©2005 Douglas Adams; (P)2009 Phoenix
"Edited by Peter Guzzardi and with an introduction by Christopher Cerf, this bittersweet collection comprises letters, fragments of ideas for books, films and TV, ruminations on a diverse array of subjects and a good bit of a final unfinished novel by the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series....Included are a letter to the editor of a U.K. boy's magazine (written in 1965, when Adams was 12); a reminiscence about his lifelong love for the Beatles, written when he was in his 40s; a 1991 piece from Esquire entitled "My Nose"; and an undated article for the Independent espousing his preference for whiskey." (Publishers Weekly)
"It's hard to classify this cornucopia, selected by Christopher Cerf from Adams's papers after his untimely death, but Hitchhiker fans will want it." (Library Journal)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it leaves you dangling. I had only known Adams for his novels and enjoyed seeing his other sides. The book loses a star for its inadequate description. It consists of an anthology of columns articles and notes by Adams with added eulogies. It includes a brief hitchhikers piece (Young Zaphod plays it safe, which I think was published before) and half of a Dirk Gently novel (i.e. the novel ends abruptly half way through). If you are looking for hitchhikers material (as the title implies) you may be disappointed, but finding myself a kindred spirit to Douglas I was happy with it.
All of this stuff was collected by his wife and closest friends off his hard drive and lovingly put together into one final book including the first few chapters of a Dirk Gently book.
If you are a fan of his books The Salmon Of Doubt Lets you meet him in person and get to know him in an amazingly amusing way. What an amazing life and a great loss. I will always wonder where that last novel would have taken me however after reading this I kinda like it that way. I think it was his way of getting the last laugh by making us all think about his unfinished last story and smile from time to time.
Obviously this is a mixed bag of interviews, essays, magazine pieces and leftover things. Some of it is not great, but much of it sparkles with Adams's trademark wit. There is some priceless stuff here which as a longtime Adams devotee I am so happy to have. The narrator was great. He was completely genuine in delivering interview transcripts as if he were speaking the words fresh from his own mind.
Tell us about yourself!
A must have for Douglas Adams fans. A glimpse into what was and what might have been. So long and thanks for all the laughs.
This collection of shards and fragments, bits and pieces, would be more of a pleasure for the many fans of Adams, had someone taken the trouble to edit his various notes, comments, memoes and the like. Instead, it was all thrown into the mix -- where no one seems to have noticed the same stories told over and over again. I guess it was edited by the Redundancy Department of Redundancy...
I have read all of the Douglas Adams books from when they were first published.
Yes and No. I greatly enjoyed the Hitchhilers Guide to The Galaxy and have don since its first publishing. It is part of my education.
I was hoping that Stephen fry was going to do more of the narration but sadly not the case.
This is the final of the printed works of Douglas Adams. It is a collection of the newspaper columns and thoughts on a disparate topics.
Fast forward through the introductions. They are the friends of Douglas Adams telling us what a talented author and great guy he was. While these were great words for his funeral they add nothing to the otherwise great collection of the thoughts of Douglas Adams.
I particularly love the definition of what it takes to ignore someone.
I was dissapointed that it is basically excerpts of speeches, newspaper columns, etc, not a book. That's after an hour of listening. For me, a total waste of money.
Douglas Adams's book, "The Salmon of Doubt"; is a set of posthumous Adams's writings, collected, edited and published in 2001 - one year after Douglas Adams sudden death.
The most important part of the book - "The Salmon of Doubt": itself is only a part of the book. To me it is totally surrealistic, absurd, satiric story that has - as always with Adams - deeper philosophical sense as it describes absurdity of our life and our habits...
But my deeper attention was directed to the "Is there an Artificial God?" speech Adams gave at Cambridge in 1998 - which is also a part of the book. In that speech Adams recapitulates his views on religion. He was a devout atheist and based his atheism on logical thinking and the belief in science.
I must say - that is some sense I like his opinions. Although I'm not an atheist, well, I'm strong theist, I value his thoughts - because what they ridicule and oppose is not the true faith - but it's typical distortion...
However, I must also say that Douglas's arguments, as well as most atheists arguments are also very superficial...
They usually (and so is Douglas doing) build their arguments on the fact that since Darwin and all other scientific discoveries - we no longer NEED G-d's idea. Certainly - we no longer need it !
We, indeed, don't need the idea of G-d which is the last resort for our failing minds and ideas ...
But we (those who believe) don't think of G-d as the EXPLANATION - we think of Him as of the "who - who is calling" ....
To all those who do not seek for philosophical tones - it is fantastic, homourous and witty book. Strongly recommended !!
More on my blog (sopekmir)
"A hint of what was still to come"
Sequels to THHGTTG seek, not too successfully, to expand upon the 70's mindset of Adams. This book gives a hint towards what Adams himself would have done. His humour had definitely moved on and showed his obsession with the frustrations of computers (although he was obviously an Apple bore). I'm sure this would have fed into a sequel to keep the franchise fresh.
As the blurb points out, this is a collection of bits & pieces taken from letters, magazine articles etc and therefore is best listened to in small parts.
It's rather odd that Simon Jones is now the voice of Douglas Adams, but it's very fitting and evokes the unique atmosphere of Adams' humour in the character of Arthur Dent.
I'd have given it 5 points but for the misleading impression that there is more than one narrator. There isn't. Dawkins, Fry & Cerf, however, do provide amusing introductions to the book.
"I miss Douglas Adams"
I have always been a huge Douglas Adams fan. This compilation of his various writings and the unfinished book, with all the wonderful readers was a real listening pleasure. Highly Recommended.
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