A Biography of Douglas Adams
Justin, Charles &
Non-fiction/Biography, 432 pp., 6 x 9
$27.95 cl., ISBN: 1-932112-17-0
Don’t panic! Pack your towel, pour yourself
a pan-galactic gargle blaster, and take off on a wild, no-holds-barred
tour of the life and career of Douglas Adams, creator of the
phenomenally successful Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Here are the facts behind the myths of one of
the 20th century’s most endearing and enduring works
of fantasy and humor. Did Douglas Adams really come up with
the title Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while lying (possibly
stoned, possibly with a girl; possibly not) in a starry field
in Innsbruck, as he variously claimed? Who were the real-life
models for Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford Prefect, the lovely Trillian,
and everyman Arthur Dent? And why has Hollywood kept dragging
its heels on making the Hitchhikers movie for over twenty
The Hitchhiker’s novels were all major
bestsellers in the United States and throughout the world.
But there was much more to Douglas Adams than Hitchhiker.
He 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 age forty-nine.
A writer for the stage, for radio, and television,
an avid ecologist, and cutting-edge techno-phile, Douglas
Adams was one of the most beloved, influential thinkers of
the late twentieth century, and was also, quite probably,
one of the funniest people who ever lived. As a young writer
Adams had three cultural heroes: the Monty Python troupe,
the long-running British sci-fi TV series Dr. Who, and The
Beatles. Within just a few years of graduating Cambridge University
he was working with all of them, and throughout his life he
assembled a cast of friends and colleagues that grew to include
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Salman Rushdie, David Gilmour,
Steve Jobs, Jay Roach, and many others.
M.J. Simpson is acknowledged as the world’s
leading authority on the life and career of Douglas Adams
(when Adams’s personal assistant had any questions about
her boss, she called Simpson!). Although delightfully "unauthorized,"
M.J. Simpson received full access, cooperation, and support
from everyone who knew Douglas Adams to produce this rich,
revealing, funny chronicle of one of the most wildly creative
minds of our time.