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Publisher's Summary

Fifteen years after losing most of his family to a devastating, pudding-related tragedy, Simon Debovar has settled into a life of self-imposed exile from the stinking, selfish morass of humanity. Content that his daily highlights will include hazelnut coffee, a long bath, and the occasional jar of olives, his life is completely upturned by the discovery that his ornate living room carpet is the deciding factor in a bet between God and Satan.
When mysteriously well-timed carpet thieves deprive him of the crucial heirloom, Simon is forced to leave his hermit's existence behind for a world of angels, demons, witches, and immortals.
And then it gets complicated.
©2015 Justin Lee Anderson (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"I laughed, I cried, I bought a fireside rug!" (Ian Pattison, creator of Rab C Nesbitt)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Jasmine Wahlberg on 12-20-17

What the heck did I just read?

Some mild spoilers ahead.

I thought the concept of this book was pretty funny. The writing has a fair bit of humor, too.

The problem is that the plot makes less than no sense whatsoever. Yes, sure, the basic silly plot is fine, with this one object owned by this hapless fellow being the key item in a bet between divinities, but the rest? Absolute and utter nonsense.

The reader is introduced to a cavalcade of bizarrely random characters, random superpowers, random sidequests, and random decisions. Most of the actual meat of the story doesn't actually involve the rug whatsoever -- it's that the main character and his party get sent on a fetch quest where they pick up a whole bunch of randoms on the way, too. It's sort of like a Final Fantasy story, except it makes even less sense.

Okay, though, I love Final Fantasy -- I want to be clear. But let's admit that "hurry, or The Big Bad is going to end the world by the next full moon!....but first let's grind out some levels and farm some gold and help Farmer Dan rid his chicken coop of goblins" is something that should strictly be reserved for RPGs, and doesn't make a very tight novel. The entire story is mostly a completely unrelated and random-sounding side quest.

The characterization is also sort of inconsistent. When the character that seems most developed is the unrepentantly drunk pensioner running around in the body of a 25-year-old, that's not a good sign. Also, the end is a pretty blatant expository round-up in case you missed how clever the rest of the story was.

It's not a bad book. I still listened to the whole thing, and I enjoyed some parts of it. But it did take me a long time to get through, and it isn't even that long. The plot is just entirely off the rails and doesn't make for the most cohesive story. I felt like I was listening to someone satirize another story that I hadn't read.

The performance was good, though. The narrator did well with the occasional crisp bits of humor (some have said it is Douglas Adams-esque, and I can see that -- in brief glimmers, anyway) and the voices.

I am really quite sorry I can't give a more positive review. I don't consider my time wasted listening to it, but it wouldn't entice me to read any more from this author as it stands.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By John Williams on 03-05-17

Enjoyable ride

I quite enjoyed this absurdist comedy. The story is satisfying and the humor will bring a smile to your face. The story circles around a man who has absented himself from society until one day an angel and a demon show up on his door step demanding he pick one to give his living room carpet to and thus decide the fate of the world. After that, the story starts to get strange. This wont be your book of the year, but it is fun.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Misspelt on 03-27-17

A Good Yarn

Although billed as a comedy I didn't laugh out loud. I think it true to say that it is a humour that youngsters might find more amusing. That aside it was witty, had a lot of novel aspects to it on the fantasy theme, ticked along at a good pace and I definitely wished to hear what happened to our hapless hero.
I haven't read (though this was audio!) any books (other than Neil Gaiman's) that throw such variety in. Well worth the indulgence of listening. The narration was great. Why not 5 stars? There are books out there that top this on every aspect but it all boils down to personal preference.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Peter Casebow on 03-16-17

Great story well read

Justin Anderson has created a wonderfully imaginative new world to explore and enjoy. Well read by Matthew Davies.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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