Author: Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts
Page Count/Review Word Count: 416
I’ve been putting off reading this book for a while now, and I’m not really sure why. I think it’s because while I’ve seen a lot of Doctor Who and I think every episode of Torchwood, I’m just not a particularly big fan, and this is the doctor from before I was even born. I guess I just thought that I’d be bored and that a lot of it was going to go over my head.
I needn’t have worried, though. Sure, there were some wibbly wobbly timey wimey things and some science fiction stuff, but it wasn’t hard sci-fi and you don’t really need to be a fan of the show to understand what’s happening. I didn’t even know which incarnation of the Doctor it was about, but that didn’t matter. If anything, it allowed me to picture the Doctor however I wanted to.
I also liked the fact that it was set mostly in Cambridge, at least when we were on earth, and Adams’ characters were fantastic and super funny to boot. I guess I was expecting Doctor Who fan-fiction, and what I got instead was a science fiction comedy novel that had a lot in common with both Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently.
Still, I’d recommend reading those books first if you’re new to Adams, unless you’re a bit of a Doctor Who super fan in which case I don’t see anything wrong with starting with this one. It was certainly typical of Adams and his writing style, even though I’m not actually sure how much of it was written by Adams and how much was written by Roberts. What more can I say? It was a laugh.
So if you’ve been craving a Douglas Adams fix and you haven’t been sure which book to pick up, I think this one holds up to the rest of his stuff, even if he did only come up with the story itself without writing the full novel. Most of the scenes and the dialogue are his, and it certainly maintains the original vibe that Adams must have intended.
Plus there’s the fact that it’s quite frankly hilarious, from the first page until the last. I think if it hadn’t been for the sense of humour to this, I wouldn’t have made it to the end. But I miss Dirk Gently.