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Better than Life (Red Dwarf, #2)
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Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  9,545 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
A wild and wacky SF series--based on the popular BBC-TV series--reminiscent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Lister--who passed out drunk in London and awakened in a locker on a moon of Saturn--now finds himself trapped in a computer game that transports players to the perfect world of their imaginations--a game people are literally dying to play.
Mass Market Paperback, 302 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by Roc (first published October 25th 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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David Sarkies
Mar 17, 2016 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Trapped in Virtual Reality
17 March 2016

I version I was reading was actually part of the Red Dwarf Omnibus which, along with the first two books, also has the script of the original radio play, and the pilot episode that they used to pitch to the TV executives (and as was suggested, at the time TV executives were very reluctant to take on a science fiction show, despite the fact that at the time Doctor Who was a rip-roaring success). Anyway, in the script for the pilot episode there was a line w
Mar 07, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well after the fun of the first book in the series - the nostalgia has started to wane - not because of the show but more the book. This book starts to deviate more and more from the series - now as I said in my previous review my love for this was due to the farcical nature of the show and the visual as well as scripted jokes, with the book starting to veer further away from the path the show took I struggle to imagine those same scenes now in a new light - now do not get me wrong I am sure ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing
I love the TV series Red Dwarf, so as soon as I saw there were some books based on it I just had to get them. The good news is that they convert over to story-book version well. You already know the characters so a lot of the work has already been done for you, this story was already been made into an episode, so even more work has been done for ya...maybe even a crap author could produce a good book from this? Luckily Grant Naylor is a really good writer and has produced an excellent book.

Oct 09, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing
As good as 'Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers' though qualitatively fairly different. Despite being shorter, 'Better Than Life' presents a very in depth look at the dangers of being able to have whatever we want, whenever we want. A comedy book that explores the darkest nature of the human psyche? Only Grant Naylor could pull that off flawlessly. Amazing.
May 10, 2007 NumberLord rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Funny book! Best line (and perfect description of "Cat"):

God, it was cruel to have been born a male, and have a reflection that was also male, forcing him into a platonic relationship with his own image.
Virginia Rand
It was funny, but it suffered because I watched the TV show first. I'd definitely recommend it to those who haven't.
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 11, 2010 Crystal Starr Light rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I saw this book at the same time I saw "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" and bought both. I enjoyed the movies and figured the books would be insightful.

At the end of "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers", Lister, Rimmer, Cat, and Kryten were stuck in a video game--"Better than Life". They realized it was unreality, but as they got what they wanted, they didn't care to go back to the real world. In this installation, Rimmer's fantasy starts to tear apart the world, and the remaining crew of
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Sep 25, 2014 Charlie - A Reading Machine rated it really liked it
Almost every Dystopian book about computers and virtual realities - see Ready Player One, James Dashners new series - probably found it's roots here...unless someone else did it ages ago.

Better than life is a computer simulation where your subconscious mind combines with technology to create the ultimate experience with one of it s first functions being to wipe your memory of the starting the game. For this reason many players simply never make it out as they don't realise they are in.

In this bo
Jan 25, 2015 Stonemagpie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Richards
Mar 06, 2015 Benjamin Richards rated it really liked it
The last third of this book made me feel an aching nostalgia for something lost. Red Dwarf is, admittedly, a very special show from childhood. This is the first book I've read on the theme and it takes the humour, panache, style of the television show and amplifies it with an adult-humour edge. The book itself is quite base level, a few made-up words and a few sentences which had me reaching for the dictionary, but, all in all most enjoyable.
Jul 05, 2016 Soňa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liam J. MacKay
Nov 06, 2016 Liam J. MacKay rated it liked it
Chris Barrie returns to narrate the 2nd in the Dwarf series. Starting with the Better Than Life story, goes on to revisit a bunch of the classic Dwarf encounters. Very fun, though I was never a fan of the Better Than Life story from the TV show, it was a little more interesting in the book!
Second time through this one. This time I listened to the audio book brilliantly narrated by Chris Barrie who again does impersonations of the rest of the cast almost perfectly. Still not quite as good as the first book, but still a must read/listen for any Red Dwarf fans.
Evička de Blois
Přešla jsem na trpasličí stranu...
Nov 15, 2016 Kerry rated it it was ok
Definately not as enjoyable as IWCD.
Jun 11, 2013 Swankivy rated it really liked it
I was relieved that this book picked up where the last left off, because too often books that feature hijinks ensuing just leave characters in a bad situation and then kind of start over expecting you to somehow rationalize that they must've gotten out of it somehow. In any case, while reading this I still had not seen the television show even though all my friends had, so my first exposure to these characters and their situation was this book and its prequel. I enjoyed both.

