Monday, August 20, 2007

Mostly Harmless

I just finished reading Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams. It has been some time since I read any of the other books in the Hitchhiker's series, so it was fun to revisit... and of course a little confusing right at first, since I'd forgotten some details.

I first read Adams long before I came across Jasper Fforde, who I've also been revisiting lately. I was reminded, in reading Mostly Harmless how much of a debt is owed to Adams. He really opened up a niche market for writers like Gaiman, Pratchett, and Fforde, and helped paved the way for a big market for this sort of writer. As a member of this "market," I am glad that he did. The existence of the market means more such books will continue to be produced, doesn't it? And, what I like about it all is that this is a fairly discriminating market -- one that demands a pretty high quality of work to allow it into the canon of the wacky, twisted style of writing needed to gain praise from this group of readers.

It's hard to maintain a sufficiently cynical view of the world, balancing it with the perfect touch of wry (and sometimes downright silly) humor to allow us to laugh at this existence that drives us to such cynicism. Great that Adams has brought us a way of looking at our world that is, after all, mostly harmless.

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