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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages

(J. W. Wells & Co. #7)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,300 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Polly is a real estate solicitor. She is also losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner's to pick up her dress for the party, it's not there. Not the dress - the dry cleaner's.

And then there are the chickens who think they are people. Something strange is definitely going on - and
Paperback, 378 pages
Published February 21st 2011 by Orbit (first published 2011)
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Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Before I read this book, I’d never heard of Tom Holt. I read this book for one reason: this blurb by my beloved Christopher Moore, which appeared in the NetGalley write-up:

“Tom Holt may be the most imaginative satirist to land on our shores since Douglas Adams.” — Christopher Moore

Funny that Moore (who Tom Holt kind of reminds me of) mentions Douglas Adams (who Tom Holt kind of reminds me of) because this book is in the same genre as Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with the differe
Brett Cottrell
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Equal parts Tom Robbins, Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde, Tom Holt’s Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages, is an insanely imaginative and hilarious read. There’s no point telling you what this book’s about, it wouldn’t make any sense. But, I’ve got to give you something.

There’s a pig who figures out the secret to transdimensional travel, a guitarist who gets turned into a rooster, a flock of chickens who learn that they’re really human lawyers, and a real estate boss who has no personal
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People for whom "I don't bloody know!" is a mantra, maybe?
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
It's simple, really. You start with a perfectly ordinary British Everyman (or -woman, as the case may be) and throw him (or her, in this case, at least to start with) into a situation where Something Untoward is happening, whether it be a law firm full of werewolves (Barking) or a UFO piloted by frogs (Falling Sideways). Hilarity then duly ensues. So this one starts with a pig—a brood sow, to be specific—musing on the existential question of where her piglets go after they're taken away by the m ...more
Melissa McShane
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy, humor
I rediscovered this book while I was cataloguing and realized I'd never read it. Tom Holt isn't, to me, a laugh-out-loud kind of author, but he's funny and clever and I read his books when I'm in the mood for something a little askew. I think this is going to be one of my favorites in the J.W. Wells universe; I liked how the mystery unfolded slowly, through several different POV sections, and while I didn't figure it out before the characters did, I picked up enough clues to be satisfied with th ...more
Jonathan Crawford
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tom Holt rarely disappoints, and this book is far and away one of his finest. Wonderfully creative, steadily funny with just the right amount of taking the piss out of everyday life, to use a perfectly apt British phrase. Pursuit of Sausages starts with what I can only characterize as "field interference" between parallel universes and devolves from there. One of my favorite of Holt's writing quirks is his fondness for setting up an increasingly obvious Deus ex Machina, only to blow the entire t ...more
Maria (books&boardgames)
Whoever said that Jasper Fforde's fans would enjoy this book was seriously out of their mind.
Rpaul Tho
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Really I give it 3.5 stars. It's an oddball humourus book which I enjoyed. However, I didn't realize until part way through that it is partially part of a series of books and so maybe would have got some of the references and humour more if I'd read the earlier books?
Lis Carey
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you're familiar with Tom Holt, all I have to say is, Have fun! If not, I should say a bit more than that. For those who are new to Holt's work, be prepared for a wild ride.

Something odd is happening in the offices of Blue Remembered Hills Development, and Polly Mayer doesn't like it. Someone is drinking her coffee. She's getting phone calls complaining about her failure to follow up on conversations she knows didn't happen. She's finding notes in her work diary that she didn't write, and work
Mary Ann
My Thoughts:

A book that will surely beloved by science enthusiasts. And a story that is unusual and comical. At first I thought that I wouldn’t finish this book because I’m not into this kind of story. But when I started reading it I got curious on where the story will gets, that I realized it’s a page-turner book for me. Bizarre things started when Polly off to pick up her dress on the dry cleaners, that the dry cleaners was the one which is missing. Then to her brother and even on her work, th
Tim Hicks
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I've been disappointed by my last two Holts; they seemed carelessly done. Not this one. It's been very carefully crafted indeed, for all the apparent silliness.

Folks, I am not going to summarize the plot. Dozens have already done so. Life's too short.

Let's just say that Holt piles up the odd occurrences, while his characters TRY to behave rationally. It gets to the point where you have to wonder how he's going to explain it all, and then with a more or less straight face he tells you what's be
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
one of my favourite books of all time, which is weird because it's got a pretty low rating, and is "part of a series" (hint: it's not)
it's got holes-like intersecting storylines + a wrinkle in time scifi dimension-hopping + the most crotchety characters ever + some really dry snarky humour, so basically everything i like
Elisabeth Haljas
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
God, that was so enthralling and interesting! I don't think I've finished a paperback so quickly in ages! :P Very much interdimensional fun and the way it's revealed, all the different characters, mixed in time and space continuum. Wouldn't have expected it to be this good, but I think I'd recommend it to anybody who likes a bit of fantasy and a good laugh! A really really good read!
Lynn Pretorius
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Delightfully bizarre, hilariously logical and respectably prim an proper like only the English can be. Hours of delicious entertainment.
Erin Britton
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages begins with a pig’s eye view of the universe. An old saddleback sow is musing on the meaning of life, the metaphysical nature of reality and the exact location of her piglets. In the course of her life she has watched as seven broods of her little ones have been taken across the farmyard and corralled into a metal trailer, never to be seen again. This is clearly very odd. Seizing an opportunity to bust out of the pen [do you see what I did there?] this v ...more
Justin Neville
My first Tom Holt.
This was a hoot. And a clever and stylishly written one at that. He not only is endlessly imaginative but has an impressive mastery of language to boot.

