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Only Human

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,412 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Something is about to go wrong. Very wrong. What do you expect if the Supreme Being decides to get away from it all for a few days, leaving his naturally inquisitive son to look after the cosmic balance of things? A minor hiccup with a human soul and a welding machine soon leads to a violent belch, and before you know it the human condition—not to mention the lemming condi ...more
Paperback, 343 pages
Published January 6th 2000 by Orbit (first published 1999)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,412 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’ve been saving up a pile of Tom Holt books with the expectations of a string of riotous reads. I randomly chose this one to start. The opening scene of God and Jesus headed off for a father son fishing trip and leaving Kevin Christ to watch the place, gave me intonations of Christopher Moore’s Lamb (the best book ever written), so needless to say, I was stoked. The feeling petered our shortly after that in a series of thin literary slap stick that never really hit the note for me. It felt like ...more
Rae Stoltenkamp
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Terry Pratchett died I was concerned that I would not be able to find another writer of fantasy of his ilk. But it feels as though I may well have found his replacement in Holt. This is the first ever Holt I've read so I may be wrong. In order to find out I simply have to read more. I suspect I'm right though. A cracking read which matches the craziness of times perfectly.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rincewind inside.
Matthew Barnes
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Once I got used to all the characters, I really enjoyed this book. Had a few chuckles here and there and a general feel good read.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Up in heaven the Godly Trinity is getting ready for a fishing trip – or rather the Father and Jay is, Uncle Ghost is getting ready to continue his sleeping spree. This knowledge alone would be quite disquieting to the rest of the world, but even more so would be knowing that God accidentally had a second (secret) son, Kevin Christ. And the facts get even more perturbing: teenager Kevin is left home alone to keep the fort. Well, sort of, housekeeper Martha is also there to keep things shipshape. ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it liked it
If a first page is what gets you hooked into a book, then this one did it hands down. It’s just a shame that it couldn’t keep up the high standard throughout the book instead of sliding on a slippery slope down to complete confusion.

The premise of Kevin Christ, God’s youngest and begotten son, messing with the world order while he and his older brother ‘Jay’ have gone on a fishing holiday is one to applaud – I do not, however, appreciate the half a dozen stories that revolve around this one plo
Isabel (kittiwake)
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
In the mirror he saw a short, bald, middle-aged man with rosy cheeks and square, black-rimmed glasses; not entirely unlike what he saw in his mirror at home, except for the lack of horns and the regrettably uncloven feet. Trying to balance on these flat nan-bread-shaped things was a nightmare in itself; to someone who was used to the functional elegance of the hoof, it was like trying to do a Fred Astaire dance routine in snowshoes. The lack of horns was something else he’d have difficulty getti ...more
Feb 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor
think I can honestly say that I *liked* this book. It was a light, funny read. I wasn’t completely cracked up but I wasn’t bored either. The idea of Heaven and Hell is an ideal one for a parody, or at least a humoristic work.
In Only Human, God and his eldest son Jay go away on a fishing trip leaving things in the hand of Kevin (God’s younger son)… well, things concerning the Cosmo are supposed to be in the hands of Mainframe, God’s computer designed by KIC… until Kevin decides to push a few keys
Simon Mcleish
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in November 2000.

After the rather downbeat Wish You Were Here, Tom Holt has returned to farcical humour for his next novel. It starts with a fairly standard idea in this sort of fiction, when Kevin, disregarded younger son of the Supreme Being (jealous of his successful older brother Jay), accesses his father's computer while he's out fishing. He manages to make some changes to the universe, but can't undo them - the manual is very thin, being designed for us
Nathan Dehoff
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recurring themes in Holt's books include musings on what it is to be human, and fantasy and mythology being reinterpreted in more modern contexts. This time, we learn that God Himself owns a computer manufactured by a major corporation. When He and Jesus go on a fishing trip, His younger son Kevin messes around with the computer and causes several people to switch minds with other things. And it's not just living things, but a machine in a factory and a painting are also in play. The Prime Minis ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
The premise of God and his son J going on holiday and everything going wrong from there tickled my fantasy and I gave it a shot. Whilst it had it funny moments, overall I can't say that I particularly enjoyed reading it or that I wanted to know what happened to any of the characters. By any stretch it was no page turner. Somehow the book felt dated and often people were mentioned that I never heard of, which might have decreased the fun of this book. Either way, I doubt I would recommend this bo ...more
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
God, Tom Holt can really make me laugh. God is out and his son is in charge of the universe. Things go awfully wrong.
We have machines having minds and spirit, a lemur and a British PM changing bodies. All is a disaster, and apparently there's no way to put it back.
It's hilarious, from page one to the end. And it has a very simple solution, but all through the book, you never think of it.
It's just great.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Tom Holt is one of the few authors who can even come close to Terry Pratchett in the comic fantasy genre. While it never reaches the heights of the best Discworld books, it's still a good solid read, perhaps on a par with Good Omens, and certainly better than some weaker Pratchett books. Few laugh-out-loud moments, but plenty of chuckles.
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fiction, humor
This is definitely a fun read, and enjoyable for those who like reading about cosmic "cock-ups" (as referred to in the book.) As with most humour based literature, it lacks an intriguing story-arch, and there are far too many characters. The plot is reasonably humorous and there were times where I laughed out loud, so I definitely think it's worth a go.
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
It is obvious that a lot of imagination and fun went into writing this book and I think it will delight a lot of people, however it personally didn't quite work for me. I felt that some of the individual scenes and characters were better than the whole. I also didn't find a lot of it funny although I know people who did.
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it
A fun read, very Pratchett-like (just like it says in the blurbs on the back. Was a good way to start off the year of reading, on the train back from DC. I'll be keeping this author in mind for those times when you just need to read a book that you're guaranteed not to be disappointed in.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are aliens, robots, demons and lemming-shaped prime-ministers. What's not to love?

Seriously, I highly recommend Holt fans who haven't already checked it out should give it a read, as should anyone looking for a cleverly written, satirical comedy with a fantastical spin.

That is all =)
Richard Beasley
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Too Michael going on. Lots of potentially funny
Ny ideas, but not quite a coherent whole. Tom Holt always seems to have more potential than actual in his books this was worst case of that I've come across
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictional, novels
Im in two minds about this book. On one hand it was well written, and all the story lines came together in the end. However, there was a few things 7n the book that felt like the author had shoe-horned them in a little.
Jul 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
meh... I get the humour, but it's not really amusing, definitely not "dazzling" or "brilliantly funny" as quoted on the cover

edit - I give up...
Stephen Graham
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Really a hodge-podge of vignettes rather than a novel. There was a plot arc but the resolution was somewhat thrown in there. The alien strand was useless.
Yuta Tamberg
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Light and witty, utterly enjoyable read. Surprisingly, a certain limited company, major player in computer industry, is also the book's most delightful and agreeable character.
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Love books written by smartasses, and I always DID wonder what Kevin Christ gets up to when Dad and bro are away...
Feb 25, 2009 marked it as wishlist
Only Human by Tom Holt (2004)
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nook-book, own
As usual, Tom Holt is FUNNY! And I loved the ending.
Funny and surreal. However, the ending with the conclusions drawn by the alien seemed weird to me.
I was impressed - not only pretty funny but also w/some like underlying metaphysical twists.
Booknerd Fraser
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Overly clever, unsubtle, and not nearly as funny as the author thinks it is. Plus, he knows dick about lemmings.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Really bizarre and funny.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy, genre
Several non-human things are given minds, and we learn just how lovely that is.
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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