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Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams (2003)

de Nick Webb

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386849,003 (3.64)8
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy launched Douglas Adams to instant superstardom when it came out in 1978, becoming a success as a novel, radio and TV series. Like all his best work it was funny, but seriously funny. But Adams the comic writer, who worked with Monty Python among others, is only part of the story. He had a probing scientific mind and was happy discussing ideas with the likes of Richard Dawkins or Stephen Pinker. And his ideas in Hitchhiker helped inspire the techies of the IT revolution. still mourned by his millions of fans around the world.… (més)
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I'm a big fan of Douglas Adams.
But not obsessed enough to be able to finish this book.

It is done well enough, for sure, and I respect that.
I just cannot finish this book.
I mean, it might actually be longer then The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe... ( )
  igorversteeg | May 24, 2020 |
I picked up this one because I am a big fan of Douglas' books. I've read the H2G2 "trilogy", [b:Last Chance to See|8696|Last Chance to See|Douglas Adams|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327867839s/8696.jpg|525730] and [b:Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency|365|Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)|Douglas Adams|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1404697381s/365.jpg|1042123].
I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, and I've never laughed the way I laughed while reading H2G2. It's just so damn funny.
He was a visionary, way ahead of his time.
He was an outspoken atheist too.
So, it goes without saying I have a lot of respect for Douglas.

But this book, for me, was kind of a let-down. Although it details his life in painstaking detail, but not much attention was paid to make it interesting to read. In the middle I had to summon all my respect for Douglas not to shut the book and move on.

Anyway, I got to know about Douglas, his personal life, his exuberant existence. The epic legacy he has left behind shall shine on forever, leaving us in wonder of the world.

Douglas, I wish you were here... ( )
  Govindap11 | Mar 21, 2020 |
Like most right-thinking nerds -- or, at the very least, most right-thinking nerds of my own generation -- I am and always have been a huge fan of Douglas Adams. When pressed to name my all-time favorite book, a question that seems like it ought to be absurdly difficult for me, the only answer I ever find myself giving is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

So you'd think this would be a book I'd snatch up immediately, but I somehow missed it when it was first published, in 2003, and even once I acquired a copy it sat on my TBR shelves for entirely too long. I think that having read Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic, a biography more of the Hitchhiker's series in its various incarnations than of the man himself, I thought this one would be a bit extraneous, of interest more for completeness' sake than anything else.

Well, that was silly of me, and I'm glad I finally got around to it, because it's terrific. I admit, I wasn't entirely certain of that at first. For a brief while I found myself thinking that perhaps Nick Webb was trying a little too hard to mimic Adams' style and sense of humor. But I quickly realized that, no, Webb is just a very witty and thoughtful author in his own right. I often look askance at biographers who insert too much of themselves and their own thoughts into their work, but Webb's asides about various topics that Adams was interested in, from evolutionary biology to computer technology to music, are delightful and fascinating and very much feel as if they belong here. The insights into the publishing industry that he brings from his personal experience are useful, too.

Webb knew Adams personally, and clearly liked and respected him a great deal, so this portrait is full of affection, but doesn't turn a blind eye to his faults and foibles. The resulting picture of Adams feels well-rounded and endearingly human.

It's not a flawless effort, admittedly. The non-chronological structure does sometimes make for a slight awkwardness when people or projects are mentioned before they're properly introduced. And Webb clearly doesn't know very much about Doctor Who, even getting the airdates wrong. But I am very much inclined to forgive these faults, given how thoroughly I enjoyed reading this.

And now I'm sad all over again at how unfairly early the world was deprived of Adams' presence. ( )
1 vota bragan | Jan 25, 2020 |
Well written from someone in his social circle but not a close friend. It does have warts and all but wouldnt expect the family to get upset! But not sure if I liked DA after reading this. Seemed to be great fun as long as he was the centre of attention. All the time reading I was thinking- what would have been his fate but for his social status and its opportunities coupled with the early luck of creative partners to develop the main "product" . Then this same work redrawn for different medias over the years is what mainly brings the money in. Talent or a one trick pony? ( )
  ablueidol | Nov 5, 2006 |
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy launched Douglas Adams to instant superstardom when it came out in 1978, becoming a success as a novel, radio and TV series. Like all his best work it was funny, but seriously funny. But Adams the comic writer, who worked with Monty Python among others, is only part of the story. He had a probing scientific mind and was happy discussing ideas with the likes of Richard Dawkins or Stephen Pinker. And his ideas in Hitchhiker helped inspire the techies of the IT revolution. still mourned by his millions of fans around the world.

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