Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” as Want to Read:
Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  15,814 ratings  ·  130 reviews
"It's all devastatingly true — except the bits that are lies..." — Douglas Adams


Don't Panic celebrates the life and work of an ape-descended human named Douglas Adams who, in a field in Innsbruck in 1971, had an idea - an idea that became The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Acclaimed author Neil Gaiman covers all of Adams' work, including Doctor Who
Paperback, new and updated edition, 288 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Titan Books (first published 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don't Panic, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Don't Panic

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Very enjoyable for Douglas Adams fans. A bit dated at this point (written in '88) but the history on Adams' life and works is still relevant. Plus having one of my faves write about another is just too fun. I miss Douglas, his death in 2001 at age 49 was just a huge loss.
Rabid Readers Reviews
Written much in the style and humor of the author it honors, Neil Gaiman’s "Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" is a wonderful treat for fans of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and its author. The book contains supporting material from Douglas Adams himself, as well as his own words as compiled from Gaiman’s interviews with him, as well as a tireless search of the media.

Adams early aspirations were toward the stage. He saw John Cleese perform while at Cam
Mi sto rendendo conto di avere qualche problema con le biografie, soprattutto quando si tratta di autori o attori o comunque personaggi che amo od ho amato.
Il problema è che, volenti o nolenti, siamo tutti pronti a mitizzare un personaggio che amiamo, a vederne il genio artistico e poi a rimanere un po' delusi quando ne scopriamo dei lati che, in qualche modo, non ci piacciono: poi ci sono i fan "talebani", che qualunque cosa faccia il loro mito diranno che è perfetta, ma questo è un altro disco
This was, oddly, the very first Neil Gaiman book I read. It was in the Hazen High School Library and it said “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” on the cover, and that was good enough for me.

The connection between H2G2 and Doctor Who is no surprise, and yet it’s really quite surprising. The third book in the five part trilogy? Had its genesis as a Doctor Who script. (95). The actress who played Trillian in the television show was married to “Peter Davison, the fifth and blandest Dr Who. He playe
Full disclosure on this one: my library system did not have this book so I had to inter-library loan it, and the copy they came up with for me is a first edition. They've since published an updated version of the book, re-titled Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was published about four years after Adams's death in 2001. It probably has all sorts of extra chapters about the seventeen years of Adams' writing and fan activity since 1988, and of course, hi ...more
I had to choose a book to read for a school assignment involving non fiction books. I chose Don't Panic, and never regretted the decision once. Written by Neil Gaiman, and added onto by others over the years, Don't Panic uses humor to assist in giving the information that is required to call a Biography a Biography. I found this book easy to get into, and rather enjoyable to do so. The book uses excerpts from Adams' works, and includes interviews with Adams himself, amongst others who we're impo ...more
Sep 14, 2007 Tracey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any Douglas Adams fan who knows where his/her towel is
I received Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a birthday present & eagerly devoured it this week. Equally a biography and an examination of Adams' body of work, the original version of Don't Panic was written in 1987 by Neil Gaiman, with additional chapters added by David K. Dickson in 1993 and an overhaul with final chapter in 2003 by MJ Simpson. It is a credit to all three of these writers that the voice of the work is consistent throughout - and sound ...more
Ed Erwin
Although I loved Hitch-hikers guide when I read it, and still do, I would have never picked-up this book if it had been written by anyone else. I really wouldn't think I'd care about all the trivia about the different versions that have appeared over the years - radio shows, TV, books, film. But I like Gaiman's style. He keeps it interesting.

It turns out that it was somewhat interesting to see the creative process at work. The first two books were better than the next two because it was fresh a
Ally Craig
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
first off it is misleading to say this is a guide to Hitchhikers Guide... it is a lot more. It is part celebration of Douglas Adams - a short biography and introduction to his body of work. Its part review of his publications with details on yes the Hitchhikers Guide books but also his Dirk Gently books and other books, and finally it is a guide to the series itself with a closer look at characters places and events - all in the style you would come to expect from Douglas Adams, although it is w ...more
Chris Ziesler
If you have ever stood in a field staring up at the myriad stars in the night sky and wondering just how it came to be that the humanoid life-form known as Douglas Adams managed to dream up such infinitely improbable adventures, or if you have ever stood in front of a vending machine that has just provided you with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea, then in all likelihood you will enjoy this book.

