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Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Douglas Adams was a driven and gifted polymath who cut a colorful swath in radio, television, live theater, comic books, computer games, CD-ROM, and the Internet before dying tragically in 2001 at 49. In Hitchhiker, Simpson has produced a rich, revealing chronicle of one of the most wildly creative minds of our time.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Justin, Charles and Company (first published 2003)
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Laurie Anderson
May 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
A bit of a disappointment for me, but I must confess that I'm just a fan of Adams. The fans for whom Adams is the sun, moon and stars might enjoy it more.
Hákon Gunnarsson
Douglas Adams is one of my all time favorite authors. I don't know how many times I've read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Let's just sat that I now own three copies of it, and they have all been read at least once. In my view he is among the best comedy writers of novels to come out of Britain. The British comedy writer that I have read as often is P. G. Wodehouse who I also absolutely adore. But despite how much I like him this is the first biography about Douglas Adams I've read.

This bi
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm glad I finished this. I nearly stopped reading it a couple times. The first third was particularly rough going since it's mostly a relentless series of names and dates and places from Adam's early life before Hitchhiker's came to be.

(It wasn't until I was through the worst of it that I discovered the "glossary" of people in the appendix area at the back of the book. The appendix is amusingly written and I wish that the descriptions had simply been woven in to the text of the book itself or p
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The last book of Douglas Adams material was published under the name the The Salmon of Doubt. It is a hodgepodge including stores, essays and incomplete work by Douglas Adams. It also portrays an interesting man with a great sense of humor. MJ Simpson's Hitchhiker a Biography of Douglas Adams does not leave you with an image of the same man.

Much of this biography I liked. I had had no idea of Douglas Adams's life but I was a fan of most of his writings. I bought this book at a used bookstore for
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a perfectly fine biography that suffers a bit from jumping around like crazy.
Marthe Bijman
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Stephen Fry, in his autobiography The Fry Chronicles, writes of being friends with Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (HG2G) series.”He was never free to play [on Macintosh computers] of course, being eternally under the shadow of a writing deadline and so, naturally, we would play. Douglas’s remark about deadlines has become the final word on the subject. ’I love deadlines, I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by’.” (p. 367) Unfortunately, this is the main ...more
Jun 03, 2014 added it
Shelves: recent-reads
Hitchhiker (2003) - M. J. Simpson

Biography of Douglas Adams, principally known for creating The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but beyond that an early innovator in the use of multiple media in popular entertainment, with a wide variety of creation.

On an absolute split second impulse i picked up this book. Adams was an incredibly creative person and i am interested in his process and personality. The book does a good job unraveling the origins of some of Adams' ideas.

Interesting to see the va
Sep 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
bought Hitchhiker : A Biography of Douglas Adams about a year ago; as I've been a fan of his works for over 20 years and I was looking forward to reading a biography of his. In true Adams style, I didn't get around to actually reading it until a week before the premiere of the long-awaited movie.

Simpson rides a very fine line at times between being a detailed biographer and a nitpicky fanboy. He delves into Adams' life, briefly discussing his childhood and then jumping directly into his school
Patrick DiJusto
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
It's actually pretty good. The author takes a very sympathetic tone towards Adams, while still managing to get the point across that practically nothing Adams ever said in an interview setting was the truth; that he was probably the most irresponsible successful author in the history of publishing, and that of all his well known problems, at least 90% were his own fault and could have been solved if he had only dealt with them. Still, it manages to present a sympathetic portrait.

The author stops
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: auto-biography
I've enjoyed Douglas Adams's books for a long time. I grew up reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and even Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, and have always been impressed with Adams's humor, intelligence and imagination.

This biography was an informative book about one of my favorite authors, but definitely more for a British audience than for an American one. I knew a few of the big names mentioned in the book, but there were many (too many, despite the name reference in the b
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is really an exploration of Adams in his own words and in the words of people around him, including attempts to get at the truth or otherwise of various anecdotes told by or about him during his life. Simpson conveys well both Adams' charm and the way in which he infuriated friends and colleagues. He is probably fair to put some of the blame of Adams' failure to produce on his editors. Apart from that, it's a bit unsatisfying; as John Ll ...more
Mar 17, 2008 rated it liked it
I love Doug Adams' writing, and was hoping to learn about him as a writer and a person. I think I might have been better served to choose Neil Gaiman's "Don't Panic" for this instead.

I found this book to be rather tedious. I wanted to come away from the book with insight into Douglas's beliefs, personality, and inner workings, but instead, I came away with a head full of dates and statistics and names names names names names.

I forced myself to keep reading, but really didn't find the book inter
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent bio of Douglas Adams that's worth reading just for the catalog of Adams' stock anecdotes that he used in interviews (the origin of the Hitchhiker's title, what really happened at his first book signing, the biscuits story, etc.). A critical look at the work of Adams and his achievements. Definitely recommended for Douglas Adams fans.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a bit dull in places. The author seemed to include some information just by virtue of the fact that he'd acquired it. But Douglas Adams's life is an interesting enough topic to make up for most of the book's shortcomings.
Jason Keenan
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's a great glimpse behind the creation of Hitchhiker's, Dirk Gently. Douglas Adams was wickedly funny and incredibly complex, and all of this comes out in Hitchhiker.
Craig Smith
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Porter
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
I reached page 163 before throwing in the towel. And dipped through the rest. Way too much microscopic detail for me, and yet I felt I hadn't even started to know Adams at all. Pity.
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cleanskin
Krista Ivy
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
A good biography of one of the most interesting men. The only way to make it better would have been if Douglas wrote it himself, but then it would have become a work of fiction.
Feb 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, biography
I adore Douglas Adams and all his works, so it only seemed logical to read this biography. It gives a great deal of insight into Douglas, and was quite intriguing. I rather liked it.
Thomas Strömquist
Recommended biography of Douglas Adams. Well researched and written. Obviously of absolute highest interest for HHGTTG fans, but I think others can appreciate it as well.
Colby E
I wish Douglas was still alive just to see how far technology has come. He would have had a badass podcast.
Stephen Cinti
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Apr 06, 2012
Lori Holuta
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Apr 18, 2013
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Oct 01, 2015
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Mick MacNeil
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