Select one of the keywords
The Salmon of Doubt    by Douglas Adams order for
Salmon of Doubt
by Douglas Adams
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by David Pitt

Douglas Adams, the creator of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, died in May, 2001. He was not yet fifty years old. No one saw it coming, and people like me, people who loved the man for the things he gave us, are still in shock.

In addition to the five-volume Hitchhiker series (which began, as I'm sure you know, as a BBC Radio series, and also became a six-episode television series), the funniest science fiction spoof in the history of the genre, the funniest spoof there ever will be, Adams also gave us two novels featuring Dirk Gently, the holistic detective; a moving book about endangered species, Last Chance to See; and all sorts of little gems. This book, which consists of ten chapters of an unfinished Dirk Gently novel and an assortment of Adams's letters, articles, and odds & ends, is a loving tribute to a man who had, at the end of his too-short life, barely scratched the surface of his genius.

Here, for example, is the first thing Adams is known to have published, a letter written to a science fiction magazine. 'I sat there,' he writes, 'walking, watching. I was trembling violently as I sat, looking at the small slot, waiting -- ever waiting.' Adams was twelve years old.

Here are small articles from magazines like Esquire and MacUser; here are speeches and interviews and promotion pieces; here are bits and pieces you've probably never seen before, wonderful little bits and pieces that reveal Adams's offbeat sense of humour, his passion for his work, his optimism and his dreams and his conviction that people can do wonderful things, if they put their minds to it.

It's a superb book. It reminds me how entertaining Adams was. It reminds me how much I miss him.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews