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Snow White and the Seven Samurai
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Snow White and the Seven Samurai

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,748 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Once upon a time, everything was fine. Humpty Dumpty sat on his wall, Jack and Jill went about their lawful business, the Big Bad Wolf did what big bad wolves do, and the wicked queen plotted murder most foul. But the humans hacked, cried havoc, shut down the wicked queen's system, and corrupted her database—and suddenly everything was not fine at all. But at least we know ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published October 7th 2004 by Orbit UK (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  1,748 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: humour, fantasy
This was my first book by Tom Holt. I had come across this book in a book sale and was intrigued by the title. The blurb gave the impression that it was going to an entertaining read, and I decided to give it a go.

Anyway, some humans, as usual always poking their noses where they do not belong, have hacked into the Wicked Queen’s system (Mirrors 3.1) and made a mess of it. The result is complete chaos in the fantasy land.

Narrative patterns have been distorted – Snow White’s seven dwarfs have
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Is he just psychotic, or is he the Dirty Harry of the local planning department?”
The ongoing battle of the Big Bad Wolf (Mr Fang, even when turned into a frog and then into a handsome prince) and the Three Little Pigs is a particular highlight of this book. The Wicked Queen is not just a stereotypical villainess. Holt develops her character and goes beyond the fairest of them all power struggles with Snow White. Snow White is a power hungry con-artist who is nowhere as nice as in the fairy
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
I don't care what other people say, I like Tom Holt. Having read bit of Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crimes series to Spike1972 recently (and forcing him to read the rest) I feel right at home in this messed-up fairy-tale world, published prior to JFf, but, if the latter is to be believed, conceived later. I read this in one go on one of those sleepless Sunday nights/Monday mornings which I hope will soon be a thing of the past and it sent me to a too short sleep with a silly grin on my tired face.
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another very clever book from Tom Holt. Written in 1999, the computing references are very dated, but the fairyland stuff is great.

"Gerroff! You're squashing my ears!"

The wolf eased off the pressure slightly, and the gossamer shadow under its claws stopped squirming. "Well now," the wolf growled softly, "what a surprise. And what's an elf doing in these parts?".

The elf spat. "That's Indigenous Fairylander to you, Fido".

Just loses momentum toward the end...
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humour
This is another masterpiece from Tom Holt.

Hackers crash the Wicked Queen's Mirrors Opertaing system, so fairy tale land needs rebooting - only Snow White is in control, the Seven Samurai are fighting the Dwarf with no name, the Big Bad Wolf has been turned into Prince Charming, the Three Little Pigs keep blowing up their house, the Brothers Grimm are trying a hostile takeover and all Dr. Frankenstein can create is a small wooden boy whose nose keeps growing. All on all, not a place you want to
Paul Harmon
I apologize Mr. Holt as you are a good writer but your rating must suffer since my overall enjoyment of the book was very minimal. This may not be solely your fault but more a statement on how I realized while reading just how fed up I am with Fairy tale rip offs and reinventions.

Once the entertainment industries dig up a bone they keep digging until they have uncovered an entire herd of dinosaurs and stripped the land barren like they did with vampires.
The recent spat of horrible fable and
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Cyberpunk meets fairytales.

Fairytale land is controlled via the Mirrors computer (mirror!) system. System gets hacked by people from real life. Subsequent deconstruction of everything from Little Red Riding Hood to Three Little Pigs.

These characters aren't flat and complete opposites of their real-life components, but hilarious and actual characters. My favourite would have to be Julian, the runt of the three little pigs.

I also love the way the typical 'story' structure is commented on, and
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
I really like Holt, although sometimes his books are hard to follow. This story was good, it was fun and it was messy, probably not that original given I have seen this before, but I've got to give credit where credit's due. He knew exactly how to mix everything up and still not lose sight of them. I would've have lost half the characters halfway up the story, so that was impressive.
It got a little tiresome towards the middle and it ended too easy for my taste, but since I wasn't expecting any
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an interesting book after you completed the book you felt that fairy tales is just a figment of your imagination and you can write the story how you want it. In life there is good and bad and something's must not be muddled in . You might do it with the best intentions but boy oh boy. As the saying goes the way to hell is paved with good intentions. Greed and vanity and power is evils that appear all throughout the story. And true to it's nature everybody lives happily ever after.
Sandy Millin
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book (twice) at the age of 15, having taken it with me on French exchange, with nothing else to read once I'd finished it. It was second Tom Holt, after Only Human, and I really enjoyed it.
A couple of weeks ago I was at home with nothing to read and picked it up again. The fairy tale references are still just as clever, although as another reviewer has said, the tech references are now fairly dated, but I think most of them are still understandable (though I'm not sure if that
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit confusing, a bit meandering, but ultimately entertaining, this novel takes on fairy-tale world. In this iteration, though, the Wicked Queen's operating system, Mirrors, has been crashed by some meddling kids and everything has been upended: the Big Bad Wolf is now a charming Prince, the Three Little Pigs keep blowing up their own house, the Brothers Grimm are attempting a hostile takeover, the Seven Dwarfs are samurai, and sweet Snow White isn't so sweet.

