The Management Style of the Supreme Beings
When the Supreme Being and his son decide that being supreme isn't for them any more, it's inevitable that things get a bit of a shake-up.It soon becomes apparent that our new owners, the Venturi brothers, have a very different perspective on all sorts of things. Take Good and Evil, for example. For them, it's an outdated concept that never worked particularly well in the first place.Unfortunately, the sudden disappearance of right and wrong, while welcomed by some, raises certain concerns amongst those still attached to the previous team's management style.In particular, there's one of the old gods who didn't move out with the others. A reclusive chap, he lives somewhere up north, and only a handful even believe in him.But he's watching. And he really does need to know if you've been naughty or nice.

The Management Style of the Supreme Beings Details

TitleThe Management Style of the Supreme Beings
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 20th, 2017
PublisherOrbit
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy, Humor, Fiction, Science Fiction, Funny, Adult

The Management Style of the Supreme Beings Review

  • Brad
    May 13, 2017
    Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!This was a very funny surprise. I mean, the title itself is quite droll and I expected a lot of dry sarcasm and satire, but what didn't know could really fill a book. This one, in fact.I'm so happy I finally got around to reading Tom Holt. I mean, I've seen his name in the bookstores and he's apparently very popular with folks, but I kept skipping right past him, not having a clue.Well, now I do! Who knew that god and his son and his ne'er-do-well second son were Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!This was a very funny surprise. I mean, the title itself is quite droll and I expected a lot of dry sarcasm and satire, but what didn't know could really fill a book. This one, in fact.I'm so happy I finally got around to reading Tom Holt. I mean, I've seen his name in the bookstores and he's apparently very popular with folks, but I kept skipping right past him, not having a clue.Well, now I do! Who knew that god and his son and his ne'er-do-well second son were running a business like anyone else, that Old Nick on the flipside is just an employee like anyone else? Or that papa was tired and wanted to sell the business? That the Old Ghost was a doddering old fool messing up our weather?Delicious. Delightful. So Droll. And we've got great characters all around. The second son, Kevin, has a good heart, but he never seems to get things right. There's heaven's call center clerks, an Indiana Jones knock-off named Jasper who just hit it big in an ancient tomb that had an 1-800 number, and a ex-walmart employee who picks up the slack in a downsized hell... and this is just the barest beginnings of a setup. Just wait for the story.(It's a real hoot.)Suffice to say, a Jolly Old Man plays a very big part in the tale, from scaring the bejesus out of martians to running a private elvish military, and all the while, credit cards are dinging and Hell is now run by Disney. I'm frankly amazed and amused and I think it's WELL PAST TIME I went ahead and read EVERYTHING by this guy. It's a real pleasure and more than funny... it's even philosophical! :)Woot!
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  • The Nerd Daily
    June 17, 2017
    Published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Declan GreenThere is a good reason that comedic fiction is not a very common genre – it is devilishly difficult to write without becoming self-gratuitous and unoriginal. Luckily for Tom Holt, he’s right on the mark for his newest comedic science-fiction fantasy novel, The Management Style of the Supreme Beings.It is a simple premise for a story that is explored imaginatively and humorously. To summarise, God is tired of managing the Earth so he decides to Published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Declan GreenThere is a good reason that comedic fiction is not a very common genre – it is devilishly difficult to write without becoming self-gratuitous and unoriginal. Luckily for Tom Holt, he’s right on the mark for his newest comedic science-fiction fantasy novel, The Management Style of the Supreme Beings.It is a simple premise for a story that is explored imaginatively and humorously. To summarise, God is tired of managing the Earth so he decides to sell the business to the alien family business, the Venturi brothers. With this new management comes a whole new system of justice that does wonders for the economy, crime rate, and world peace. However, despite this, the citizens of Earth are more miserable than ever.Here, in its sci-fi based, metaphysical dissection of morality and reason, Holt’s novel excels. The story assumes the existence of higher beings and simultaneously treats them with irreverence, effectively humanising them. So as readers we begin to wonder – if morality comes from beings that are just as flawed as us, then why is their moral system any better than our own?In comes Jersey Thorpe, the archetypal Indiana Jones-type adventurer. In more traditional fiction, this stereotype of the charismatic, hyper-masculine hero has a broad set of skills that help him save the day and win the heart of the love interest. But when this stock character ends up in a story like this one that doesn’t play to traditional conventions, these strengths are comically rendered useless. After all, not every attractive female is a damsel in distress. Not every antagonist is a one-dimensional villain with an overly complex, ineffectual evil scheme.Sometimes it is the love interest who saves the day, or perhaps the antagonists are merely two misguided brothers trying to look out for each other. Jersey’s naivety to the workings of this world is played to great comedic effect, using the same fish-out-of-water trope that makes The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so memorable and funny.This constant subversion of familiar tropes keeps us on edge, as the story takes unpredictable yet still believable twists. Much of this stems from the story’s strange blend of science fiction and fantasy – it is a little bit of both, but does not quite embrace either fully. By referencing these two genres in such unique ways, an ensemble of flat, formulaic characters gradually develop into confident, fully realised individuals.However, with all this focus on character building, the plot itself starts to get a little messy towards the middle. The subplots take over so much that the main storyline starts to fade into the background. When this main plot becomes the focus once again a little before its resolution, you would be forgiven for flipping back to earlier in the book to try and recall the recent events leading up to this moment.While the novel could have delivered a little more on its plot development and abrupt resolution, overall it is successful at what it sets out to achieve. The Management Style of the Supreme Beings is genuinely one of the funniest books that I’ve read in recent memory. While it doesn’t reach the heights of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Tom Holt’s knack for characterisation and incorporating philosophy into his story ranges from subtly witty to downright hilarious.
