9781932112351 / 1932112359

Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams


Publisher:Justin, Charles & Co.



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About the book:

The untimely death of Douglas Adams was a sharp reminder of what a protean talent (and remarkable character) the man was. As MJ Simpson's Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams reminds us, when The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy appeared as a radio series, few could guess that its gifted author would, in the space of several books (and adaptations in various other media), single-handedly inaugurate a whole new genre: the sardonically funny, outrageous science fiction parody that combined the sharp-edged sensibility of Monty Python and a marvellously jaded view of British life (taking in some hilarious philosophical asides along the way). Many writers continue to be influenced by Adams, and a new film of Hitchhiker's Guide has been much discussed. So the time is right for this exhaustive and sympathetic biography.

Although several such books are in the pipeline, genre specialist MJ Simpson (a cofounder of the glossy SF magazine SFX) is the perfect chronicler of a strange and eventful life. Adams' quirky personality comes brilliantly to life (thanks to Simpson's impressive research, which he began before Adams' death). We are taken back to his auspicious beginnings as a comic talent in the Cambridge Footlights and through his phenomenal later success (not ignoring the man's pathological inability to meet a deadline). Simpson's writing style is never academic, and sounds the same wry and witty note as his subject effortlessly found. By interviewing a host of friends and associates (and consulting exclusive archives), Simpson paints a picture of this complex and fascinating man that is unlikely to be beaten for quite some time. --Barry Forshaw

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