Isabel (kittiwake)'s Reviews > The Road to Mars: A Post-Modem Novel

The Road to Mars by Eric Idle
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's review
Dec 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in May, 2008

"The are two types of comedian," states Carlton in the preface to his dissertation, "both deriving from the circus., which I shall call the White Face and the Red Nose. Almost all comedians fall into one or the other of these two simple archetypes. In the circus, the White Face is the controlling clown with the deathly pale masklike face who never takes a pie; the Red Nose is the subversive clown with the yellow and red makeup who takes all the pies and the pratfalls and the buckets of water and the banana skins. The White Face represents the mind, reminding humanity of the constant mocking presence of death; the Red Nose represents the body, reminding mankind of its constant embarrassing vulgarities.

Alex Muscroft and Lewis Ashby are a comedy double-act working the outer reaches of the solar system, known as the Road to Mars. They are accompanied by their robot Carlton, who is writing a thesis called De Rerum Comoedia (Concerning Comedy), although he doesn’t understand irony or what makes a joke funny. After Alex's big mouth blows their chances of a long engagement on a solar cruise liner, and leads to the cancellation of all the other gigs they had booked, they decide to head straight for the bright lights of Mars, but find themselves caught up in a some rather dangerous events.

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