Hitchhiker: a biography of douglas adams – m j simpson. Strangely I looked at another Adams biography in large paperbook form in Adelaide a few months back and decided it was too expensive there (like most books in Aus unfortunately) and then ended up buying a second hand John Cleese bio to read instead. There’s a strange connection there in that Douglas Adams was greatly inspired by the Pythons and Cleese was one of his idols, although he ended up being closer friends with Terry Jones – the Python often cited as being Cleese’s greatest counter-point in the Python camp. Perhaps DNA would of appreciated that. I’m not sure how much he would of appreciated this biography though.

Simpson’s biography, deeply researched by the author’s own accounts, contains a lot of interesting factlets about Douglas Adam’s life and work and also his working style. What it lacks though is the author’s humour, except when relating his (changeable) anecdotes almost verbatim, and so often comes across as very dry. Adams was never dry, and I’m a firm believer that biographies should try and capture some of their subjects flavour or at least be entertainingly written themselves. Ah well. Will probably check out one of the other bios at some point although the reviews for those aren’t exactly stunning either. I think in the end it’s just sad that DNA’s not around any more to write in his usual off-focus but fascinating manner. Sigh.

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