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A Tribute to Douglas Adams

Author, philosopher and comic genius!

      by Sandra Aitken

These are the best books ever!

Douglas Adams is one of my favorite authors with his British sense of humor, unique writing style and refreshing, honest perceptions. These books are a must-have for your collection. It will help if you already appreciate British humor; shows like Monty Python. The first time I picked up the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", I didn't get the humor. It really bothered me that others enjoyed it so much and it left me flat. But a few years later, I gave it another try and this time I was hooked.

Best use of Personification

I remember learning the definition of personification as a student in English class and Douglas Adams uses this writing technique better than anyone I've ever read - and with great wit!

Here's an example from a speech he made at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, 1998


as quoted in Richard Dawkins' Eulogy for Douglas Adams:

". . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."

I was so crazy for him that not only did I draw a picture of him and send it to him but I also wrote him an email to which to my great surprise I got a terrific response! After years of infatuation, I was overjoyed to get a response and a perfect one from him. Sadly though, I did not pursue further communication with him because I was afraid he might consider me a pest. I regret that now because I let this fear rule me. I was also afraid he might not write back again and I wanted to have my last communication with him end on an "up" note. Well, that was the case and then he died suddenly of a heart attack. I only wish he truly knew how much his writing affected and amazed me and his talent was appreciated.

Every time I'd go to a book store, I'd look for new books written by him. They were few and far between but when he suddenly passed away, I felt that death knoll in my heart and his tragic end caused part of my own world to stop, along with the hope that he would ever write another book.

One book, "Salmon of Doubt" was published posthumously. While I enjoyed that little something extra, it left me with more questions of where he would've gone with the material had he had the chance to complete it as he might have intended.