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Few Are Chosen

(K'Barthan #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Charming outlaw with own transport and limited social skills seeks lucrative, employment at minimal risk.

When you're running from a murderous government and work for an equally murderous gangster, accidentally torching his apartment is a bad move.

The Pan of Hamgee just wants a quiet life but destiny has other plans.

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Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 30th 2010 by Hamgee University Press (first published August 29th 2010)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  190 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Just a tiny review for this one as I quit reading at the 31% mark of the story. I just lost interest and had been avoiding picking up the book again for so long that I eventually decided just to admit to myself that I was never going to return and finish it!

This was supposed to be light and fun adventure sci-fi. In fairness it did live up to some of that billing. The world seemed and interesting one and there was plenty of humour. The problem was it was all absurdist humour and for me that is
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Oh no! What an ending. . . can't believe I’ve been left hanging like this. So i don't spoiler this to hell on the very first paragraph, I’ll shut up now.

Ok, so this was 'Few are chosen' by M.T. McGuire. An amazing little gem i might not have ever gotten round to reading without a slight push in the right direction. I did read the blurb, however, it sounded soooo strange? I wasn't convinced it was something i would enjoy.

Ok, the first thing that put me off was the whole gangster thing. I’m not a
Branwen *of House Targaryen*
"Small actions can have consequences which spread out, like ripples in a pool."

"What would you say if I told you that for each time we make a choice, we create another universe where another version of ourselves, in another dimension of time and space, is making a different decision?"

I received a copy of this book in return for my honest review. Thanks, M.T.!

When The Pan of Hamgee accidently sets fire to a crime bosses apartment, he realizes that he is worth more alive than dead. He has no
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of zany British comedy
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Science Fantasy Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and other zany British comedy
Trigger Warnings: violence, murder (implied)

My Thoughts: Do you like Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and the like? You do! *gasp* So do I! That's awesome, call me, let's do lunch.

Now, as to this book. It's quite a crazy quilt. You have parallel universes, gangster Swamp Things, a Hamgeean with eyes on the back of his head,
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
And just like that, the Pan of Hamgee shot straight to the top of my favourite antiheroes list! I love his quirky personality, and the disconnect between his brain and his mouth is priceless.

It took me a while to get into the story, but once it started making sense I had a hard time putting it down. The secondary characters are quite memorable; I wasn't fond of Big Merv at first, but he is an acquired taste. The humour is a zany as other reviewers have mentioned, and I could definitely feel The
Anne Stoddard
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Few are chosen is an endearing fantasy in another world. It grabs you from the very first scene, a comedic one reminiscent of the slapstick Three Stooges brand of humor (with The Pan being the only "Stooge," of course). The Pan of Hamgee is accident-prone (which made him easy for me to relate too as I'm a bit of a klutz myself!) but loveable. He finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place several times throughout the book--after all, even his existence is illegal. Since he legally ...more
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I found it curious that this book should be classified as fantasy, because really it's not. There's no magic for one thing, despite the blurb (everything is explained scientifically as 'quantum'). Sure it's got "creatures of colour" to be politically correct, with wiggly antennae, but so what? It's sci-fi straight down the middle. Well, comic sci-fi really, much like The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but with a plot.

The Pan of Hamgee is a coward, and very good at it. He's been on the run
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This book literally has a fiery start (view spoiler). The Pan of Hamgee is a fun, quirky character with confidence issues. However, having a low self-esteem didn't make him a wimpy character- It actually made him braver in the funniest ways. He also happens to be a fugitive on the run with extreme paranoia problems add a criminal mastermind and crazy power hungry lord to that and you've got a great story.
There wasn't a single
Charles Ray
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not since Keith Laumer’s Retief of the CDT stories have I read science fiction that was truly funny. Now, along comes M.T. McGuire’s Few are Chosen, the first in a planned series of four books, and I can again read science fiction that’s full of ludicrousness and laughter.
Pan of Hamgee is on the run. He’s a person whose very existence is treason, and moreover, he’s personally run afoul of the despotic ruler of K’Barth, Lord Vernon. Not a person known for strong beliefs, the Pan finds that he
Graeme Rodaughan
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour-fantasy
I think I have man crush on the character of "Big Merv."

