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Book Review

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The Wildly Improbable Ideas of Douglas Adams (Hardback)


Editor: Kevin Jon Davies
Publisher: Unbound
320 pages
RRP: £30
ISBN: 978 1 80018 268 4
Publication Date: 24 August 2023

When Douglas Adams died unexpectedly in 2001, he left behind a treasure trove of notebooks, letters and memorabilia. 42 reveals for the first time the most fascinating items from this archive - from comedy sketches written when Adams was a student, to early drafts of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Together they offer a unique insight into the mind of one of the twentieth century's most popular authors...

Anyone who has enjoyed Douglas Adams's output will find plenty to sink their teeth into with 42. It not only shines a light into the author's mind, it also includes some of his personal correspondents with his friends, including Margo Buchanan, Arvind David, Stephen Fry , Neil Gaiman, Dirk Maggs and Robbie Stamp, which help to show what he was like as an individual.

From his school days to his friend's eulogies on his passing, this book leaves no subject unexplored. This publication is a beautifully crafted love letter to a talented writer. There's early poetry, doodles, story ideas and rough scripts crammed in to the pages between the chapters about his more famous work. There's a chapter on his work on Doctor Who as well as another that looks at his love of technology and the digital world.

Of course, no book on Adams would be complete without his most famous creation, the world of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Here we discover some of the early thoughts and plot ideas that would later go on to become part of the fantasy world we all know and love.

It's a wonderful book to dip in and out of, or read from cover to cover. This is the perfect gift for that Adams fan who thinks they know everything possible on the great man.


Nick Smithson

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