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(YouSpace #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,389 ratings  ·  287 reviews
The doughnut is a thing of beauty.

A circle of fried doughy perfection.

A source of comfort in trying times, perhaps.

For Theo Bernstein, however, it is far, far more.

Things have been going pretty badly for Theo Bernstein. An unfortunate accident at work has lost him his job (and his work involved a Very Very Large Hadron Collider, so he's unlikely to get it back). His wif
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  2,389 ratings  ·  287 reviews

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Start your review of Doughnut (YouSpace, #1)
"So what's it like?" asked Not.

"What?" said Manny absent-mindedly.

"That book," said Not. "The one Noella gave you."

"Terrible," said Manny after a pause. "Absolutely dreadful. Worst thing I've seen since Harry Quebert."

"So that's why you've been reading it all day?" said Not, as her eyebrows did an impression of two rock-climbers starting a rather tricky ascent.

"Yes," said Manny, without looking up. "It's just not funny. He keeps putting in all these contrived metaphors that are supposed to be am
Melissa McShane
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, fantasy, humor
My opinion of this book declined the further I got into it. It wasn't so much bad--I don't think Tom Holt is ever really bad--as that I just became weary of how Theo was so consistently dumped on by the universe. The whole thing about how everyone wanted him to find Max, his jackwagon brother, and how Max kept getting away with total crap behavior just got on my nerves. Ditto Professor van Goyen, who just became more of a jerk the more we learned about him. And don't get me started on the "roman ...more
Kristofer Carlson
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Doughnut is in the same basic genre as Douglas Adams. There is a plot of sorts which serves to advance the narrative, but the narrative serves as a sort of Christmas tree ornamented with various clever asides, commentaries, and general weirdness. I don't know if it is fair to compare the author to Douglas Adams, who was in a class of his own. Yet 'Doughnut' compares favorably to the Dirk Gently series, and in particular to 'The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul'. It says a lot for Tom Holt that his ...more
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
At times I might have given this three stars but for the most part, it’s a 2. Had a little to do with feeling that I’d read it before. Still not sure that I hadn’t. One of the reasons for bothering with this review is to make sure I don’t read it again next year.

Memorable it isn’t.

So it goes.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, bailed
I was looking forward to this one, having heard a lot of good things about Tom Holt's books, and I tried, 100 plus pages of tried, but just couldn't go on.
Doughnut is the first book I have bailed on in memory, I tend to stick with them and often a book has redeemed itself after a bad start and I've been grateful that I had patience, more occasionally I regret my dogged determination. Usually though there is something to keep me clinging on, whereas with Doughnut there was nothing; nothing in th
DeAnna Knippling
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun, yet ludicrous, SF farce. I think it's one of those "if this is the kind of thing you like" books. Which I did.
Jul 09, 2020 added it
I finally DNFed this. Douglas Adams seems to be one of the few exceptions to my zany-sci-fi allergy. Thus isn’t one of the exceptions. While it had potential and interesting moments, mostly the humor was exhaustingly not for me.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Strange, English, offbeat. Kinda Douglas Adams (who is better at wry), kinda Jasper Fforde (who plays it straighter, if you can believe it), and not quite Monty Python (who are way sillier), but you can see them from here. Your stomach will not hurt from laughing; you will not marvel at the literary cleverness of it all, and you will not revel in the absurdity of life. You will, however, chuckle often and enjoy bending your head around the Doughnut multiverse.
Jul 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Started weak and went downhill from there.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I blame this book for the unreasonable amount of doughnuts brought into the Wells/Tomlinson house over the last couple of weeks.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-sf, read-funny
This is a very strange book. Combining theoretical physics with a klutz of the first order presents an amusing and confusing book. Theo destroys the Very, Very Large Hadron Collider before the book begins. We join him as he is trying to get a job, but there aren’t many jobs available for a person with his job history, not to mention the invisible arm. He is even rejected for a job flipping burgers for fear that he might upset the customers by handing them their food with a hand no one can see. T ...more
Nashwa S
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Aaahhh, I love Tom Holt and I really wanted to like this book :( Honestly, it gave me a really really hard time and took more than a couple of weeks to finish it.

I think I’m partially responsible for not enjoying this book because I opted for the audio and the random incidents in the scenes were harder to connect. Anyhow, I’m glad this is over. It took a delayed flight to finish this book since I wasn’t interested in carrying on. In some ways, I enjoyed the dry humour. I just feel books of this
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Theo Bernstein accidentally put a decimal point one place to the left instead of the right and, thusly, caused the Very Very Large Hadron Collider to explode, thereby disintegrating an entire Alp and becoming one of the most hated men alive. Coincidentally, Shliemann Brothers, the company that held all his investments, went bust at just about the same time, so, well, things aren’t going great for Theo.