That said, as the ending of the book approached and all the madcap nonsense had to somehow be explained and all the loose ends tied up, I started to lose interest. And I very much doubt I'll remember all the complicated detail of the plot when I have to discuss the book in ten days' time, let alone by the end of the year.

Dave Thomas
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book wanders through time and space, but in a far more whimsical way than Dr Who could ever aspire to. With characters such as chickens who used to be lawyers and the brilliant ruse of employing people to work at the same desk at the same time, but in different dimensions, this book is both engaging and funny.

Yes, I liked it.
Amk256 King
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Well ... that was different from something I’d normally read!! I enjoyed it but I did spend quite a lot of time contemplating what goes on in this author’s head to think up such a story!!!

A pig, a chicken and a lot of lawyers, I couldn’t explain it even if I tried!!!!
Sherry Mackay
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
I tried. I really tried all the way to page 109 but I just could not finish this. What the hell is it meant to be? Sci fi? Fantasy? Comedy? Sorry but there are no redeeming features. This is just plain nonsense.
Charlotte Stone
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bonnie Boogaard
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have no idea what I just read, but it made me laugh, so that's all that matters.
Kwirky Kwallen
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Really funny story/concept. It just took a bit of effort to get through the book.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
wanted Terry Pratchett, this was a pale imitation. started out ok but got tedious. maybe if I hadn't read better it would be ok.
Liya Ma
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
3.7 stars. Funny, cute, clever. An entertaining and engaging read.
Dark Matter
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review was written by James Kennedy for Dark Matter Zine. This and more reviews, interviews etc are on Dark Matter Zine, an online magazine.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages takes ‘normal’ British life and makes it increasingly surreal. The story focuses on office worker Polly and her brother Don (who reminds me of the man who nearly adopted Juno’s baby in the film Juno), whose lives become punctuated by increasingly bizarre episodes. The story is set
Alexandria Blaelock
I am delighted to have found something I didn't realise I was missing in my first Tom Holt. The quietly logical story progression from a transdimensional pig in the rural English countryside, through humans becoming chickens, and the magical consequences for a high street dry cleaner. All perfectly reasonable to readers of lovers of the kind of books Douglas Adams wrote.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Polly Mayer is an in-house lawyer for a property development company. Her brother Don is a jingle-writing musician. For whatever reason, these two siblings have been chosen to be the next pair of contestants in a multi-dimensional game designed to answer the question, "Which came first—the chicken or the egg?" Their first clue that something funny is going on is when Polly realizes that somebody has been drinking her coffee, answering her calls, and even doing some of her work. Then, when she go ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: y2017
Amusing, with a surprisingly neat and tidy wrap-up.
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-in-2011
Polly is a real estate solicitor. She is also losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner's to pick up her dress for the party, it's not there. Not the dress - the dry cleaner's. Don is Polly's brother who dedicate his life in making tunes and work as little as possible. And now he has to find Polly's dress or Polly wont let him live in peace. But when he found it, he also found other things as well, and ...more
Ron Arden
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
"What came first, the chicken or the egg?" This is key to this insane story by Tom Holt. It starts with a sow in a barnyard, who is quite brilliant, but unfortunately no one realizes it, because pigs don't speak human languages. It continues with an object that causes multi-dimensional events to happen simultaneously.

You have a dry cleaners which changes physical locations every few days, but they still deliver on time. A songwriter, actually jingle writer, who gets an object from the dry cleane
Nathan Dehoff
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is sometimes considered the final entry in the J.W. Wells & Co. series. It clearly takes place in the same universe, but the characters from that series are relegated to brief mentions, although Theo van Spee does make a minor but significant appearance. The story involves Polly Mayer, a lawyer for a land development firm with a jingle writer brother, who discovers that things have been disappearing, starting with her coffee and extending to the houses the firm has sold and the dry ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages 1 4 Feb 01, 2012 04:35AM  
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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

J. W. Wells & Co. (7 books)
  • The Portable Door (J. W. Wells & Co., #1)
  • In Your Dreams (J. W. Wells & Co., #2)
  • Earth, Air, Fire and Custard (J. W. Wells & Co., #3)
  • You Don't Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But it Helps (J. W. Wells & Co., #4)
  • The Better Mousetrap (J. W. Wells & Co., #5)
  • May Contain Traces of Magic (J. W. Wells & Co., #6)