one as addictive as the next.
Isabel (kittiwake)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book stands head and shoulders above the first in the series but it suffers from the same problem: wildly inconsistent writing quality across the book.

The first quarter of the book is dull and a mess of disjointed plot threads that don't seem to serve any purpose. It starts to pick up after that but doesn't really get good until halfway into the novel. In its defense, the second part of the book is really, really good, making it a great read on the whole. But having to plod on through a bor
Jeff James
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another entertaining book by Tom Holt, although I got a bit bogged down in the middle. This is the middle book in a trilogy, and wasn't quite as entertaining as the first one, but was still worth my time. I'll have to track down the third book to get a resolution to the story, although the reviews on seem to think #3 isn't as good. So far Tom Holt seems like a hit-and-miss author. The other two books I've read by him, Flying Dutch and Faust Among Equals, were alternately entertaining ...more
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lighthearted
I thought this was much longer than it needed to be and not as funny as it was in the beginning. Paul was the stereotypical comedic main character in the sense that he was absolutely and completely hapless and hopeless in the most dull-witted way. I was getting supremely frustrated by how well he blatantly ignored anything that obviously meant something (even interrupting people when they were about to say something important), but when (view spoiler) ...more
Yvonne Boag
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In Your Dreams by Tom Holt is the second book in the Portable Door series. Paul Carpenter has been promoted in the office and moved to pest control. Turns out that Paul is considered a hero by everyone but him. There are wyverns in the teller machines and the fey are out to conquer the world, not only that but his dreams are getting damn confusing. And that's after his girlfriend breaks up with him and moves to the Hollywood office.

This series is my favourite by Tom Holt. It is highly amusing, h
Paul Carpenter is like a really stupid Harry Potter. A really, REALLY stupid Harry Potter.

And I never thought Harry Potter was a genius. I mean, half the HP books could have been short circuited if Harry had just effing TOLD someone there was a problem. Poor communication skills were, in my opinion, well more than half his problem.

Poor communication skills are like 90% of Paul's problem.

But I could just be bitter because I saw the resolution coming approximately 800 pages before Paul did, and th
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
This was very funny and imaginative. It was also very cleverly done. This is one of those stories where everyone else knows more about what is going on than the hero at least at the beginning and that is part of the humour. The problem with these story lines is that at some point the hero has to start being more aware of the situation and that can be when the story loses much of its humour. However Tom Holt handles that change very deftly and switches to different source of humour and it carries ...more
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Holt is a fantastic comedy/Fantasy writer, and makes magic and gods seem like every day events, in one book you can find old Norse Gods living in an old folks home or as in this case a firm that deals in magic, hero's and banking (with the bank of the dead)
There are 3 books in this set of story's about Paul Carpenter, this being the middle one, it's a stand alone story but better if you read the others starting with "Portable Door". I am currently on my 3rd reading of this book and still enj
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rough start, but all-in-all much improved over the previous book. The book opens, like a Karate Kid movie, but having the love interest, fought so hard for in the first installment, newly gone and replaced by a new love interest. Baffling, to say the least. But it quickly levels out into a much funnier book with more affectionate mocking of Paul's general ineptitude and back luck, with less obsession with Paul's love life and fewer geek culture references. The story is still not particularly m ...more
Morgan Murray
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Tom Holt's best books, In Your Dreams is the second in the Paul Carpenter trilogy. This book concerns the Fey and see the hero work in the banking and heroism sectors of the JW Wells firm.

Just like the rest of Holt's books, IYD is fun, throwaway excitement about a wet young man and his struggles against the various evil bastardry to be found in the world. There's no real moral, except maybe the total mercenary nature of the professional London firm, and everything turns out more or less O
Mar 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This clever, amusing novel follows The Portable Door, which I also quite liked. There is just enough geekery (usually of the literary-reference variety) and dry British wit to keep me snickering out loud page after page. Holt is exceedingly clever, and the plot actually worked quite well without resorting to gimmicks (at least none of the gimmicks feel like gimmicks). Definitely an amusing escape!
brian andrews
I read this book just after book1, but found it a hard read, the story lines were good, I believe that some parts of the 3rd quarter of the book could have been trimmed, there was a dip here, where I was tempted to jump ahead.
I enjoyed the book, but intend to take a break before I tackle the 3rd book of this series.
The will they, wont they story line of the main character is a little distrating, but then, the character is only a young man.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently reading this book as a result of choosing something at random in a book store. I didn't realize that it was the second in a series and while I've understood what's going on so far, I was wondering if I should stop and read "The Portable Door" first? I'm really enjoying this book and don't really want to stop reading it but if it will get confusing as it progresses due to having not read the first one, I'd like to know.
Rich Meyer
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Another solid entry in the J.W. Wells & Co. series from Tom Holt, this one once again uproots Paul Carpenter completely; he loses his girlfriend, kills a small dragon, and gets killed. But naturally that's not the end of the story...

Excellent writing and characterization here, as Holt's strange little world of magic and accounting is further fleshed out and we get a lot more history on many of the major characters in the series. Definitely recommended.
Another book I picked up not realizing it was in a series already in progress, which in this case was fine. It was self-contained enough that I didn't feel like I was missing important information.

Magic is real, most people don't know, the usual set-up, but done well, in the vein of Charles Stross's Laundry Files. Not that they're that similar, but hapless male protagonists and humour and I enjoyed it.
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Tom Holt. I enjoyed The Portable Door. In this sequel, I found Paul's idiotic, ineffective, self deprecating character beyond frustrating and absolutely PATHETIC. To make matters worse, Holt goes into excruciating detail into his stunningly idiotic thought processes. I gave it 3 stars for being back at J. W. Wells and for the other characters in the book. Thank god for them. However, I had to read 97% of the book before Paul got a spine. That definitely cost it 2 stars.
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
You work in an office where you really don't want to stay late and meet the cleaning crew. Your boss is a member of the fairy (fey) and may not have your best interests at heart and your on-the job training (to be a hero) may just kill you - if you can get through the paperwork. Your dreams should be a wonderful respite from a high stress job - right? Well, as it turns out....

A wonderful wry humor read. I quite enjoyed it!
Liza H
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: done
Not quite as good as the first book, "Portable Door"... it felt lacking in the same cohesion (if such a word can be applied to a book in which the characters flip-flop about in time/space) as the first book. There were still witty moments though and it was interesting to see the characters continuing on in their adventures.
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Tom Holt (Thomas Charles Louis Holt) 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 humorous ways. He has also pro
More about Tom Holt...

Other Books in the Series

J. W. Wells & Co. (7 books)
  • The Portable Door (J. W. Wells & Co., #1)
  • Earth, Air, Fire and Custard (J. W. Wells & Co., #3)
  • You Don't Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps (J. W. Wells & Co., #4)
  • The Better Mousetrap (J. W. Wells & Co., #5)
  • May Contain Traces of Magic (J. W. Wells & Co., #6)
  • Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages (J. W. Wells & Co., #7)
“Love is an optical illusion that makes you believe the object of your affection is the most beautiful person in the world.” 12 likes
“A romantic, I think the word is. Latin for idiot.” 7 likes
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