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Expecting Someone Taller

Tom Holt

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Orbit

Published : 1987

Copyright : Tom Holt 1987

ISBN-10 : PB 1-85723-181-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-85723-181-6

Publisher's Write-Up

Expecting Someone Taller... what they got was Malcolm!

All he did was run over a badger - sad, but hardly catastrophic. But it wasn't Malcolm Fisher's day, for the badger turned out to be none other than Ingolf, last of the Giants. With his dying breath, he reluctantly handed to Malcolm two Gifts of Power, and made him ruler of the world.

But can Malcolm cope with the responsibility? Whilst averting wars, plagues and famines, he also has to protect himself against gods, dwarves, valkyries and other nefarious manifestations of the Dark Ages - none of whom think he is right for the job...

'Ranks with the best in the genre, mixing the cosmic and the comic with sensational effect!'

Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

'An entertaining romp.'

Publishers Weekly
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ray (011101) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ray
Rating 7/10
The story starts with the death of a badger! Malcolm, having returned from another failed girlfriend acquisition, accidentally mows it down on the way home. Little does he know it but his life is about to change radically as he has unintentionally flattened the last of the giants. The badger (giant) explains the whole story of why he is a badger and living in a copse in Taunton (!!).

The giant is a little pissed with the manner of his demise, not having been slain by a god, but by a mere mortal in a knackered old car, but as custom dictates he passes on the 'Ring' and the 'Tarnhelm' to Malcolm.

What follows is a quick and witty story of how Malcolm, the keeper of the Ring, is hunted down by the other gods and the crafty tactics of they use to try and acquire said Ring.

The fate of the world (when isn't it?) is in Malcolm's hands and having to be nice and happy all the time can be a little depressing. You would think that tracking down a person who can change into any other living animal or change location with a mere thought would be hard. Not so with Malcolm, the downtrodden son of a daughter loving mum, with little life skills and a bad stroke of luck/decision-making. :-)

I liked this book, the first that Tom Holt wrote and the first that I have actually read. The fact that the Ring allowed the wearer to read the thoughts of others could have been abused more and the Tarnhelm, allowing the ability of travelling anywhere and changing the wearer into whatever they please, could have been overused. Tom however has remained tactful and resisted the chance to change his character into Rachel Weiss naked. Where would the fun be in that then? (ahem:-).

It's essentially a rag to riches love story with lots of Vikings in it. It's a good story, if somewhat short with only 200 pages, and worthy of a read. The scenes with the Rhinedaughters, Wotan's daughters and the ravens are worthy of note. :-)

Fact: Did you know the reason that it rains all the time in Manchester is all because some Cloud Gods were stood up and have been waiting there ever since. Honest !.. :-)
Ray (1st November 2001)

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