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  • Mikki
    June 17, 2017
    Tom Holt does it again! With his signature dry wit and observational satire, Tom Holt's latest book is a wonderfully clever story about creation myths and the beings that run them. There are many original and exciting aspects about this universe to love, but my favorite one is the idea that the business of creation is exactly that: a business. It all begins when God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) takes the cosmic businessgods the Venturi Brothers up on their offer to buy his Creation, with an ey Tom Holt does it again! With his signature dry wit and observational satire, Tom Holt's latest book is a wonderfully clever story about creation myths and the beings that run them. There are many original and exciting aspects about this universe to love, but my favorite one is the idea that the business of creation is exactly that: a business. It all begins when God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) takes the cosmic businessgods the Venturi Brothers up on their offer to buy his Creation, with an eye spent to an eternity of retirement fishing. The Venturis do things a little differently though: sin is now permissible in the new belief system, provided you can pay the hefty fines. Right and wrong no longer really matter, if your pockets are deep enough. Hell, excluded from the bargain, becomes a tourist destination a la Disneyland. Kevin, God's other son, decides to renounce godhood and live among the humans. And up in the North Pole, a god we all believed in at one point is coming to town.So many things about this story demonstrate Holt's original and highly self-aware way of seeing the world. One of his characters is a larger-than-life but smaller-than-average Indiana Jones type hero, who struggles with the new regime and a love interest who refuses to be reduced to the function of hero's sidekick. Their discussion of all the tropes of the adventure genre were some of my favorite scenes.My one quibble with this story would be that it seems to end too early, with an ending that almost seems like a letdown after everything. Tom Holt created a world that I would have happily stayed in longer, but I suppose all good things must come to an end.*My thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
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  • Kim
    June 30, 2017
    Probably the only thing worse than a book that tries to be funny and fails is a book you expect to be funny and fails. From the concept and title this seemed like a book with a lot of potential, but it's basically wasted on its one-note idea and execution.Dad and Jay (the trinity is completed with uncle Ghost) leave for a fishing trip, leaving the earth in charge of the second and lesser-loved son Kevin. On the trip Dad informs Jay that he's decided to sell the divine rule of the earth to the Ve Probably the only thing worse than a book that tries to be funny and fails is a book you expect to be funny and fails. From the concept and title this seemed like a book with a lot of potential, but it's basically wasted on its one-note idea and execution.Dad and Jay (the trinity is completed with uncle Ghost) leave for a fishing trip, leaving the earth in charge of the second and lesser-loved son Kevin. On the trip Dad informs Jay that he's decided to sell the divine rule of the earth to the Venturi Brothers. The Venturi Brothers are up-from-nothing divine rulers who have acquired several other properties. They believe that older management styles of good and evil are old-fashioned. Instead, they institute a new income stream. Steal something and a collector suddenly appears to collect the equivalent value in a fine. Commit adultery, same thing. Dad and Jay go on permanent retirement. Problem is, they weren't completely upright in their contract, which affirmed that there were no other supreme beings on earth ... because only children believe in Santa so he doesn't count. The humans of earth grumble under this new management concept until some individuals work to recruit Santa into intervening. It's a concept that wears out quickly, mostly because of pretty banal dialogue and minimal action. As a result it doesn't work well as either a satire on corporations or religion. This isn't a sacrilege or blasphemy issue. I couldn't care less on that account. This is a weak idea stretched into novel length issue.
