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December 19, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Books | December 19, 2008 |

This book is delightful.

No really, that’s about it. What else can I say for a 30-year-old cult classic? I had never read this novel but, like you, I had heard about it for years from myriad Adams groupies. I did go to see the recent film version, starring Mos Def, among others, on a date with one of those groupies and I loved the film. He complained that the jokes were stale because he knew them all. I found it funny and refreshing, and Alan Rickman is the Voice of God, so what was the problem again?

After finishing the novel I claimed that it was a comedy novel masquerading as sci-fi, then realized that I said that only to excuse myself for liking the book. You see, I’ve always had an aversion to all things science fiction. Anything with stars in it, whether it is wars or trek, leaves me in a cold shudder. I find the story lines, acting, dialogue, and direction, everything appalling. George Lucas has no place here.

Then I realized that I was full of shit. It started when I thought, “I hate sci-fi. Except for ‘Futurama.’” But I excused that because, you know, “Futurama” is a brilliant comedy, just with space and robots and aliens. Not really sci-fi. The I caught myself thinking, “I hate sci-fi, except for ‘Futurama.’ Oh, and ‘Firefly.’” It didn’t take long for me to discover that my “I hate sci-fi, except…” list was a mile long. In addition to those wonderful shows, I love Flash Gordon, Blade Runner and Red Dwarf. I even have very fond memories of the Ken Barry/Sandy Duncan vehicle The Cat from Outer Space.

I’m even a fantasy nerd! I own all of “Buffy” and “Angel” on DVD, I collect the comics and Labyrinth is sitting on my DVD player right now! None of us are innocent. I may sneer at fans of Hans Solo, Captain Kirk, and Frodo, but I’d watch anything that Joss Whedon told me to.

It did not surprise me to learn that Adams wrote for Monty Python in the 1970s. I grew up watching “Flying Circus” and the related movies, which my parents supported. I think that Python, more than any other comedy show, is the glue that binds disparate groups of nerds together. Their kind of humor, topical and absurd, childish and mean-spirited, but always intelligent, is a proto-type for people like Whedon bringing humor to the genres of sci-fi and fantasy. I will never love “Star Trek,” because it isn’t thought provoking or funny to make up for the shoddy production and poor acting. But I will accept that, in some cases, I do like science fiction.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. Details about here and the growing number of participants and their blogs, from which these reviews are pulled, are here. And check here for more of Courtney’s reviews.

Cannonball Read / Courtney

Books | December 19, 2008 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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