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Although written beforehand, this book's humor reflects in many ways the prose in "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", but in a somewhat more mature manner.
The narration performance by John Hodgman on this fish-out-of-water story is second to none, creating the audio equivalent of a page-turner.
Highly recommend for anyone who enjoyed those old 1950's sci-fi radio shows such as "X-Minus One" and/or "Dimension X".
9.8 / 10
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Wasn't excited about this book, but it came highly recommended. I wasn't a fan of Douglas Adam's (which his Hitchhiker books is what this one is common compared to), so I wasn't excited about this one.
Sheckley, though, excels where Adams doesn't. Where Adam's humor is campy and a bit in-your-face, Sheckley tends to be a bit more reserved. Granted, there's talking dinosaurs and goofy characters, but the humor they have is a bit smarter and enjoyable. Hodgman is the perfect narrator as he brings to life the characters beautifully.
All in all, it was better than I had expected. It's not without it's dry parts or various minor plot holes...but they are fairly short and minor and don't weigh down the reader much.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
On listening to this book I was struck (as many have been) by the echoes of Douglas Adams' 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' - but I knew this book had pre-dated that. In fact on further research I discovered Adams hadn't read this book, and was shocked when he did at how similar it was.
I say this as a recommendation - if you liked the slightly anarchical & surreal humour of one, you'll love the other.
John Hodgman is a great choice for the narrator too - less well known to UK audiences perhaps, but he inhabits the characters well, and seems to offer the 'baffled everyman' perspective that the lead character exhibits throughout.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I first read at this book at school, 45 years ago. It's still brillant, perceptive, topical, funny and relevant.
This highly entertaining comedic Sci-Fi book from 1969 prefigured Douglas Adams 'Hitchiker's Guide' in many ways; the story begins with protagonist Carmody suffering at the hands of a galactic bureaucracy etc. The source material is witty and acerbic, and the charming performance by John Hodgman really brings it to life. This is a gem that deserves repeat listenings.