Do you like Douglas Adams works?

I liked him much more as a schoolboy and an undergrad student. While he's witty, he isn't particularly deep or insightful (imho).

   But then, I'm not much of a Terry Pratchett fan, either.


Anonymous who praises Douglas Adams: I remember being deeply discouraged from reading Adams because of his atheism. That has never been an issue for me either way.

   You think he's phenomenal, and that's great, but I see him as an overrated man, without that much to say. You compare him with Einstein (although Adams did little work at university and got a 2:2), I compare him with Wilde.

Update 2:

HM u_bin_called who I very,very nearly chose for BA.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Yes. I liked him as a schoolboy and as an adult. I read his Dirk Gently books as an adult and reread the Hitchhiker's guide trilogy of seven books. As for not finding him particularly deep or insightful, then you've missed quite a lot, I'm afraid. 

    Even just his prologue to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in which he, a devout atheist, exposits on people's thrill with digital watches 2,000 years after nailing a man to a stick just for saying how wonderful it would be if everyone were just nice to each other for a change is fraught with depth and insight. 

    Likewise, the robot programmed to suffer melancholy that upon finding out was built to be indestructible and with batteries that will never dies answers his melancholy by going on a mission to insult every single living soul in the universe at least one time is also an extraordinarily deep and insightful commentary on the human religious belief where the rubber meets the road with the human condition. 

    Also, in Dirk Gently, one learning to fly simply by throwing oneself at the ground and missing is beyond witty and transcends to Einsteinian-esque genius, an open-minded, outside-the-box approach to the problem that looks through pedantry and mendacity that distracts and mires us in our thinking to a methodology that in some way feels like it actually might be the seeds of the solution that science one day uses to defy gravity, much like how lasers and rockets were at first science fiction that science itself had written off as silly impossibilities but that turned out to be doable because the minds that thought of them weren't bogged down by all that said it was impossible until finally one of them came along and said, "Not impossible, simply not possible YET," and then set about the task of whittling away the YET.

    Don't sell Doug short. He was witty. He was more than witty. He was genius. He was profound. And he was most definitely insightful. EVERYTHING he wrote remains as keen insight into humanity and into the human condition-- often biting, often sardonic, but also often delightful and lighthearted, and always astute and strikingly honest.

  • 1 month ago

    I enjoyed it as a young reader and I still appreciate his work today.  If you're expecting him to be on the level of Bradbury or Asimov, that's like measuring Monty Python against the "Divine Comedy."

    Speaking of the Pythons, Adams is also a product of that school of comedy bred in the English public school system where the odd reference to high art and literature is mixed in with sophomoric bodily-function jokes and schoolboy innuendo.  Generations of American kids have considered it "high comedy" simply because it's delivered with a British accent.

    All you need to know about the "Hitchhikers" series is that the idea was born from a drunken backpacking trip through Europe that Adams took in his youth while trying to "find himself."  Taken in that light, the seemingly random occurrences, the variety of eccentric characters, the wild locations....and the underlying desperation to make sense of it all... seems to make more sense.  It's just wacky fun with references to a few university-level subjects thrown in not to be pretentious, but to be relatable to an audience with a similar background.

    I felt Adams added more poignance with each work and in his other books but those efforts have an incomplete feel.  Sadly he passed away too young.  I would like to have seen what a Douglas Adams in his mid to late 50s would have produced.

    Source(s): Happy Birthday Wolfgang
  • User
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I've only read his most famous work

    and I definitely did not enjoy it

    despite being quite a sci fi fan.

    I never read Pratchett.

    Note that I didn't enjoy "Dune" either.

    As a schoolboy ('way back in the 70s) my favorites were the classics (Verne, Wells), as well as Norton, Asimov, Clark, McCaffrey, the various Perry Rhodan related series, the Dumarest novels, some Bradbury and some others I don't really remember now (I've not been "into" it for decades).

    One that stands out that is an "oddball" is Manly Wade Wellman's "Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds". I'm pretty sure it had a different title at the time. I remember being amazed at how good the book was (can't say if it is or is not really that good now). More: a great book (in my estimation) that came from an author that was, to me, heretofore unknown. It also got me interested in Sherlock Holmes novels.

    Definitely, you need to read Well's "War of the Worlds" before reading Wellman's story. Wellman's story is an unauthorized sequel to both that and the Holmes' novels, and (my youthful self informs me) it did a really outstanding job of melding the two unrelated "settings" and literature types together.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I have a confession:  I really don't like his work, especially not the Hitchhiker's Guide.  This is really not the done thing in my circle.  This is not to do him down as a person, it's all just too navel gazing and knowing for my taste.  I don't mind Terry Pratchett, I like some of his novels a lot and others not at all.  He was a very intelligent and well-read man, but an uneven writer imo.  Then again, I have no time for obsessive fandoms which makes me feel out of sync with popular culture.  I've lost friends over refusing to be a "real fan" or choose sides over some BS spat in fandom circles.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Try Gene Wolfe.

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