This is a very entertaining book and puts the author amongst the fine company of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett of SF/Fantasy comedy authors.
Patti (baconater)
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Many giggles and laugh out loud moments but also great dollops of thought provoking interactions amongst the characters. Great fun but the deeper themes make this fantasy novel stand out.
Robert Blanchett
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I discovered this author when reading some Amazon threads. The name M T McGuire sounded swish to me and I thought MT’s contributions witty and entertaining. The discovery was fortuitous as I was really struggling with a Discworld book, “Unseen Academicals”. Every other book by Terry Pratchett I have read was good fun and gave me something curious to think about, but this one seemed tedious. I turned instead to “Few Are Chosen” and enjoyed it.

The book begins with a bang, which is always welcome
Nick Iuppa
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing

There’s a theory that anyone who wants to write good comedy should spend a little time doing stand up. Learn timing, comedic attitude, and all the rest. MT McGuire, the author of Few Are Chosen, tells us that she's been a stand up comedian, and her timing and comedy are spot on in this book... even though she’s writing fantasy.

Our hero is The Pan of Hamgee, kind of an anti-hero really, who lives in a parallel universe where the normal every day land of K’Barth has
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was offered this book for review and although YA fantasy isn't something I'd usually consider my thing I took a look at the reviews and seeing mentions of Harry Potter and Hitchhikers Guide, which I have read and seriously enjoyed, thought maybe I should give it a go.

The Pan of Hamgee has been blacklisted and on the run for years, quite a feat as others only manage it for a matter of months under the oppressive regime in K'Barth. Having eyes in the back of your head probably helps keep you out
Kel Crist
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rar-arc, 2014
Few Are Chosen by M.T.McGuire: what a strange book. I knew nothing of it going into this, yet I really enjoyed it. The amount of imagination that went into creating these characters is amazing. Reading Few Are Chosen you follow along with The Pan, Big Merv, and the old man as this story and parallel universe unfolds in front of your eyes. There was so much humor, action and mystery in this book... it kept me very entertained.
At about 44% through the Pan, a very interesting and complex
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you like Douglas Adams you’ll love this book.

Because M T McGuire is a member of the Gumbee Fantasy Writers' Guild I knew that her books would be of a high standard, and other reviewers’ comments were all very complimentary, however, I was surprised and delighted at how quickly I was drawn into this book.

Set in a parallel earth turning every page was a real treat. From the start the main character, The Pan, leapt out of the book. He is a self-deprecating, ordinary Joe who’s only skill is
David Staniforth
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found “Few are chosen” a thoroughly entertaining read from the start, and loved the introduction to the accident prone Pan of Hamgee. I like a book to have a fast pace, and in this respect, the book did not disappoint at all. There were points where I would have liked a little more description and a deeper delve into the characters’ personalities, but this was not a major thing. In this respect Big Merv, the gangland leader, was my favourite: a very believable, well fleshed out character with ...more
Kath Middleton
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This fantasy book, the first in a trilogy, introduces us to an unlikely hero, The Pan of Hamgee. The Pan is a young person living under a despotic regime, who has managed to remain uncaptured for 5 years (the average is a month or so) by dint of being a devout coward. His specialism is running away. We meet many other memorable characters, Big Merv (a Swamp Thing and The Pan's employer) and the wonderful elderly lady keepers of the local tavern (and Their Trev). There is a fabulous section ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rrbc
I loved this book and stayed up until almost 5 am to finish it. It is full of humor (dry humor, perhaps?) and action. It is well-written (always a plus for an indie author) and does much to build the world of the K'Barthians and other species that populate this alternate-Earth dimension. The story continues in the next book, which in some ways can be annoying, since this story was not complete in itself. However, in the case of this book, I did not find this a problem, as I would like to read ...more
Richard Bunning
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a good comic fantasy title off the same sort of humorous planet as writers like Tom Holt, Ben Elton, and Terry Pratchett. There is satire and certainly parody, and as with those listed she has the gift of dramatic timing. In other words, MT McGuire is in great, Great British, comic company. The fact that she used to do stand-up comedy doesn't surprise me a bit.
I'm sure it helps to be a Brit to catch all the clever turns of phrase in this book, but those from once were distant outposts of
Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review

This is a comedy science fiction which follows a slightly bumbling and hapless criminal as he tries to navigate the underworld of an oppressed people. I really grew to like The Pan, and the friends he picks up along the way, and I loved the progression of Big Merv.

