05 March, 2010

i love you, douglas adams.

now i always suspected my love for old english men would seep into this blog. alan rickman, stephen fry, jason isaacs and now douglas adams. i remember reading his best selling book 'the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy' when i was 15 and being completely confused by his style of writing yet, the characters were mesmerising in their eccentric complexity. '42' as the answer to life, the universe and everything spoke to me even in my teenage years. the idea that the answer isn't always important but rather, knowing how to ask the right question is sometimes more relevant and revealing in the quest to understand the world i lived in resonated strongly.

all this though was very quickly forgotten in a haze of teenage angst, physie and my near on obsession with the x-files. i didn't actually read any other books in the series by adams until last year. this brings me to the point of this post. the master of words, douglas adams died in 2001 at the age of 49 from a sudden heart attack. in his absence his wife, agent and friends decided to put together a collection of his essays, letters and a his last partially finished novel into a single book.

'the salmon of doubt', is a collection of works from a writer who, although he hadn't been a novelist in the past few years of his life, never gave up writing. i began reading this book last week, after it sat on my bedside table for 3 months, at caitlin's insistence. semi-autobiographical, social observations and the psychological are mixed with childhood stories and a guide to making the perfect cup of tea. you learn not just about the man that was douglas adams and the experiences that made up such a great author, but you also learn through his witty writing that you aren't alone in the universe.

this is a great gift that he gives his readers, a gift that the world now is forced to live without. but this book gives us one more chance to learn something new about the world through the words of adams. that is no small thing. he will be missed.

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