A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 15
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency 2
Last Chance to See 1

A Bad Place To Start

Mostly Harmless 6
The Salmon of Doubt 2
Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul 1
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency 1


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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Douglas Adams

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

ginger January 31st, 2006 03:34 PM PST

Warning: Read this book only where you are able to laugh out loud.

dropo59 January 31st, 2006 03:39 PM PST

If you are not really into science fiction or fantasy and don't think you'd like Douglas Adams, you should read Adams's great nonfiction book (written with Mark Carwardine) called Last Chance to See. It's about travels that Adams and Carwardine made to see endangered animals in the wild. It's beautifully-written and beautifully-thought-out, as well as very funny in Adams's typical mode.

Marian March 3rd, 2006 07:34 PM PST

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was originally a RADIO program (or rather, programme) on the BBC (1978). All other forms (novels, television series, audiobooks, and the movie) are lesser achievements. The BBC recently taped radio versions of the further adventures of Arthur Dent, completing the Hitchhiker series -- and that means the whole thing is or soon will be available on CD. That is THE WAY to experience it.

mkiker2089 May 1st, 2006 10:34 PM PST

I wouldn't call the book a lesser, but it is different. The book is in a way what Adams whished the radio play could have been. It's longer, the ideas are smoothed out, and it's order has been changed to make the stories flow better. That asside the radio plays are great and should be enjoyed after the book. I say after because you'll apreciate the changes better that way, then see the TV show, the movie and play the text based game.

You can get the complete set from Amazon.co.uk with all five volumes in one box set. The radio plays are musts for any Adams fan and are unfortunatly overlooked by far to many of them.

sstair March 15th, 2006 12:14 AM PST

While I enjoyed the Hitchhiker's series, I found the Dirk Gently books to be even better. The stories seem to be less disjointed - they don't jump around as much, and stick to a more straightforward storyline. Not that I'm suggesting that the Dirk Gently books are in any way predictable. Far from it, but I think they might be a better starting point for Adams's work.

mkiker2089 June 1st, 2006 10:04 PM PST

I'm going to say read Hitchhiker's first, then the Dirk Gently novels, then continue with the Hitchhiker's series. The Dirk Gently novels are very different from the Hitchhiker's series so I think breaking it up will give you a quicker feel for the total Adams experience.

Don't forget that the radio plays are available and are excellent. Not the audio books, but the radio plays.


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Douglas NoŽl Adams (March 11, 1952 - May 11, 2001), known to some fans as Bop Ad or Bob (after his illegible signature), or by his initials "DNA", was a cult British comic radio dramatist, amateur musician and author, most notably of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (HHGG or H2G2). Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a towel, a computer game and a feature film that was completed after Adams's death.

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