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  • Jennifer
    June 26, 2017
    What happens when God wants to retire? He sells Heaven and Hell of course and embarks upon an eternal cosmic fishing trip with his eldest son Jay. The new owners, the Venturi Brothers (Martians) take over Earth and declare that Hell is no longer accepting new intakes. Sins now have a price tag that must be paid in full by the time of the offense or the offender ends up in Marhsalsea, a jail where nobody ages as rotting in a cell is now considered cruel and unusual punishment. The Devil Nick esse What happens when God wants to retire? He sells Heaven and Hell of course and embarks upon an eternal cosmic fishing trip with his eldest son Jay. The new owners, the Venturi Brothers (Martians) take over Earth and declare that Hell is no longer accepting new intakes. Sins now have a price tag that must be paid in full by the time of the offense or the offender ends up in Marhsalsea, a jail where nobody ages as rotting in a cell is now considered cruel and unusual punishment. The Devil Nick essentially leaves the maintenance of the remaining Hell to a human named Bernie, a master at demon diplomacy. Meanwhile God's second son Kevin decides to remain on Earth and attempt to leave his mark upon the world through a succession of fun Kevin miracles like better breakfasts at hotels or doughnuts in aquariums. Jersey Thorpe has been tracking ancient evidence of the existence of deities for years and is portrayed as an Indiana Jones type human who gets rescued repeatedly by a Heaven Helpline call center rep named Lucy before meeting deities in person. Guardian Angels Raffa and Gabe can be horn dogs. And then there's Santa Clause, the Red Lord, whose not exactly jolly or nice. Santa wants to dominate the world and you bet his elves are feared clawed entities who postmen relegate to a sealed vault for Santa letter collection duties. These are the characters you'll meet on this fun, quick tour through the cosmos.Part "how not to run a business" manual, this novel uses Biblical archetypes in new ways. Jay was never in any danger of dying when he died for man's sins. It was more of a publicity stunt. God is criticized frequently for not having managed things better and he agrees. He seems to favor Jay over Kevin, setting up the actions which lead Kevin to remain on Earth. Even the Devil Nick isn't seen as a particularly bad guy despite his position. The Venturis are out for as much money as possible and dissolve the concept of good and evil entirely. This is a quick, creative read. In it there are portals that open anywhere to emit amusingly polite sin cops issuing tickets and storm troopers for greater offenses. There are weird locales like the the Hole in the Wall Cafe where Mr. Dao changes currency magically and keeps books with his abacus. And of course there's cosmic fishing holes with exceptionally educated fish. Wherever in the cosmos you wind up, there's a definite sense of place that isn't exactly here. This novel has the perfect blend of weird and very normal.
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  • Koeur
    May 8, 2017
    https://koeur.wordpress.com/2017/05/0...Publisher: OrbitPublishing Date: June 2017ISBN: 9780316270823Genre: FantasyRating: 4.9/5Publishers Description: When the Supreme Being and his son decide that being supreme isn’t for them any more, it’s inevitable that things get a bit of a shake-up. It soon becomes apparent that our new owners, the Venturi brothers, have a very different perspective on all sorts of things. Take Good and Evil, for example. For them, it’s an outdated concept that never work https://koeur.wordpress.com/2017/05/0...Publisher: OrbitPublishing Date: June 2017ISBN: 9780316270823Genre: FantasyRating: 4.9/5Publishers Description: When the Supreme Being and his son decide that being supreme isn’t for them any more, it’s inevitable that things get a bit of a shake-up. It soon becomes apparent that our new owners, the Venturi brothers, have a very different perspective on all sorts of things. Take Good and Evil, for example. For them, it’s an outdated concept that never worked particularly well in the first place. Review: Wow. One of the best reads I have had in a long time. Funny, acerbic, poignant and relevant to life, it is at once Hitchhiker-esque in approach and Still Life in regard. There is so much going on that any attempt to define any one thing that was best about it is impossible. The characters have a great depth of character and develop wonderfully with the movement. All the disparate pieces of the story line slowly converge into one for a raucous ending that perhaps lends substance to the as yet defined humanistic desire for a familial archetype.The writing is crazy good and coupled with the social commentary, makes for a novel you can’t put down. GET THIS!
