Doughnutby Tom Holt (Website)
Published by Orbit on March 5, 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Amazon • Goodreads
The doughnut is a thing of beauty.
A circle of fried doughy perfection.
A source of comfort in trying times, perhaps.
For Theo Bernstein, however, it is far, far more.
Things have been going pretty badly for Theo Bernstein. An unfortunate accident at work has lost him his job (and his work involved a Very Very Large Hadron Collider, so he's unlikely to get it back). His wife has left him. And he doesn't have any money.
Before Theo has time to fully appreciate the pointlessness of his own miserable existence, news arrives that his good friend Professor Pieter van Goyen, renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, has died.
By leaving the apparently worthless contents of his safety deposit to Theo, however, the professor has set him on a quest of epic proportions. A journey that will rewrite the laws of physics. A battle to save humanity itself.
This is the tale of a man who had nothing and gave it all up to find his destiny - and a doughnut.
Physicist Theo Bernstein didn’t check his math and accidentally blew up the Very, Very Large Hadron Collider, along with an entire mountain and his career too. He lost his wife, his money, even one of his hands is no longer visible after the accident, so he doesn’t have much going for him now that he’s no longer employable. When he receives a letter stating that his old Professer Pieter van Goyen has passed away and left him the contents of a safety deposit box, Theo heads off to Switzerland to see what the strange old guy has left him. The box contains an empty bottle, an apple, a make up compact, and a letter telling him that he can find work at a hotel in the village.
Once Theo is employed at the hotel with two strange people and he finds that there are only two guests rattling around the giant place, the story gets even more weird once he finds that the bottle Dr. van Goyen left him is a portal to the multiverse. The good doctor has even tried to monetize it and dubbed it YouSpace, and Theo has been ordered by the hotel’s occupants to enter the multiverse to bring back his deadbeat and thought long-dead brother Max back to this reality. But when you are don’t have any directions or a user’s manual on how to actually operate YouSpace or navigate the multiverse, Theo finds that searching for his brother is easier said than done–especially when the worlds are out to get you by software design.
Tom Holt’s writing is engaging and fun, bringing the hapless Theo to brilliant life as he bumbles his way through the many different worlds and finds out what is really happening while he is manipulated by practically everyone he meets. No large corporation is safe from his ribbing, be you Microsoft or Disney, and I was laughing out loud while I listened along during my work day as Theo jumped from multiverse to multiverse. The worlds were very imaginative and varied, from one where Disney creatures ruled the land (think Eeyore as a cop) to feudal kingdoms to entire societies living on giant balloons in the sky because the ground wasn’t habitable any more (thanks again, to Theo blowing up the Very, Very Large Hadron Collider).
I give Doughnut a four out of five. This was my first book by author Tom Holt, and the writing was entertaining, fun, and the characters were dynamic and quirky. Theo did jump from world to world quite a bit, so you have to pay attention if you’re listening or you can get lost. I had to rewind the audio a few times to figure out what was going on. But that was my experience with the audiobook version. Overall, a solid, fun fantasy book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I greatly enjoyed it.
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobooks at Audible: Doughnut.
This book was such a treat to listen to, and I certainly enjoyed British narrator Ray Sawyer’s reading. While this book was a bit on the longer side at thirteen hours and forty-two minutes, the time flew past since the book was fun, strange, and the reader did everyone’s voices perfectly.