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

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  21,975 ratings  ·  310 reviews
"It's all devastatingly true - except the bits that are lies. - Douglas Adams
Don't Panic celebrates the life of an ape-descended human called Douglas Adams who, in a field in Innsbruck in 1971, had an idea.
This is also the story of what that idea became: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - the original radio series which started it all, and the five book trilogy', the T
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Titan Books (first published 1987)
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Scoutmaster Steve No. This is mostly about Adams himself and the various permutations of the story of Hitchhiker's

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Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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, his de ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2018
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcast at 22.30 on a Wednesday evening in 1978 where the BBC almost hoped that no one would hear it. Radio programmes in those days almost never got reviews either, so there was a collective dropping of jaws when it turned out that there were two in the papers that weekend praising the show. Word of mouth recommendations meant that this obscure comedy sci-fi series grew to have a cult following very soon and it was to permeate the national cultur ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, debut
I am having such trouble finishing new books, I decided to choose from read books on my shelves. Probably I will make the same declaration at least monthly until I learn or until this very well precedented time. Putting aside such deadly epidemics as Zika 2015-ongoing and Ebola 2014-2016 within the really bloody recent past, I bring your attention to Swine Flu (H1N1) 2009-ongoing, the AIDs pandemic 1981-ongoing, Influenza 1957-58, Influenza 1889-90, Influenza 1918, the Russian Plague 1770-1772, ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
An amazing book from an amazing author for an amazing author. It was hilarious, Interesting and easy to read.

Michael Burnam-Fink
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was at one point the most important book in my life. When I was about 11, I reread the whole series monthly. My AIM screename was Zarkology1, after the great Prophet Zarquon and the exclamation 'Zark!'. So I'm only kidding a little when I say that for me, the books approach holy text.

Don't Panic by Neil Gaiman (that Neil Gaiman) is a very different approach to the story behind the story, and the career of Douglas Adams. Adams followed in the wake of a classic
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't.

(I brought my towel and a bottle of something.)
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic succeeds in so far as the author manages to capture the humor of the late Douglas Adams. It lacks depth as a biography but more than blankets the various aspects and versions of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (H2 G2 ) as well as the five book trilogy. It is correctly described in one of the other reviews as the hyper-extended bonus feature that was too long to include on any of the CDs or DVD versions of the radio broadcasts, televisions shows and unfortunately th ...more
Chris Ziesler
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dave Packard
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, laser
All things Hitchhiker Guide and more. Told in only the way Neil Gaiman can do!
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 Cambrid
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This is non fiction book pulling together the complete story of how Douglas Adams wrote the various incantations of 'The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy'. Neil Gaiman had access to a lot of Douglas's notes, source material and interviewed a lot of people to put together this book. It's a fascinating tale and explains a lot of differences between the story in each version. Basically, Adams rewrote a lot to make it work for different mediums. For example, some scenes in the original radio would ha ...more
David Blaylock
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My first Neil Gaiman book. A gift from a nice girl I met in college. ...more
Well, finally I know how many versions, formats and productions of Hitchhiker's Guide were made.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
A true fan book, concerning every form of the HGTTG, from radio series, books and many different adaptations, as well as the author's other work. It was a bit tiresome sometimes, especially regarding the visual adaptations, since I haven't seen any, but still quite entertaining and informative. Love the appendix part.
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
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 sounds suspic ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
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
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Having interviewed Douglas Adams at a trade show where he was introducing Starship Titanic, it was fascinating to read Neil Gaiman’s take on the project in Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and agree wholeheartedly. I had been taken in by the “front” of The Digital Village being Douglas Adams’ company, but there were nagging red flags in the back of my mind as I left the room. Even years later when I dined with Douglas at a multimedia festival in Cannes, I hadn’t ...more
Eduardo Santiago
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A moving tribute. It’s a biography with two subjects, Adams as well as the Hitchhiker’s canon, both much larger than life; Gaiman treats both with respect (but not adulation) and with warm humor. The other authors, well, they try. (The book is actually a 2009 update of a 1987 work, and it shows: the latter half feels hastily put together, its tone more checklist than paean).

Despite the wait-what-happened discomfort in the second half, it’s a very good book: informative, caring, with insights and
Tim Gambrell
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable book. I read the 2009 re-issue, so it is more up to date but it also goes to show how much more could be added since then, with Dr Who books, stage shows, the animated Shada and the sixth radio series.
It told me a lot of what I already knew, as a fan. It also told me enough that I didn’t know to keep me surprised and entertained.
It’s made me want to go out and read the official Adams biographies, so I guess that’s something.
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neil Gaiman has a lot of respect for Douglas Adams' work and quirkiness, and therefore you can feel the endearment just from reading. The book is funny - mostly through footnotes - and I learnt a lot that I wouldn't say is essential to understand Adams, but it planted in me a willingness to read everything again. I even want to listen to the original radio series. This book is worth reading if you enjoy Douglas Adams the man, and not exactly for Hitchhiker's Guide even though it is a big chunk o ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow a book about a writer missing deadlines and failing to get a movie made is both engaging and funny.

This book is almost entirely about Douglas Adams' business dealing and creative process. His personal life is discussed only to describe how it affected his work on "Hitchhikers". This could be incredibly dry stuff, but Gaiman's writing saves it.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy to be very informative and highly entertaining. It helps that I have enjoyed many incarnations of HHGTTG over the years (I would love to listen to the original BBC radio series), find Douglas Adams' work & life to be fascinating, and absolutely love anything written by Neil Gaiman, one of my all-time favorite authors. ...more
May Ling
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: For nerds who love Adams & Dr. Who, here's your book. I LOL. I had no idea the relation.

Would be thrilled if you checked out my VLOG review at: Youtube: Diary of a Speed Reader or IG: WhereIsMayLing

Notes using Kindle notes. Tryin it out. Still not sure if it will disappear the notes when i disappear the book from my kindle. if anyone knows the answer, plz post.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book detailing how Douglas Adams cameup with the udea and various incarnations of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Loved the book , as an almost life long fan of HHGTTG and subsequent variations it was wonderful to have a guide to the guide as it were.

Neil Gaiman's prose was worthy of Adam's. Full of humor and warmth.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 3 14 May 07, 2018 04:59AM  
did this book ever come out in Audio? 1 8 Dec 18, 2013 10:09PM  

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