Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
He may be too soon gone but I hope he is never forgotten. To label Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide series of books as science fiction does them no justice. They are fiercely funny, outrageous delights. Outer space might be the setting (sometimes), but these treats have nothing else in common with the genre.
How to describe his writing? How about this sample: “Flying is easy — all you have to do is throw yourself at the ground and miss.” This absurdist attitude shines on every page. The description of earth in the eponymous guide consists of two words, “Mostly harmless.”
Don’t think for a moment Adam’s works are much like the fairly recent (and fairly bad) movie of the same title. Though Adams was helping with the script, I can’t help but feel that his untimely death led to an inferior product. After all this was the man who said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly past.” So he probably was procrastinating more than writing. At least that’s what I chose to believe.
Besides taking you to the end of the universe and back again, Adams also created a couple of equally imaginative and impossible detective novels starring Dirk Gently. Other works include The Meaning of Liff, a dictionary of words Adams felt were missing from the English language and therefore invented for us.
To get a bigger sampling of his creativity, check out this website. It’s a group of quotations, some from his books and some from life. If that doesn’t convince you that Douglas Adams is a first rate humorist… well, I just have to wonder about your sense of humor.
You can check out his official website by clicking here, but I don’t think it’s worthy of the man. Do read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the first book in the series. The journey it takes you on may be short but it’s packed with pleasure. You’re sure to want to read the next installment.
I know I’m still pining for more. If only…