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Overtime: Introducing the greatest performer of all time and a half

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Only in a Tom Holt novel can you discover the relationship between the Inland Revenue, the Second Crusade and God's great plan to build starter planets for first time life forms...

It all started for Guy Goodlet somewhere over Caen. One moment he was heading for the relative safety of the coast, aware that fuel was low and the Mosquito had more than a few bullet holes in it
Paperback, 312 pages
Published May 27th 1993 by Orbit (first published January 28th 1993)
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Amy Laurens
Aug 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Time travel. Fantasy. Investments. Missing kings, tax evasions, singing wandering bards, inter-time concerts, badly negotiated contracts, lust-at-first-sight that the MC realises is Very Bad, an intensely unique universe... This is about the best I can do to sum up Holt's Overtime. It's twisty, it's convoluted, and it's a fun romp through a wacky world where nothing and no-one is as it seems.

Belatedly, I found a good summary of this story in the fantasy encyclopedia I got for Christmas:
Melissa McShane
I think I need to set boundaries on my Tom Holt reading. Specifically, I need to stop reading his early works, because I really don't like them. They seem unfunny and tedious to me. In this case, the main character was kind of a wet blanket, the other main character was surprisingly bland for a rock star, and I never got interested in the story. I don't know why the gags (like the robot "agents" who kept dying and being reassembled, or the fact that Guy invariably hit the hat of anyone he aimed ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
First, I have read several Tom Holt books, both new (Youspace series) and old (Omnibus sets). If you have never read a Tom Holt book, do not start with this one. Having an understanding of Holt’s writing style is key to following this story. It took me until about halfway through to really understand the plot and characters.

That said, I definitely enjoyed this book. True to Holt, it was funny, at times satirical, and full of time and space play. I liked the dynamic between Guy and Isoud, as wel
A story ala Douglas Adams, but instead of a whirlwind tour of the cosmos, this is a whirlwind tour through history. A farcical romp to try to find Richard the Lion-hearted who has been kidnapped and imprisoned by an unknown opponent. Composer Jean de Nesle has been given the task of finding him, and he in turn recruits Guy Goodlet, a WWI bomber pilot intercepted in time and space as his plane is going down off the coast of England. Like the game Marco Polo, wherever he goes, de Nesle must sing t ...more
Alex Durston
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tom Holt never fails to write incredible books, and this book is no exception. Overtime follows the increasingly ridiculous story of a man who learns time is flexible and, with the right knowledge, one can jump from WWII to the time of the crusades, to any other point in time whenever one wants. Chaos ensues, with inland revenue, bouncy castles, the AntiChrist and a whole bunch of buffoonery. An absolute chuckle of a book, and in my opinion, a great chilled out book to take you away from the str ...more
Marie (UK)
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
A farcical time travelling tale where a WWI pilot meets a servant from the core to Richard the Lionheart. Richard, missing after the crusades is locked in a castle in unknown time and space. Easy enough to read but thorougoughly nonsensical
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
[To explain: Books I rate in 2017 will get a review, as opposed to previous years. These reviews will be of no more than five (5) words.]

Good concept. Bad Time Travel.

(3.5 stars really but they don't give you the option for halves.)
Olly Colluphid
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Pleasurable read but ... It falls a little flat and I don't know why. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for silliness. Too complicated without a good resolution is another possibility. ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Picked this up a week or two ago in a two-book omnibus that also contains "Grailblazers". However, I prefer to review such items individually.
Honestly, I had trouble staying interested. As another reviewer mentioned, it probably doesn't help that I was (am?) unfamiliar with the "Blondel" myth - in fact, I didn't know until I read said review that the character wasn't made out of whole cloth by the author.
Overtime had its moments, but rarely was there anything laugh-out-loud funny, and - perhap
Chris Clovis
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
A forgettable novel that tries to be amusing but is really more confusing. There are some interesting characters but generally a disappointing read.
Glen Engel-Cox
While not as humourous as some of his previous books, Tom Holt still delivers the fun. (Judicious editing will make that as good a blurb as any of Rex Reed's.) I think I missed out on a lot that was going on here because I can't read French and thus was unable to translate the many chansons included here. This was also Holt's first book to really utilize time travel; he had used the concept of long periods of time between characters in Who's Afraid of Beowulf and Flying Dutch, but this is the fi ...more
Nathan Dehoff
Dec 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This early Holt novel deals with some themes the author would develop more thoroughly in later works: time travel, the extension of historical legends into the modern day, and businesses that will do anything to make a buck. Despite some funny concepts, like an investment firm with access to time travel that invests in the Crusades, it's not as good as later stories that use these same ideas. It's based partially on the story of Blondel, the wandering bard who sought King Richard I by singing th ...more
Tim Schneider
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This is probably the weakest of Holt's books that I've read thus far. It probably didn't help that I'm not at all familiar with the Blondel myth. Unfortunately this didn't make me want to rush out and learn more. A marginal time-travel plot and not terribly interesting characters didn't add up to a scintillating read. The saving grace was Holt's sense of humor which made it worth plowing through. ...more
Herman Nijland
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Nice read, but after a promising beginning the plot peters out a in the end. My problem with more of Holts novels - a very promising basic idea, but tying the finishing knot seems to be an issue with Holt.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Similar to, though not quite so good as, Terry Pratchett and, to a lesser extent, Douglas Adams.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
amusing but a bit formulaic and longer than it needs to be
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
wonderful read! much more than a regular tom holt wizardry of placing familiar characters in new settings!
Paul Edwards
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Simon Phillips
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Mr M.S.Skitt
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Jan 31, 2021
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Mark Blackwell
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Graeme Smith
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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

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