Biography Book Reviews Books

Book Review: Hitchhiker

Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas AdamsHitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams by M.J. Simpson

I’ve enjoyed Douglas Adams’s books for a long time. When I was young, my parents put into my hands all four (at the time) volumes of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and even Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and I devoured them. I have always been impressed with Adams’s humor, intelligence and imagination.

This biography was an informative book, but definitely more for a British audience than for an American one. I knew a few of the big names mentioned in the book (like the members of Monty Python and two members of Pink Floyd, who were just a few of Adams’s many famous friends), but there were many that I didn’t know. There is a name glossary in the back that I referred to from time to time, but despite that I found that the frequent occurrence of names I didn’t know made the text hard to follow in places. A positive point about the book was that the author was able to get to the truth behind several of Adams’s oft-repeated (and slightly inaccurate) anecdotes. A negative is that I felt like I was being dragged through an interminable succession of this-happened-then-this-happened. I would have appreciated being given more insight into Adams’s writing, aside from the fact (well-documented in Hitchhiker) that he persistently and artfully avoided doing it as much as possible.

By Elliot

Elliot was born in Michigan and raised in North Carolina. He has studied at Regent College and the University of Richmond, worked at newspapers in St. Petersburg and Los Angeles, taught ESL in eastern Europe, given tours in Alaska, and driven a school bus. Now he lives in western Washington and works as an editor at Lexham Press, the publishing arm of Faithlife Corporation.