Douglas Adams Popular Books

Douglas Adams Biography & Facts

Douglas Noël Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author and screenwriter, best known for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Originally a 1978 BBC radio comedy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy developed into a "trilogy" of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime. It was further developed into a television series, several stage plays, comics, a video game, and a 2005 feature film. Adams's contribution to UK radio is commemorated in The Radio Academy's Hall of Fame.Adams also wrote Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (1987) and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (1988), and co-wrote The Meaning of Liff (1983), The Deeper Meaning of Liff (1990), and Last Chance to See (1990). He wrote two stories for the television series Doctor Who, co-wrote City of Death (1979), and served as script editor for its seventeenth season. He co-wrote the sketch "Patient Abuse" for the final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. A posthumous collection of his selected works, including the first publication of his final (unfinished) novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002. Adams was a self-proclaimed "radical atheist", an advocate for environmentalism and conservation, and a lover of fast cars, technological innovation and the Apple Macintosh. Early life Adams was born in Cambridge on 11 March 1952 to Christopher Douglas Adams (1927–1985), a management consultant and computer salesman, former probation officer and lecturer on probationary group therapy techniques, and nurse Janet (1927–2016), née Donovan. The family moved a few months after his birth to the East End of London, where his sister, Susan, was born three years later. His parents divorced in 1957; Douglas, Susan and their mother moved then to an RSPCA animal shelter in Brentwood, Essex, run by his maternal grandparents. Each remarried, giving Adams four half-siblings. A great-grandfather was the playwright Benjamin Franklin Wedekind. Education Adams attended Primrose Hill Primary School in Brentwood. At the age of nine, he passed the entrance exam for Brentwood School. He attended the prep school from 1959 to 1964, then the main school until December 1970. Adams was 6 feet (1.8 m) tall by age 12, and stopped growing at 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m). His form master, Frank Halford, said that Adams's height had made him stand out and that he had been self-conscious about it. His ability to write stories made him well known in the school. He became the only student ever to be awarded a ten out of ten by Halford for creative writing – something he remembered for the rest of his life, particularly when facing writer's block.Some of his earliest writing was published at the school, such as a report on its photography club in The Brentwoodian in 1962, or spoof reviews in the school magazine Broadsheet, edited by Paul Neil Milne Johnstone, who later became a character in The Hitchhiker's Guide. He also designed the cover of one issue of the Broadsheet, and had a letter and short story published in The Eagle, the boys' comic, in 1965. A poem entitled "A Dissertation on the task of writing a poem on a candle and an account of some of the difficulties thereto pertaining" written by Adams in January 1970 at the age of 17, was discovered in a cupboard at the school in early 2014.On the strength of an essay on religious poetry that discussed the Beatles and William Blake, he was awarded an Exhibition in English at St John's College, Cambridge (where his father had also been a student), going up in 1971. He wanted to join the Footlights, an invitation-only student comedy club that has acted as a hothouse for comic talent. He was not elected immediately as he had hoped, and started to write and perform in revues with Will Adams (no relation) and Martin Smith; they formed a group called "Adams-Smith-Adams". He became a member of the Footlights by 1973. Despite doing very little work – he recalled having completed three essays in three years – he graduated in 1974 with a 2:2 in English literature. Career Writing After leaving university Adams moved back to London, determined to break into TV and radio as a writer. An edited version of the Footlights Revue appeared on BBC2 television in 1974. A version of the Revue performed live in London's West End led to Adams being discovered by Monty Python's Graham Chapman. The two formed a brief writing partnership, earning Adams a writing credit in episode 45 of Monty Python for a sketch called "Patient Abuse". The pair also co-wrote the "Marilyn Monroe" sketch which appeared on the soundtrack album of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Adams is one of only two people other than the original Python members to get a writing credit (the other being Neil Innes). Adams had two brief appearances in the fourth series of Monty Python's Flying Circus. At the beginning of episode 42, "The Light Entertainment War", Adams is in a surgeon's mask (as Dr. Emile Koning, according to on-screen captions), pulling on gloves, while Michael Palin narrates a sketch that introduces one person after another but never gets started. At the beginning of episode 44, "Mr. Neutron", Adams is dressed in a pepper-pot outfit and loads a missile onto a cart driven by Terry Jones, who is calling for scrap metal ("Any old iron..."). The two episodes were broadcast in November 1974. Adams and Chapman also attempted non-Python projects, including Out of the Trees.At this point Adams's career stalled; his writing style was unsuited to the then-current style of radio and TV comedy. To make ends meet he took a series of odd jobs, including as a hospital porter, barn builder, and chicken shed cleaner. He was employed as a bodyguard by a Qatari family, who had made their fortune in oil.During this time Adams continued to write and submit sketches, though few were accepted. In 1976 his career had a brief improvement when he wrote and performed Unpleasantness at Brodie's Close at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. By Christmas, work had dried up again, and a depressed Adams moved to live with his mother. The lack of writing work hit him hard and low confidence became a feature of Adams's life; "I have terrible periods of lack of confidence [...] I briefly did therapy, but after a while I realised it was like a farmer complaining about the weather. You can't fix the weather – you just have to get on with it".Some of Adams's early radio work included sketches for The Burkiss Way in 1977 and The News Huddlines. He also wrote, again with Chapman, the 20 February 1977 episode of Doctor on the Go, a sequel to the Doctor in the House television comedy series. After the first radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide became successful, Adams was made a BBC radio producer, working on Week Ending and a pantomime called Black Cinderella Two Goes East. He left after six months to become the script editor for Doctor Who. In 1979, Adams and John Lloyd wrote scripts for two half-hour episodes of Doctor Snuggl.... Discover the Douglas Adams popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Douglas Adams books.

