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Earth, Air, Fire and Custard

by Tom Holt

Series: J.W. Wells (3)

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4091147,174 (3.38)7
J.W. Wells seemed to be a respectable establishment, but the company now paying Paul Carpenter's salary is in fact a deeply sinister organisation with a mighty peculiar management team. Paul thought he was getting the hang of it (particularly when he fell head over heels for his strangely alluring colleague Sophie), but death is never far away when you work at J.W. Wells. Unlike the stapler - that's always going awol. Our lovestruck hero is about to discover that custard is definitely in the eye of the beholder. And that it really stings. Tom Holt's exceedingly comic fantasies are populated with evil goblins, annoying sprites and people like us. However, it's not always possible to tell the difference.… (more)
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Another funny addition to the series. It reads OK as a stand-alone, but does refer to the earlier stories in the series, so it probably would be worth reading them first.

All of the plot points get confusing and possibly don't make complete sense, but it is a funny read and worth the effort. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
Many endings. Three novels worth. ( )
  Fiddleback_ | Dec 17, 2018 |
This is the third in a series of J.W. Wells stories where the hapless Paul Carpenter finds himself forced to work in a company that's really a front for the magic business of a bunch of goblins. In this adventure he has to deal with the lack of love in his life, pointless errands for his boss, dying several times, a parallel universe made of custard, and setting reality straight several times over. The plot and twists are overly complicated but that's part of the fun. The humor in this book is sharp and while the book may be overly long, I enjoyed catching up with Paul and company. ( )
  Othemts | May 23, 2016 |
'I have a feeling that it won't take me very long at all to get settled in here. If I may say so, Mr Tanner, you run a tight ship.'
(What did that mean, exactly? A ship that never bought a round? A ship that kept getting wedged in the entrances to small harbours?)


The third book in the series that started with "The Portable Door", in which Paul Carpenter has numerous problems at work, dies several more times, and continues his love-hate relationship with his colleague and ex-girlfriend Sophie Pettingell.

The story seemed to take rather a long time to get going and I felt that possibly this series was running out of steam. ( )
  isabelx | Apr 22, 2011 |
Fantasy/humour book which follows Paul Carpenter, a clerk, and unlikely hero in a book with many twists, although at times it is not always clear what is happening, the main character is also a little bit irritating after a while. The book does however have a few good moments. On the whole though I would say it was a little bit too long with the last 50-70 pages taken up with tying up the plot and explaining what had happened in the past 300 odd pages. ( )
  tonyblair | Jun 25, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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J.W. Wells seemed to be a respectable establishment, but the company now paying Paul Carpenter's salary is in fact a deeply sinister organisation with a mighty peculiar management team. Paul thought he was getting the hang of it (particularly when he fell head over heels for his strangely alluring colleague Sophie), but death is never far away when you work at J.W. Wells. Unlike the stapler - that's always going awol. Our lovestruck hero is about to discover that custard is definitely in the eye of the beholder. And that it really stings. Tom Holt's exceedingly comic fantasies are populated with evil goblins, annoying sprites and people like us. However, it's not always possible to tell the difference.

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