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Nick Webb

Wish you were here: The official biography of Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams will be well known to all readers of this website. In 'Wish you were here', Nick Webb, a friend of Douglas for many years, tells the story of his life. We learn about his childhood years, his time at Cambridge University and his struggles to make a living as a sketch writer for TV. Then came the Hitchhiker's series and Douglas's rapid increase in fame and wealth, after which we hear about the various projects he was involved in, such as the film version of the story. Webb gives a good account of Douglas as a person - generous but sometimes insensitive and often annoying to those he worked with. Its a must read for anyone wanting to find out about the origin of Douglas's unique work.

However, while I found the book to be entertaining, I was sometimes irritated by Webb triying to be too 'Adamsy' in the text. I also felt that that Webb doesn't make a coherent story out of Douglas's life. Firstly I think that he gives too much prominence to the subject he knows best about, that of different media tie-ins. Secondly, many of Douglas's projects dragged on for many years, so it might seem reasonable that Webb organised his life by subject rather than chronologically. However, I believe that this was a mistake, as it is difficult to keep track of what year things are happening in each thread.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews