Rewriting the classic gods for comic effect is a Tom Holt speciality, and Valhalla returns to Odin the Skyfather, much mistreated in Holt's first funny fantasy Expecting Someone Taller 1987). Valhalla is the afterlife where warriors forever feast, get drunk, laugh at each other and are reborn the next day--the Viking idea of fun. But Odin, a devious bastard, has made changes ... For Howard the pretend Viking, who joined the War-Band of Sigurd Bloodtooth (Smethwick chapter) in hope of pulling girls, Valhalla is a gory shoot-up with modern weapons. For older killers like Attila, Napoleon and Hitler it's like the thrilling suspense of watching paint dry. For Lin Kortright, theatrical agent to the gods, it's endless gruelling auditions for the part of Lin Kortright--every time, he "dies" on stage. Carol the cocktail waitress lands in a similar dead-end job as a serving wench in the traditional Valhalla, where there's a special briefing for Americans:—Skyfather, his message: You in Kansas any more are not.
Indeed Odin gives everyone personalised Valhallas that nastily twist their own wish-fulfilment dreams. Clever one-liners and bizarre ideas come thick and fast as ever--few people suspected that the "voices" heard by Joan of Arc included police radios and—David Langford, AMAZON.CO.UK