Best Seller Douglas Adams Books of 2023

  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe synopsis, comments

    The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

    Douglas Adams

    Now celebrating the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, soon to be a Hulu original series! “Douglas Adams is a terrific satirist.”The Washington Pos...

  • Mostly Harmless synopsis, comments

    Mostly Harmless

    Douglas Adams

    Now celebrating the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, soon to be a Hulu original series! “Hitchhiker fans rejoice! . . . [Here’s] more of the same...

  • And Another Thing... synopsis, comments

    And Another Thing...

    Eoin Colfer

    And Another Thing ... will be the sixth novel in the now improbably named Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. Eight years after the death of its creator, Douglas Adams, the a...

  • Wish You Were Here synopsis, comments

    Wish You Were Here

    Nick Webb

    “This amusing, sad, and heartfelt look at [Adams’s] lifeis a true gift.”New York PostIt all started when Douglas Adams demolished planet Earth in order to make way for an intergala...

  • The Nightingale Nurses synopsis, comments

    The Nightingale Nurses

    Donna Douglas

    ‘Pay attention please, nurses. The next six months will be the most important of your lives’It’s the final year of training for three young nurses at The Nightingale Hospital… Hele...

  • The Salmon of Doubt synopsis, comments

    The Salmon of Doubt

    Douglas Adams

    “A fitting eulogy to the master of wacky words and even wackier tales . . . Salmon leaves no doubt as to Adams’s lasting legacy.”Entertainment WeeklyWith an introduction to the int...

  • The Everything Box synopsis, comments

    The Everything Box

    Richard Kadrey

    Reminiscent of the edgy, offbeat humor of Chris Moore and Matt Ruff, the first entry in a whimsical, fastpaced supernatural series from the New York Times bestselling author of the...

  • The Nightingale Sisters synopsis, comments

    The Nightingale Sisters

    Donna Douglas

    To the student nurses at The Nightingale hospital, the ward sisters are heartless and frightening, with impossibly high standards. But the sisters have troubles of their own... Vi...

  • Time Travel synopsis, comments

    Time Travel

    James Gleick

    Best Books of 2016 BOSTON GLOBE THE ATLANTICFrom the acclaimed bestselling author of The Information and Chaos comes this enthralling history of time travela concep...

  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish synopsis, comments

    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

    Douglas Adams

    Now celebrating the 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, soon to be a Hulu original series! “A madcap adventure . . . Adams’s writing teeters on the ...

  • The Birth of Tragedy synopsis, comments

    The Birth of Tragedy

    Friedrich Nietzsche, Michael Tanner & Shaun Whiteside

    Nietzsche's first published book, The Birth of Tragedy is a compelling argument for the necessity of art in lifeThis landmark work of criticism is fuelled by Nietzsche's enthusiasm...

  • Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen synopsis, comments

    Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen

    Douglas Adams & James Goss

    Rediscover the lost Doctor Who adventure by Douglas Adams. Intergalactic war? That’s just not cricket … or is it? The Doctor promised Romana the end of the universe, so she’s les...

  • The Railway Girls in Love synopsis, comments

    The Railway Girls in Love

    Maisie Thomas

    The brand new Railway Girls novel set in Manchester during WWII. Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell, Daisy Styles and Margaret Dickinson.Readers LOVE the Railway Girls: 'Gripping and...

  • A Nightingale Christmas Carol synopsis, comments

    A Nightingale Christmas Carol

    Donna Douglas

    All that Dora Riley wants is her husband home safe for Christmas… The Nightingale Hospital, London, 1944: With her husband Nick away fighting, Dora struggles to keep the home fires...

  • The Quiet World synopsis, comments

    The Quiet World

    Douglas Brinkley

    “Douglas Brinkley has written a sweeping, blowbyblow account of the struggle to preserve the last great remnants of American wilderness. An engaging appraisal of the crucial skirmi...

  • Doing Time synopsis, comments

    Doing Time

    Jodi Taylor

    'Not enough stars to do this justice. I loved it' Reader review ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐Introducing THE TIME POLICE an irresistible spinoff from the internationally bestselling CHRONICLES OF ST MA...

  • The Deeper Meaning of Liff synopsis, comments

    The Deeper Meaning of Liff

    Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

    A rollicking, thoughtprovoking dictionary for the modern age, featuring definitions for those things we don't have words for, from the New York Times bestselling author behind The ...

  • A Self-Made Man synopsis, comments

    A Self-Made Man

    Sidney Blumenthal

    The first in a sweeping, multivolume history of Abraham Lincolnfrom his obscure beginnings to his presidency, death, and the overthrow of his postCivil War plan of reconciliation“e...

  • The Wrong Dead Guy synopsis, comments

    The Wrong Dead Guy

    Richard Kadrey

    In this fast paced sequel to The Everything Boxthe second entry in New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey’s comedic supernatural serieschaos ensues when Coop and the team...

  • Pride Of Walworth synopsis, comments

    Pride Of Walworth

    Mary Jane Staples

    There was a new family in Browning Street, Walworth the Harrisons. Respectable and wellbehaved, the only thing unusual about them was that Mr Harrison was never there. He was a sa...

  • The American Spirit synopsis, comments

    The American Spirit

    David McCullough

    A New York Times BestsellerA timely collection of speeches by David McCullough, the most honored historian in the United Stateswinner of two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awar...

  • Last Chance to See synopsis, comments

    Last Chance to See

    Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine

    New York Times bestselling author Douglas Adams and zoologist Mark Carwardine take off around the world in search of exotic, endangered creatures.Join them as they encounter the an...

  • Porterhouse Blue synopsis, comments

    Porterhouse Blue

    Tom Sharpe

    The 'endlessly funny' novel widely regarded as a classic of comic English literaturePorterhouse College is world renowned for its gastronomic excellence, the arrogance of its Fello...