I can't wait to get started on the next one and find out what happens next, to both The Pan and his friends and the girl from the world a lot like ours!
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Give him a chance, and the Pan of Hamgee will grow on you. The singular protagonist of this quirky indie novel doesn’t have much going for him in the way of looks, money, power, or influence, but he’s determined to survive in a rough world dominated by aliens who don’t like his kind. The Pan is full of snarky humor that doesn’t get old because it is self-deprecating and sardonic, not juvenile and moronic. The novel even has an appropriate villain and a love interest for the Pan leading into the ...more
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Let me start by saying, I almost never read this type of fiction. I was obviously having a very strange day, and it was free. Anyway, I took a peek at the sample on Amazon and 'bought' it. And I'm glad I did. It was great fun. Utterly ridiculous but written with a light but sure touch, it drew me right in. I may - if I have another funny five minutes - even read the sequel.
Er...I didn't realise the first chapter of the sequel was at the end of this book. Well, I've done it, haven't
Dean Paul Baker
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually downloaded this book on a promotion in 2015, yet it wasn't until I encountered the writer in a facebook group recently, and tried to download the book again, that I realised it was already on my (quite long) to read list. If you like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, you'll probably like the K'Barthan series. It has a similar vibe of realworld from a slightly skewed angle and also a slight 2000 AD comic book feel to some characters. No outright Sci-Fi but somewhere in between. ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took me a chapter or two to get into this book: there's a lot of information to take in to begin with. But soon I was on the roller coaster ride of The Pan's journey. Some intriguing, three-dimensional characters, some great world building and some very cool cars. Combine with a story that keeps you guessing and a touch of romance and you have the perfect recipe for a romping tale. Off to buy book two!
Jess Mountifield
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

This book hooked me into the story immediately and I really didn't want to put it down. The world created here was fantastic and felt very real and detailed without bogging the story down with too much description.

The action was fast paced which is just the way I like it and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
Billy Buttons
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Few Are Chosen was awarded a Silver Medal in last year's Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Our readers enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it.
Dylan Hearn
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my third attempt at reading Few Are Chosen. I should have been the ideal reader, I love Hitchhiker's Guide and anything by Terry Pratchett but for some reason the first two times I just didn't click with it. However, on this occasion it was third time lucky.
I won't go into plot details but I really enjoyed the book. The humour is right up my street and there was enough craziness and downright stupidity to make the novel an enjoyable read. It doesn't have the bite of a Pratchett or a
D.L. Morrese
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
This is a cross-genre story that feels like it should be classified somewhere between Doctor Who and Discworld. I’m calling it science fiction rather than fantasy because at one point the ‘magic’ is described as the clever application of the strange effects of quantum mechanics. This is no more outlandish than the Doctor’s TARDIS, although instead of the unlikely time travel of Doctor Who, this story includes travel between our reality and an unlikely alternate dimension.

It’s an interesting
Grace Krispy
Dec 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
On K'Barth, the Nimmists are long gone- or long in hiding- and the Chosen One has yet to be found...or so it's thought. Lord Vernon is making plans to take charge of this world, and he will use any tools at his disposal to make sure his plan goes off without a hitch. The Pan is a blacklisted criminal who has managed to stay alive in spite of his lack of courage, or maybe because of it. He lives by his wits, and has survived far longer than expected, against all odds. When he gets trapped into ...more
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M T McGuire enjoys the real world but wouldn't want to live here full time. That's why she writes books. She grew up, or at least, got bigger, half way up a windy down in Sussex. Her home was also the first location choice for Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter films, so maybe it's not so strange that she's ended up writing spec-fic. Perhaps there's something in the water up there, apart from chalk. ...more

Other books in the series

K'Barthan (4 books)
  • The Wrong Stuff (K'Barthan, #2)
  • One Man: No Plan (K'Barthan, #3)
  • Looking for Trouble (K'Barthan, #4)