A stunning book - a masterpiece of imagination and intelligence. Its so full of subtle observations about the human (and animal) condition that you can't possibly capture them all with a single reading (or listening). Brilliantly conceived and brilliantly told.
The audiobook rendition is excellent - there are not many things that will have me lying in bed at 2 in the morning with a pair of headphones! I'm well into the second run through.
Almost in the same league as Forester and O'Brian - the characterisation isn't quite as sharp and the plots not as varied.
A step or three behind Conrad, Monsarrat and Melville.
Very well read, though, and very enjoyable for anyone who likes this particular genre. Hey, I came back for more. If you have already read or heard the other writers' work, and have a hunger for more, then Kent helps to fill the gap with well crafted, evocative tales.
The way that you react to this book is going to depend to a large extent on what you are expecting. If you are hoping for another complete gem of a novel like the first five books in the Hitchhikers trilogy you will probably be disappointed. The unpublished draft found on Adams computer after his death was incomplete and reading or listening to it is a somewhat fragmenting experience, leaving you wishing he had survived to complete it. On occasion you even find yourself wondering whether he had really decided whether it was going to be a "Hitchhikers" volume or an extesnion of the Dirk Gently series!
If, however, you are interested in Douglas Adams the man, and want to know more how he thought about "llfe, the universe, and everything", then this is a collections of rare gems indeed - gems scattered in a box , rather than strung onto some sort of logical, linear necklace perhaps, but precious gems none the less.
The contributions about Adams from people like Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins, and the pieces about everything under the sun from Adams himself are simply delightful.
Heartily recommended for anyone who is a Douglas Adams fan. If you aren't an Adams fan already read, or listen to, the earlier volumes in the series first, so that you become one!
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