Adams’ abandoned ideas
Release Date: OUT NOW!
471 pages | £ 20 ( hardback)/£ 9.99 ( ebook) Author: Jem Roberts Publisher: Preface Publishing
Interviewed by sfx a
while back, The Frood author Jem Roberts was happy to admit his good fortune. When embarking on this new biography of the “rooftroubling ” author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, he didn’t know that a meeting with Douglas Adams’s daughter, Polly, would result in him being given the keys to an Aladdin’s Cave of unused scripts, hastily scribbled notes and abandoned ideas at the Adams archive in Cambridge.
These never- seen- before gems were clearly always going to be the most headline- grabbing, marketable aspect of the book, but Roberts hoped that even if he’d never discovered them, his fresh approach to chronicling Adams’s life would be reason enough to buy. He needn’t have worried. It is. Roberts’s lively conversational prose never tries to ape Adams’s own style, but tells the story of his life in an accessible, compelling flow. He’s not judgmental about the author, but doesn’t whitewash him either, and places biographical details in historical context.
Occasionally he assumes the reader must have as much knowledge of late 20th century UK comedy as he does, a few events are glossed over, and you might expect a few more original quotes from family and colleagues in a book which so boldly affirms its official status. But for the most part, this is a thoroughly absorbing read. Dave Golder