The title, "Better T
Leider nicht so witzig wie Band 1 und es war teilweise ein wenig mühsam zu lesen. Insgesamt hab ich relativ lange gebraucht, da ich das Buch immer mal nebenbei gelesen habe.

Das Buch startet eigentlich mit einer interessanten Ausgangssituation. Wir Leser wissen natürlich das die Protagonisten im Spiel "Besser als das Leben" stecken. Rimmer der reichste Mann der Welt und der Sexiest Man no way! Wirklich blöd für ihn, dass ihn schlusseindlich selbst sein Unterbewusstsein zu hassen scheint :)
Der Kat
Glenn Conley
Nov 11, 2014 Glenn Conley rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The first third of this book is fucking awesome. The Better Than Life bit. It's amazing. That's why I wanted to read this book. I saw that episode of Red Dwarf, and it was so good, I just had to read the book. And, that part of the book was great, but after that, it turns to complete horseshit.

Better Than Life is the most addictive game ever developed. It's a completely immersive virtual reality game, that allows you to create your own perfect world. Where Lister is living the perfect family lif
Chris Meigh
Oct 01, 2012 Chris Meigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The second instalment of the Red Dwarf series may not be as good as the first one, but what it lacks in the humour it makes up for in strangeness.

After the crew get trapped in Better Than Life, a total immersion video game that is said to be the most addictive thing ever made, they have to do their best to get out of the game. After deciding they don’t want to leave their heavens, they try to go on as best as possible. This all changes when Rimmer’s own self destructive nature destroys everyone
Pam Stebbins
Feb 19, 2013 Pam Stebbins rated it really liked it
If you’ve seen every episode of the BBC’s “Red Dwarf” or you’ve heard of the show and have wondered what’s up with that, read this book. Lister, the last earth man; Rimmer, a hologram; Cat, a descendant of a pet cat; and Kryton, a service mechanoid are hooked into a computer game where they experience a life better than reality. It’s a game that no one wants to leave and eventually they die. The imagined world is built from unconscious desires, but Rimmer‘s subconscious is out to get him. Lister ...more
Dane Cobain
Apr 03, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing
Grant Naylor is actually the pseudonym for the combined efforts of two authors, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. The pair is responsible for the creation of Red Dwarf, one of my favourite sci-fi comedies – this book is effectively a novelisation of certain aspects of the series, but don’t expect a simple clone of the episode of the same name.

In this novel, the story-line is much more detailed, and I also think that it’s more interesting – it offers up more questions, for a start. In this novel, last m
Better Than Life by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor is the second book based on the British science fiction comedy show Red Dwarf. The crew of Red Dwarf's journey to return to Earth gets interrupted when they find themselves trapped inside of an addictive virtual reality game and they must find a way to escape before their real world bodies die. This proves to be no easy task though since they can't leave unless they want to, and even after reaching that state they face many additional obstacles ...more
Sean Randall
Jul 29, 2009 Sean Randall rated it really liked it
"We're talking about the trigonomics of four-dimensional space, you simple-minded gimboid, we're not talking about some seedy game of pool in a back street Scouse drinking-pit."

Lister's pool shot has to be one of my favourite scenes in this book, but all of it is top-notch and funny to boot. Arn's mental instability is topped only by the disregard the entire Human race held for the Earth, and the Eurovision and Star Trek references were well appreciated.