Neil Gaiman has taken time off writing his own
I'm so glad I finally got a copy of this book (thanks, Mom!). I love h2g2, and this book is a great look at how all its various incarnations came to be. It also gives a good glimpse of Douglas Adams as a person and an author, which I appreciate since I'll never get a chance to meet him.

And Gaiman's writing is excellent--a perfect blend of reverent and realistic. It's clear Gaiman appreciates Adams' work as an author, but the book doesn't shy away from pointing out how he was probably frustrating
I am a huge fan of books "Hitchhikers" and they are me go to re-read books as I can pick up one and read it from the bookmark I left in it six months ago and jump right into the story. I was so excited to see a bio about Doug and how the series came about. Well, this is the newest version of this book with other author contributors and I found it tedious,dull,and possibly worse than Vogon poetry. Maybe I needed a Babel fish to understand the way this was done, but Belgium! I expected better that ...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
“L'idea in questione sorge nella mente di Douglas Adams in maniera assolutamente casuale, in un prato a Innsbruck. Più tardi egli negherà ogni ricordo dell'accaduto, ma è una storia che ha raccontato lui e, se dobbiamo proprio considerarne uno, l'inizio è stato questo. Se volete prendere una bandiera con su scritto LA STORIA COMINCIA QUI e la volete piantare da qualche parte, allora il posto giusto è questo.”

Così scrive lo stesso Adams nel 1984 a proposito della genesi della Guida Galattica pe
Boris Limpopo
Gaiman, Neil (1988-2009). Don’t Panic. Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. London: Titan Books. 2009. ISBN: 9781848564961. Pagine 275. 11,49

Non mi aspettavo che questa guida, più volte rimaneggiata, fosse da annoverare tra le opere meglio riuscite di Neil Gaiman, di cui ho parlato più volte su questo blog (soprattutto recensendo suoi romanzi, come qui, qui e qui). Mi aspettavo che fosse una guida, informata e piena di curiosità, con qualche chicca introvabile altrove e con
This is actually one of my favorite things that Gaiman has done. It feels more authentic than most of his prose. His enthusiasm for Adams is palpable, and I've always suspected that Gaiman is an avid reader and a fan of writers, and he worked hard to become a writer in order to accommodate those two passions. If that's the case, then this is about as close as we can get to "true Gaiman."
Bill Peschel
The five stars does not mean that "Don't Panic" is the authoritative version of Douglas Adams' life. It was mostly written by Neil Gaiman, and updated by other writers with an additional seven chapters covering Adams' later life and death.It weighs in at a mere 240 pages, and the bulk of the book, as reflected in the title, covers the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Fortunately, there are longer biographies out there that cover Adams' life and works in greater depths. What makes this a five-sta
Luciana Darce
Não costumo ler muitas biografias. Não porque tenha alguma coisa contra elas – é mais uma questão de que ao ir à livraria, a maior parte dos títulos que você encontrará em destaque na sessão dedicada a elas será de celebridades contemporâneas que muito pouco me interessam.

Como quem vê cara não vê coração, acabo passando ao largo e nunca paro realmente para olhar o que existe de disponível em termos de biografias.

Volta e meia, contudo, uma delas me cai em mãos. Ano passado mesmo eu li parte das
Grab your towel, and whatever you do...Don't Panic! This is the behind-the-scenes history of Douglas Adams' phenomenonally popular Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Partly a biography of Adams' early years, Gaiman traces the origins of the HHGG, including all the variant versions of the property -- radio series, books (originally a trilogy, then expanded by Adams into 5 volumes), television series, stage plays, records, film, computer games. etc. Filled with humor, both riotous and wry, this is ...more
Maurizio Codogno
Come probabilmente sapete, la trilogia della Guida galattica per autostoppisti è tutto meno che una trilogia: ci sono almeno cinque libri più un racconto breve (e non considero ...And Another Thing di Eoin Colfer), oltre alle versioni per radio e tv (e di nuovo non considero il film). Nel suo piccolo, anche questa biografia di Adams è arrivato alla quinta edizione ampliata, immagino proprio a causa dell'uscita del film e del libro succitati. (La quarta edizione deve essere stata fatta dopo la mo ...more
For years, friends of mine have been trying to persuade me to read Terry Pratchett. They tried persuasion, encouragement, bribery and blackmail. None of it worked. They handed me a copy of “Good Omens” in the hope that this would change my mind. It did – I became a Neil Gaiman fan virtually overnight. One thing they enthused about that I did take a liking to, however, was Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

I am a relatively recent convert to Hitchhiker’s. I knew it had been a r

1) How do you come up with those names?
2) What gave you the idea to write the book?
3) Why this subject?
4) When did you decide to become an author and why?
5) Did you like the results of the books?
6) Why did you put Ford and Arthur on Ancient Earth?
7) How long did it take to write the books?


