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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  13 reviews
When Paul Sparks is dumped by Alison, he decides to use a gateway into a million parallel universes to look for a new girfriend - an Alison who won't dump him. It's a simple plan - he's a simple man - except for the forces of the Random, a man called Joseph Kaye, and a cockroach that doesn't exist. Sci-fi comedy.
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published September 2012
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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
I downloaded this novel earlier this afternoon based on an off-chance recommendation from Neil Gaiman's Twitter feed and in the hours since have been passing the time while manning (womaning?) the reference desk immersed in the world of Sparks and his artless forays into alternate realities, all written in the snarky British tone I do so love, as in:

"She disliked email, thought phones were germy, and found text messaging a bit lugubrious. Not that she had said any of this to Sparks; they never
Harry Rutherford
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I mainly think of David Quantick as a funny bloke I follow on Twitter, although in fact he's written for many of the best British TV comedies of the past few years. So when he announced that he had a self-published sci-fi comedy novel available on kindle for a piffling £1.93, it seemed worth a punt. And I wasn't completely blown away by it, but I certainly enjoyed it enough.

If you're wondering, it's only slightly sci-fi: parallel universes as a plot device, rather than robots and spaceships.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Paul Sparks has an unsuccessful retro T-shirt business and has been dumped by his girlfriend Alison. He stumbles on a website called the Random Life Generator, which gives the locations of portals to alternative realities. Without thinking it through (this is Sparks' trademark) he sets off to find an alternative Alison who won't leave him.

What follows involves, among other things: tall dentists, unfamiliar police cars, thin men and bears as Sparks discovers that alternative realities can be
The Idle Woman
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Paul Sparks, commonly known even to his nearest and dearest as Sparks, is a waster. An overgrown man-child, hes a lazy aficionado of videos, junk food and the pub closest to his office, where his job involves (infrequently) replicating 1970s t-shirts. Its a sorry state of affairs, but it has always suited Sparks and its only when his girlfriend Alison dumps him in exasperation that Sparks realises he could have handled things a bit better. When he stumbles across a very esoteric website, which ...more
Ben Baker
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Imagine Richard Curtis' "About Time" but funny, exciting and with interesting characters. Thats not even slightly near to doing this book justice so get today's code and hop into a portal where they're selling it.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Pleasant whimsy

A totally fine book with a whimsical plot and some amusing scenes. A bit too much inconsequential dialogue at times that was merely filler but it was a pleasant enough read.
Jon Arnold
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
David Quantick was one of the best things about the NME when I began buying it; in conjunction with the exuberant Steven Wells they were funny, provocative and unafraid to touch a nerve with artists or readership. Hes also been part of some of the best British TV comedy of the last couple of decades; The Day Today, Brass Eye and The Thick of It. Ill always give a chance to a reliably funny writer, particularly when its cheaper than chips (apart from the fries in McDonalds).

Its a well-worn
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Sparks is one of those books that causes you to constantly reassess your opinion. One page 3, I thought, "Oh, it's one of those witty stream-of-consciousness novels along the lines of Mr Philips books..." and put it down for a bit to decide if it was really worth reading.

By page 10 I thought "Oh, it's one of those man-child loses girlfriend and reassesses life," books and mentally downgraded it to something that would pass the time and probably couldn't be recommended to anyone. By page 30 it
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Oh dear... That was a tough slog to finish.

Very disappointing effort from someone whose work I am usually a huge fan of. I actually feel a little disloyal writing this!

This book could have been great, but sadly smacks of being a first draft that he just couldn't be bothered working on (yathink maybe that's why the publishers rejected it and you had to self-publish as an e-book??...)

Some sections were jarring because they were so badly written, and sounded like a school pupil's efforts - and
Jose Martín
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Main character looks like a sad loser without backbone, but somehow you can't be moved to feel sorry for him, unlike Pratchett great losers-soon-to-be-heroes.
There's lots of plot devices (every time Sparks is in danger!). Regarding the main argument I am not sure how the multiverse was in danger, nor how it was saved...
Also, the repetition of "sparks did .." "Sparks fell.. " "sparks thought ..." Sparks sparks sparks! Tiresome!
So far can't understood Gaiman's tweet unless it was only an
Peter Genild
May 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
"Sparks" is way, way, WAY too long. Getting to the end of it left me utterly exhausted and deserving of a medal. Recommended only if you're into long distance running. And then again not even that. Not sci-fi and definitely not comedy - best avoided.
Alysa H.
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very funny, in that snarky urban British way. I found myself laughing out loud many times, especially at grammar-based jokes and other clever plays on language. The whole thing would have been even better, though, if not so casually androcentrist.
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed it, but really think it does need some more work. Not sure why no publishing house would pick it up (it is self-published), as I think with some polishing it would be really good.
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Edwin Stratton-Mackay
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