I've read only a handful of Tom
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book began with so much potential for wit and satire. However, Holt tried too hard. There were far too many literary devices used as asides and one-liners, and many missed the mark and were very pedestrian. It became a book of one-liner similes and allusions, rather than plot and character. He also became bogged down in repetitive and over-explained pseudo-tech speak. The plot was difficult to follow, with so many interruptions. It lost its pace and flow. Such an unfortunate read from a ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
It might have been my state of mind over the last few weeks, but I just couldn't get into this book like I have with other Tom Holt works. I usually enjoy his lunacy but I found this book to be disjointed and hard to follow. Too much stuff going on without a solid structure underneath. I really liked the idea but I felt like the Benny Hill theme song should be playing throughout most of the book as a host of not well defined characters ran around willy-nilly.
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Holt, Tom. Snow White and the Seven Samurai. 1999. Orbit UK, 2004.
A teenage gamer hacks into the magic mirror operating system (DOS, in case you wondered) and gets himself and his sister sucked into the world of the story and soon all the other Grimm stories as well. Fun. I always wanted the three little pigs to have rocket launchers, sibling rivalry, and real engineering skills. It is not quite as stylish as Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crimes series, but chuckles are to be had still.
Heather Allison
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
It took me ages to read this book; I didn't dislike it as such, just found it incredibly difficult to read - to the point where I wanted to give up a few times.
As I got further into the story I became more absorbed in the plot however I found the chapters far too long and the storyline convoluted and confusing.
I liked the idea and the characters but found it not involving enough to care particularly what happened.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This reminded me a lot of Jasper Fforde's work, although I think Holt had the idea first. It was entertaining but about half way through it started to get too complicated. Even though it was a short book, I wasn't sure at the end exactly what had happened.
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
At first, the story had convoluted sentence structure and confusing similes. As the story progressed, the writing became better. I had a feeling the author was trying for a style similar to Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. Overall, a fun read though it would have been better with more editing.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
fairy and computers.... what could go wrong?
Molly Freeman
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some things in the world weren't really explained very well but it was pretty funny
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Compare/Contrast Witches Abroad
Damian Knight
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Not as good as his previous stuff
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathan Dehoff
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
That's a parody title I've come across several times in the past. I guess it's pretty obvious if your mind works that way. Holt went farther with it than most uses of the joke do, although the samurai are by no means the most important part of the plot. Indeed, like a lot of Holt's books, it tends to switch between characters quite frequently. The main premise is that the fairy tale world exists in a computer simulation operated through a magic mirror, but it's been hacked multiple times, ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-comedy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book was incredibly confusing! First of all it didn't really make any sense, and you were wondering what is going on until almost the end of the book! Plus the British slang, and I love British slang, (don't get me wrong), was a little much to deal with. Then the story line jumps around to so many different characters in the first 2/3rds of the book, and characters just kept being introduced, made you wonder when it was all going to stop! Okay so dialogue hard to understand, plot hard to ...more
Melissa Ng
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I confess, I have a huge thing for fairytale retellings.

I thought this book had a lot of creativity in the retelling - a lot of the YA fiction books that try this end up strictly following the events of the story, but focusing a lot on the sweet soulful love story between a pretty princess and a dashing prince/hunter/warrior - which is the typical success formula in the world of YA fiction.

Whereas this story really twists everything you ever knew about fairytales, and makes you wonder - hmm, why
Saurio Saurio
Hmmm... If i had read this book before reading any of Terry Pratchett I would liked it much better. But, alas!, I am a Terry Pratchett fan so the subversion of fairy tales in here sounded a pretty lame to me.
Also, it happens I've read several of Tom Sharpe's books, so this book also pales in comparison.
Not to mention that all the computer cyberpunk stuff is very much dated... 15 years ago it would have been fun, now it is... old?

Anyway, it is a funny book that has his hilarious moments and it
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
This book of Tom Holt's is a mesh between Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. If you enjoy both those authors you will enjoy this one.

The fairy tale world (which in matter of fact is a virtual program run on Mirrors) gets turned on its head, upside down and inside out when a couple of teenagers hack into the system. The first half of the book seems like a regular spoof but the resolution towards the end is completely unexpected.

Tip for reading this book: It's light and fun reading so don't try
Chris Branch
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Maybe I've learned my lesson that British comic fantasy is just not my thing. Was never much of a Pratchett fan, and this book is Pratchett with a dash of Shrek, cranked up to twice the volume of dopey throwaway lines, clichéd characters and ridiculous plot twists. Much of the dialogue seems to be straight out of a NaNoWriMo fantasy forum thread about how to increase your word count. To say this book is inane is probably too harsh, I'm sure Holt has plenty of fans; let's just call it too silly ...more
Henrik Andersson
Holt yet again creates a whole world and a simple, yet complex, story within. While not too hard to follow, its complexity is is going just a little bit too far and the resolution is a little too confusing to be satisfying. This has been the problem of other Holt books as well, but at the same time it all is so clever and entertaining that it doesn't matter much. Where he gets his ideas from and how he always manages to get it all to fit together I will never know. Bonus points for not having a ...more
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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
“a problem’s nothing but an opportunity wearing a funny hat, and inside every disaster there’s a triumph struggling to get out.” 6 likes
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