1) Yes.
2) 37.5.
3) No.
4) Somerset.
5) Last Thursday morning.
6) French
7) No.

The two main reasons for which I read this book are the following:

a) It's about Douglas Adams, one of my all-time favourites.
b) It's
Adam James
I'm sure the original Neil Gaiman text packed a little bit more informational punch in its initial release. But years of addendums have marred the readability of Don't Panic.
Do we need specific chapters on the Illustrated Version of Hitchhikers?
Do we need specific chapters on Adams' fascination with search engines?
Do we need specific chapters on Adams researching random wildlife because it mildly influence books 4 and 5?


But hey, Neil Gaiman is a cool writer who wrote a fun 175 pages or so.
Julie Decker
This is a biographical, historical collection of essays and background explanations regarding the creation of the Hitchhiker's series (and other things about the late, great Douglas Adams). Neil Gaiman is a great author to write it, as he has the capacity to veer into Adams-like tone, and that really comes through in his compilation of notes. You can learn about the Guide's various incarnations and Douglas Adams's history as a writer. It's really illuminating, and you even get to see some "cut s ...more
The Hitchhiker's Trilogy is obviously amazing, and this companion is also fairly great (I is by Neil Gaiman). It's fascinating to learn about the processes that the trilogy went through before it became one of the most popular science fiction novels of all time: TV episodes, movies, plays, and endless passed deadlines. It's also interesting to learn more about Douglas Adams, and the work he has done with Monty Python and Doctor Who. The Companion includes sections that were never used ...more
A very good insight on Douglas Adams' process of creating The Hitchhiker's universe as well as his other works (such as his contribution to Doctor Who, Last Chance to See etc), everything that encompasses that, but also on DA's own character, work process and relation to other significant people (that some readers might have heard of through other books/movies/radio programs/TV shows but weren't aware of any connection). Moreover, there are some great excerpts from the books/radio programs and s ...more
This book is about a man named Arthur Dent. He and his Betelguese friend Ford were on the planet Earth. Until the Vogons came over to build a bypass. Ford transport themselves into the ship to save themselves but are soon found. They then have to try to survive in the vast universe where Ford's half friend and ex president Zaphod and an Earthling, Trillan who Arthur met before, have arrived and then became a part of this journey for a question that the highest tech computers took millions of yea ...more
Thanks to my mother for this Christmas present of the latest (September 2009) revised edition of the 1988 original covering the history of Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Neil Gaiman interviewed Douglas Adams and many of his friends and colleagues to get the dirt/interesting nuggets of how the radio play came about and its metamorphosis into a book, a vinyl LP, a TV show, a towel, a stage play, more radio shows and, after Adams's untimely death, a movie. While he became r ...more
Lisa  Emma Kilgariff
When I ordered this book I wasn’t really expecting this kind of amazing compilation of materials and I loved being able to read some of the original cut scripts and here about ideas which were later discarded. I have listened to the radio series and watched the TV series and I really likes Gaiman’s portrayal of the behind the scenes drama, as well as some sneaky information on how they got it all done. I also love the snippets we get about Adams working style (disorganised) and his personal life ...more
Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion is not your typical author biography but, as the title suggests, the story of how the Hitchhiker franchise was born. From the original radio series to records, from screen plays, books and then tv, Douglas Adams created a fascinating world, or rather universe, for readers world-wide. Gaiman presents this creative process with all its chaos, procrastination, and highlights the genius of an author who left a hugh ma ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
did this book ever come out in Audio? 1 8 Dec 18, 2013 10:09PM  
  • Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams
  • The Deeper Meaning of Liff
  • Better than Life
  • Backwards
  • The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All the Words: Volume 1
  • Starship Titanic
  • Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman
  • And Another Thing... (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #6)
  • Last Chance to See: In the Footsteps of Douglas Adams
  • Blackadder: The Whole Damn Dynasty, 1485-1917
  • The Flying Sorcerers: More Comic Tales of Fantasy
  • Hanging Out with the Dream King
  • Last Human (Red Dwarf)
American Gods (American Gods, #1) Coraline The Graveyard Book Neverwhere The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Share This Book