After Theo receives an apple, a seemingly empty bottle and a small pink powder compact as part
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another convoluted story from Tom Holt. Breath-taking in scope, this book spans time from the big bang to somewhere in the future (from the here and now). Tom Holt indulges his imagination to explain many unlikely events, in the life of the main character, in terms of pseudo logic. Tom Holt excels at proposing scenarios then explaining them through a series of assumptions to reach the desired conclusion. Many great discoveries of science have started as thought experiments. Who's to say if some ...more
Funny, totally weird, at times unintelligible.
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Tom Holt is fun to read. Nothing to serious and certainly not great literature, but full of laughs, bad puns.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: time travel or alternate reality fans; fans of quirky science fiction
Quirky. This is my first Tom Holt and during my reading I thought of these at times:
1) Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
2) Some of Terry Pratchett's works
3) Waiting for the galactic bus
I'm a big fan of K.J. Parker, so I was stoked to listen to this book. For those unaware, Tom Holt is K.J. Parker, with the difference being that Parker writes fantasy intrigue novels, and Holt writes ... modern-day satirical science fiction? Is that accurate?

Doughnut is about Theo Bernstein, a down-on-his-luck ex-physicist with one arm that's there, but invisible, trying to get his life back together after being responsible for blowing up the Very, Very Large Hadron Collider. Turned down for a j
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Should’ve been titled “Everyone Dump On Theo” because obviously.. that’s what the book was about. I enjoyed the premise and the saucy nonsensical humor, but it started to get to be too much in the end and I felt bad that not a single damn person in the entire book was straight with our boy Theo. He had a rough go.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh well. It was an easy read, I'll give you that. Dumb puns from beginning to end. Somehow addictive, and hard to stop devouring, yet it was obvious from the beginning it couldn't be very special, just a sort of "well not I've had that"-experience. Like a doughnut. Also very classic man writing, sorry to say. But it was okay.
Martha Steele
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book deserves higher than four stars but not quite 5. Beautifully strange, and mind stretching...the kind of humor that only the few really appreciate. Yes, I loved it, it could have moved a little more quickly is my only critique.
Sophia Luo
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I have changed my mind about this book. It's actually really cool but a bit confusing. It's really quite funny too but some parts are a bit boring. But I like it, everyone should read this book.
Sandy  Kemp
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
deserves 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed his writing. Love his original way of saying common things.
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Physicist Theo Bernstein didn’t check his math and accidentally blew up the Very, Very Large Hadron Collider, along with an entire mountain and his career too. He lost his wife, his money, even one of his hands is no longer visible after the accident, so he doesn’t have much going for him now that he’s no longer employable. When he receives a letter stating that his old Professer Pieter van Goyen has passed away and left him the contents of a safety deposit box, Theo heads off to Switzerland to ...more
Jason P
May 06, 2016 added it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I'll make this quick.

Doughnut is a pretty off the wall novel by Tom Holt, and that's not to say that Tommy hasn't written previous off the wall type books. He has. I've read two only. While they were interesting and funny at times, something about them still didn't stick with me. Clearly tagging this one as "gave up on" on my GR shelf, I now wonder why we (people) sometimes feel as though we need to finish books that are less than good, after starting to read them. It must be an accomplishment t
Comic fantasy, horror and science fiction can be tricky sub-genres and I've found in the past that they sometimes fall flat for me. With Doughnut I certainly started off enjoying the story of Theo and his adventures with various eccentric supporting characters, YouSpace and the alternative realities but then found that my interest and enjoyment was starting to tail off about half-way through. By the fifth and final section I really only continued because it was a reading group selection and I wa ...more
In the Tom Holt books I've read before, he sets up an off-the-wall idea, uses it to define the rules of the universe, and comes up with a really interesting story. In this book, "Doughnut," he has his off-the-wall idea, but doesn't bother to explain it to the reader. So, as things happen in the book, all we can do is scratch our heads and wonder what the heck is going on. Instead of an interesting story predicated on an odd premise, we get little dribs and drabs of what should be a story stuck b ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
A refreshingly hilarious book about a scientist on a noble quest that changes the laws of physics. Along the way he meets a myriad of interesting characters including little green men and talking stuffed animals to name a few. Many laugh out loud moments (especially while sitting alone in cafes and on public transport with people slowly backing away in various stages of fear and confusion), with the comforting conclusion that not much can't be solved by the ring of doughy perfection we call a do ...more
Jonathan K
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I stumbled across Tom's book in the staff pick section of the library and to be honest, didn't expect such a cool, off the wall, AR/VR, shape shifting Disneyland with a big dash of humor kind of story. I love this guy and will read everything he writes now. This is no Pulitzer prize story, but extremely entertaining and well paced. He hits you with a surprises all the way through and a bigger one at the end. Oxford grad turned lunatic writer..gotta love it!
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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

Other books in the series

YouSpace (4 books)
  • When It's A Jar (YouSpace, #2)
  • The Outsorcerer's Apprentice (YouSpace, #3)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Smug (YouSpace, #4)

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