Author: Tom Holt, 2013.
Genre: Comic Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Other Details: Paperback. 370 pages.
The doughnut is a thing of beauty, a circle of fried, doughy perfection – a source of comfort in trying times, perhaps. For Theo Bernstein 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. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.
Comic fantasy, horror and science fiction can be tricky sub-genres and I've found in the past that they sometimes fall flat for me. With Doughnut I certainly started off enjoying the story of Theo and his adventures with various eccentric supporting characters, YouSpace and the alternative realities but then found that my interest and enjoyment was starting to tail off about half-way through. By the fifth and final section I really only continued because it was a reading group selection and I wanted to be able to participate in the discussion.
As things turned out I didn't make the meeting but I received a report the next day and apparently I wasn't alone in feeling that it was a good premise that had failed in execution. It may also have been a matter of just not being in the right mood for comic SF/F as I've been reading a lot of serious fiction during the last few weeks and this may not really been what I needed as a break from that. So not a terrible book by any means but one that just didn't work for me.