I own several Douglas Adams biographies, but The Frood is something special, not just because it’s bigger than a doorstop but because it’s almost written like someone who’s only ever read Douglas Adams’ writing. There are lots of turns of phrases that are Adamsy and many in-jokes and references within the text. And that’s nothing to say of the content. I’ve barely made a dent in this massive tome, but I’ve learned more about the genesis of certain ideas of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than I have in all my years obsessing over it–since I was a kid. It’s in such detail that you could write an annotated version of the five-part trilogy with just about every original idea footnoted with either a Douglas Adams experience that inspired it or a person he bought the idea off of. Yes, it’s true, some things he was happy to admit were not his invention (Life, don’t talk to me about life) or something he borrowed from another of his works but works that had been collaborations with other people. It does make me as a writer feel a little relief that such genius did not just arrive magically in his head but was carefully cultivated from a massive body of work behind and adjacent to him.
I bought The Frood: The Authorised and Very Official History of Douglas Adams & the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Jem Roberts from Powells. So should you.
Teaser posts are reviews based on just the first chapter. Actually, a teaser is a rich kid who...never mind.