"You wouldn't catch her peeing in no stand
A straight sequel to Red Dwarf: Infinity welcomes careful drivers, this novel starts with the crew of Red Dwarf still trapped inside the hologrammatic computer game Better Than Life, with that taking up (roughly) the first third of the novel.

Unlike its predecessor, which at times seemed to be cramming as many episodes as possible into its length, this novel instead seems to primarily focus on 3 main aspects (episodes) from the TV series on which it is based: Better Than Life, Garbage World and
Jan 27, 2013 Traummachine rated it liked it
I'm normally not one to read books that are offshoots of TV shows or movies I like. They're usually just not my thing, and neither is fan fiction. But I first found a Red Dwarf book at a library book sale for 75 cents, plus it was written by the creators of the show. So I gave Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers a shot. Obviously I enjoyed it, because this was #2.

Infinity was really a conglomeration of several 1st-season episodes, plus a few new scenes thrown in. So it was cute and enjoyable, but
Steve Mitchell
Aug 01, 2011 Steve Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Once again Rob Grant and Doug Naylor harvest some of the best moments from their television series and add some new material to produce a very funny book. Playing pool with planets, Lister marooned upon an ice planet with a just a tube of bonjela, a tin of dog food and a pot noodle for food (Which one of them will be last on the menu?) and a planet Earth where time runs backwards all make an appearance from the show. New material includes the human race using one of the planets of the Solar ...more
Mike Roberts
Dec 18, 2013 Mike Roberts rated it really liked it
For background see my review of Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers . My caveats there apply here too.

Better than Life is a better book than Red Dwarf. The writing is better, and the authors really get into the extra depth of the characters. There's also some fun things they can do with time that the filmed version didn't allow.

There's a little duplication at the beginning of this from the end of the first book - in hindsight I would have done better to give it more than a couple of day
Julie Decker
Jul 23, 2014 Julie Decker rated it really liked it
When carefree lovable drunk Lister, uptight holographic companion Rimmer, self-obsessed highly evolved feline Cat, and worrywart mechanoid Kryten enter a virtual reality video game called Better Than Life, they have to do their best to succeed at the game and exit it before they die, only to find upon awakening that their spaceship is going to crash and their ship's computer doesn't feel like waking up. For our mismatched spacefaring heroes, the future doesn't look good, but it sure will be ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dwarfers
Ok, so Better than Life is basically a couple of Red Dwarf episodes pulled together and padded out with extra information just like Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers but as a big Red Dwarf fan I really enjoyed this.
Again Chris Barrie's almost perfect impersonations of the other characters is one of the best features of this audio version of the book. His impersonation of the Cat isn't quite right but I'd imagine it's quite difficult to copy Danny John Jules' wonderfully wild depiction
Apr 03, 2016 Chloë rated it really liked it
Read alongside the Audible version acted by Chris Barrie who does some uncanny impressions of his show mates!! Had to keep reminding myself it wasn't actually them. This book follows smoothly on from infinity and is just as good in my opinion. However, seems to play more to the fans with lots of in jokes which is actually pretty cool. It's not fan service though because it does what red dwarf does best and follows no continuity rules at all! I love that they have used the same plot points as the ...more
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Grant Naylor was the collective name used by writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor for their collaboration, particularly the TV series, Red Dwarf. Grant and Naylor call their pseudonym a gestalt entity, something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

More about Grant Naylor...

Other Books in the Series

Red Dwarf (4 books)
  • Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Red Dwarf, #1)
  • Last Human (Red Dwarf #3)
  • Backwards (Red Dwarf #4)

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“Why d'you say "Mayday"? It's just a bank holiday. Why not "Shrove Tuesday" or "Ascension Sunday"? He turned back to the communicator. 'Ascension Sunday... Ascension Sunday.' He thought for a while and then tried: 'The fourteenth Wednesday after Pentecost... The fourteenth Wednesday after Pentecost...” 4 likes
“Twelve!!! Twelve years old!!? When you lost your virginity, you were twelve???'
'Twelve??' Rimmer stared into the fire. 'Well, you can't have been a full member of the golf club, then.”
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