This book was originally published under the title Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion in 1987, but my edition is the revised 2005 version. (I have just learned there is a newer updated version, published in 2018, and I kind of wish I had read that now. Oh well.)
A galloping, captivating tale of the creation of this cult science fiction classic, and its sequels, featuring interviews with Douglas Adams himself, as well as sundry related personages, including those who were involved in the original radio program, and the original television adaptation, and also in the creation of assorted video games, this book painstakingly reconstructs the many different threads of the Hitchhiker’s franchise. As muddled as the time travelly, often mind-blowing paradoxes of the books themselves, Gaiman painstakingly lays out the complicated history of the story’s creation and perpetuation, while also acting as a kind of biography of Adams himself.
Gaiman — just beginning his own writing career, when he was entrusted with this work — brings a light, often sardonic, humour to events, which certainly suits the subject, but in no way intrudes himself into the narrative, instead focusing very distinctly on Adams, whom he clearly admires. (Even when he manifestly does not quite understand his hero’s inability to meet a deadline—which makes sense, as prolific as Gaiman has proven himself to be in the years since.)
But this is really a book, not just for fans of the Hitchhiker series… but for deep, deep fans. And for Gaiman completists, too, I guess.
TBR DAY 86: Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Neil Gaiman
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Entertainment, Biography
PUBLISHED: 2005 (originally 1987)
TIME ON THE TBR: ~13 years!
PURCHASED FROM: Minotaur, Melbourne.