Sunday, April 22, 2012
Book Review: The Salmon of Doubt
Douglas Adams is one of those authors I’ve never especially enjoyed reading, but have always liked, or liked the idea of. I’ve enjoyed various versions of his Hitchhiker’s series and loved his work on Doctor Who. But I could never call myself a fan. I ended up snagging the audio version of this book a couple years back for a few dollars on a whim, and just cracked it open this past week. The implication on the write-up was that it would mostly involve Adams’ final book, which was unfinished when he died. This isn’t the case. In fact, the scraps of his final book, intriguing as they are, comprise very little of the eight hours. Maybe an hour, hour and a half. Most of it is various articles and tidbits, which I was ultimately glad of.
I found the opening especially touching, as friends Richard Dawkins, Christopher Cerf, and Steven Fry each read their own thoughts on his passing. And Simon Jones, another friend and the actor who played Arthur Dent on the Hitchhiker’s TV show, does a fine job reading the larger work.
Having just listened to Christopher Hitchens’ Arguably, another collection of essays, this felt like a nice follow-up. And it was interesting getting a glimpse into such an interesting mind. Adams had a very odd way of looking at the world. And I respond well to his seemingly contradictory extreme optimism laced with crushing pessimism. A worthy listen for those interested in people with unique perspectives.
The Salmon of Doubt
Author: Douglas Adams, etc.
Publisher: Phoenix Audio
ISBN: 978-1-597770-064 (audio version)