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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages

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

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,434 ratings  ·  153 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 -- a
Paperback, 378 pages
Published February 21st 2011 by Orbit (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  1,434 ratings  ·  153 reviews

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Start your review of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages (J. W. Wells & Co., #7)
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 persona
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
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This book is completely weird, but in a good way. It tells a story of vanishing houses, magic pencil sharpeners, and the age-old question about the chicken and the egg. It reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams. It shares the same sense of absurdity while being quite fun.
I will say that the many changes in perspective made for an entertaining mystery, but they are probably also the reason why I didn't really feel connected to the characters. They are all interesting and some even charming,
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
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
Melissa McShane
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, humor, fantasy
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
Feb 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
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?
Stefania Angela
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What if you could bend the space/time continuum to create more real estate to sell?
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
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting book along similar vein of Douglas Adams where everything seems to become possible once you know how.
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
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!
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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
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
Chris Amies
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Really didn't get along with this. Humorous fantasy should be funny? This wasn't. The whole thing appears to revolve around an enormous practical joke which could tbh have had resonances with the Fisher King and the ritual question that will lift the curse on the Waste Land (which I thought was where TH was going with the knights in armour).
Speaking of which of course you're going to think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail aren't you: "What's your favourite colour?" where the answer is irrelev
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.

Mary Ann Seidman
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is the only Tom Holt hook I could not finish. I have read and enjoyed at least 11 other books he wrote but this one just annoyed me. I felt like it was a Vegetarian protest statement. It made me feel guilty for enjoying my bacon and eggs for breakfast, and I don't want to read a book that does that. Maybe I didn't give it a full chance, but I have my mother-in-law to make me feel guilty about enough other things, I don't need a book adding to it.
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.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
I struggled to get through this book. The title and byline drew me to it, but I found it to be laborious in some places. Although the premise was interesting, I didn't find it nearly as engaging or amusing as I was expecting. That being said, the idea was novel and as the connections began to be made, the book became easier to read, though I found the final tie-in a bit of a disappointment.
David Brown
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
The blurb for this book doesn’t really give you a full idea of this story. It’s not a Sci-fi, thriller, or fantasy book. It’s just bizarre and funny. Very bizarre. I don’t recall ever reading something so disjointed before, that all ended up making perfect sense at the end and seeming to be a perfectly normal story.
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.
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!!!!
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Didn’t like Don or Polly much which made the first third of this a bit difficult. Enjoyed the chickens and there were some good laugh-out-loud turns of phrase plus the plot was the kind of weird I like, but overall it was just okay for me.
Liya Ma
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
3.7 stars. Funny, cute, clever. An entertaining and engaging read.
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.
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.
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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)

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