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  • Dani
    June 30, 2017
    Tom Holt takes potentially-grand subjects and treats them as mundanely as possible. If a choir of angels attends the protagonist's birth, he'll focus on the difficulty of diapering a baby when there are dozens of angels in the way. It's hard to tell why sometimes the dead-pan humor results in a highly-enjoyable book and sometimes it flops. This book worked.God has been in the deity business too long, and he's burnt out. So when the Venturi brothers offer to buy him out, he's willing to listen. T Tom Holt takes potentially-grand subjects and treats them as mundanely as possible. If a choir of angels attends the protagonist's birth, he'll focus on the difficulty of diapering a baby when there are dozens of angels in the way. It's hard to tell why sometimes the dead-pan humor results in a highly-enjoyable book and sometimes it flops. This book worked.God has been in the deity business too long, and he's burnt out. So when the Venturi brothers offer to buy him out, he's willing to listen. The Venturi brothers have their eye on the bottom line, not on good and evil. As far as they're concerned, people can do what they like, as long as they're willing to pay the price. Do you want to lie or cheat or steal or maim? There's an itemized price list, and several forms of payment are accepted.There's one fly in the Venturi ointment. They thought they had bought the deity monopoly for Earth, but there is an entity who, even though he has no formal worshipers, has many millions of believers - especially around Christmas time. God was too cautious to try to force him out of his northern fortress. The Venturis think it's good business practice.
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  • Chris Nagy
    July 1, 2017
    Well, I love Tom Holt, but this was not one of his best. It has all the trademark jokes, puns etc. on every page, but it just seemed a little too simple in its plot and story. Usually, Holt is way wackier than this. As usual, he takes aim at giant corporations like Amazon, governments, lawyers, religion, generally anything that is overinflated. And as usual, dopey guy meets crabby, but savvy girl and mostly through her the day is saved. Unfortunately, there is not that much of her in this book a Well, I love Tom Holt, but this was not one of his best. It has all the trademark jokes, puns etc. on every page, but it just seemed a little too simple in its plot and story. Usually, Holt is way wackier than this. As usual, he takes aim at giant corporations like Amazon, governments, lawyers, religion, generally anything that is overinflated. And as usual, dopey guy meets crabby, but savvy girl and mostly through her the day is saved. Unfortunately, there is not that much of her in this book as she spends most of her time in prison where she seems to be tossed just to get her out of the way.I was afraid Holt would stop writing these funny books since he seems to have more success as KJ Parker writing sword and sorcery type novels. But at the same time, it seems that he might just be thrashing out book after book and not really spending enough time on them to make them great.So alas, just a medium effort from Holt. I hope he comes up better next time.For first time Holt readers, I would recommend The Portable Door or anything in that series or Paint Your Dragon.
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  • Aviva
    June 12, 2017
    If you loved Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll enjoy this book too. It's clever and funny (and occasionally punny too) in a very British kind of way. While I occasionally laughed out loud while reading it, I more often snickered quietly. When God and his eldest son, Jay, decide to retire and sell off Earth, the new owners are happy to let people "sin" as long as they can pay for it. Crime goes down, but so does happiness. Meanwhile, God's younger son, Kevin, refuses to leave Earth for bet If you loved Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll enjoy this book too. It's clever and funny (and occasionally punny too) in a very British kind of way. While I occasionally laughed out loud while reading it, I more often snickered quietly. When God and his eldest son, Jay, decide to retire and sell off Earth, the new owners are happy to let people "sin" as long as they can pay for it. Crime goes down, but so does happiness. Meanwhile, God's younger son, Kevin, refuses to leave Earth for better pastures. If I could do half stars, I would ding the book for the rapid wrap-up at the end. But maybe that's just what happens when they guy we all know as Santa Claus gets involved? The book is light, fluffy and undeniably enjoyable. I plan to check out more of Tom Holt's work. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC to this delightful book!
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  • Declan Green
    May 26, 2017
    A witty and subversive read with pleasantly amusing twists. Similar in tone to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Management Style of Supreme Beings is both clever and very funny. Just when you expect it to go down one path, it flips everything on its head and plays directly against the expected trope to a comical effect.Save for a few plot threads getting a little messy towards the middle, it is a well structured and engaging story that puts an original spin on human morality and capitalism.
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  • Chrys
    June 15, 2017
    Absolutely fantastic!!Pretty much the best book that Tom Holt has ever written, this is a great gateway book to read if you've never read him before.Brilliant intertwining story arcs with great characters, and some interesting parallels to the current economic climate - especially selling up assets to money grabbing corporations.I love Kevin and think that the philosophy of be nice and make people happy is one to live by.
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  • Elana
    June 17, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review: This was a fun and witty book. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I'm just not a big fan of Christmas stories. Granted "Santa" was done in a whole new way and was only one of many characters. I think most people would enjoy the humour of this book.
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