It just lacked ongoing appeal for me and I wasn't in a tremendous hurry to resume the story following interruptions.
The ending was just OK. It didn't leave me wanting more, but was fine for the story as written.
The voices, tone, and inflection were great.
No, not really.
I loved many of the transient characters, but just never fell in love with the protagonist.
I was surprised that this was written before the guide to the Galaxy series. If you liked that series you will like its original inspiration.
I've liked Robert Sheckley's humor and invention. I've enjoyed John Hodgman's intelligence and wit. They are a great complementary team. If you enjoy a recording that sounds like it was made on a recycled 49 cent tape cassette: blips, hiss, flutter and wow that kill all the enjoyment of the story; then you'll enjoy this. I've listened with many devices and headphones, and in each case I've had to give up after a few hours. I don't know who decided on the compression settings, but the result is thin, flat, disappointing. Can bandwidth really be so dear that shaving the file size below tolerable fidelity is an economic necessity, or is it simple contempt?
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
Although written beforehand, this book's humor reflects in many ways the prose in "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", but in a somewhat more mature manner.
The narration performance by John Hodgman on this fish-out-of-water story is second to none, creating the audio equivalent of a page-turner.
Highly recommend for anyone who enjoyed those old 1950's sci-fi radio shows such as "X-Minus One" and/or "Dimension X".
9.8 / 10
First of all the brilliant imaginative story and second John Hodgman's great narration.
It's wittiness, bizarreness and brilliance.
The way he narrated the varied characters that Tom Carmody meets on his travels. It always felt authentic.
It is called the precursor to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and even though the story is very different they share the same style. So if you love HGttG then you will love this book as well.
This really is a precursor to Douglas Adams, but a more cerebral, acid trip version, less out loud guffawing, more satire and wry pokes at themes that apparently have come around again on the wheel.
Part of me wonders if Douglas Adams was being truthful when he said he had not read it. Everything was there, except perhaps the towel. Still, the real effect of this book is to make you appreciate Douglas Adams even more.
this is very much a pre-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel. it has much in the way of the odd ball events and satiric jabs at society etc. that pop up in Adam's work. while i found it very much like HGG and enjoyed it, i did find myself wishing for a little more of the manic Adams movement and wordplay etc. Hodgman is passable as a narrator but could have read with a little more gusto. still all in all good and i do like the ending but a couple scenarios perhaps go on a bit too long. can't give it more stars simply because it is done better by Adams.
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
I really loved the story and the narration was great. Additionally, there was preface by Neil Gaiman and a post interview between Gaiman and Hodgman. That was a real bonus. I really love Neil Gaiman presents I get to enjoy things I normally would not have tried. I bought the book because John Hodgman was narrating. The story was universal and timeless. Pun intended.
A lot of people are comparing it to Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy, which it is on the same vain as far as tone and comedy. I see more the comparisons to Voltaire. I feel like Carmody and Candide had similar journeys. Everywhere they went was "the best of all possible worlds" or was it.
I got this book because of John Hodgman. What is so great about listening to him is when he narrates it is performance. His characterization are both ironic and funny it made the story very entertaining.
Where the prize is not always the prize.
I really loved this adventure. Neil Gaiman really knows how to put together a story with a narrator to get the best of all possible experiences. I definitely recommend this and if you like it then I would suggest Year Zero for narration and Candide for story.
Hilarious. Now I'm searching for all the Robert Sheckley I can get my hands on. This is social satire sci-fi that takes several jabs at American culture of mid-20th century. John Hodgman's narration is superb. He could read obituaries and I'd be rapt.
I live every day as if it will be my last. This is why my clothes are wrinkled. Let's face it. Who wants to spend their last day on earth ironing?
I think that I would like to revisit this book in the future, but my seemingly endless list of things to read may not permit it. This is a book that is short enough and entertaining enough to be listened to again.
My favorite character is the computer whose error sets the story in motion. His soliloquy on the metaphysics of making mistakes struck the right chord.
I liked John (and I'm a PC) Hodgman's perfomance of Tom Carmody. He could easily have slipped into a smirking portrayal of this character, but instead, he turned him into the everyman that I could relate to.
There were a few insights into the human condition and various philosophical and metaphysical discussions. However, if you are looking for enlightenment or an epiphany of some sort, you haven't read the synopsis if this book.
Neil Gaiman has done readers, science fiction fans, and those who appreciate absurdity a great service by bringing this story to the attention of readers and listeners everywhere.
The story is a laugh out loud romp through the physical and metaphysical universe, and the preface and post-reading interview with Neil Gaiman add to the experience.