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The Anthology at the End of the Universe, by Glen Yeffeth Book Review | SFReader.com
The Anthology at the End of the Universe, by Glen Yeffeth Genre: Science Fiction Anthology Publisher: Smart Pop Published: 2005 Review Posted: 9/21/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Anthology at the End of the Universe, by Glen Yeffeth
Book Review by Phillip A. Ellis
Have you read this book?
The Anthology at the End of the Universe is a book of essays by authors of speculative fiction, on the life and work of Douglas Adams. Although it will probably never appeal to those who are, at best, disinterested in his work, to those like myself, who love or strongly like, Adams' work, this volume probably should. On the whole, I liked it, with some reservations; as you shall shortly see.
I say that, because any book of essays, especially those on a seminal speculative fiction author such as Douglas Adams, will have some degree of unevenness to it. The main problem that The Anthology at the End of the Universe has is that there is the danger that, in analysing H2G2, there is the danger of making it other than what it is for so many: supremely funny. It is a difficult task, then, to ask a book of such essays to inspire us, perhaps, to reread and renew our acquaintance with H2G2.
It is a pity, then, that this book almost succeeded in that task, almost, but not quite the way that the recent movie did. On the whole, the individual essays mainly worked. Most gave me pleasure, and reminded me about what I love so much about H2G2. But they just don't go that extra step.
Perhaps it was "The Holy Trilogy", more so than any other, which read to me as a disjointed, serial rambling rather than a unified essay with something interesting to say. Perhaps it was, also , the few essays that approached a more sober, more scholarly approach, such as "Loop-surface Security". But something just didn't add up, for the essays, to anything more than a highly enjoyable read.
Which is a pity, really. Douglas Adams, clearly, has inspired and entertained to a high degree. And this is, perhaps, most readily seen by Adams' fans, and in the very existance of this book. Though it will, no doubt, appeal to those same fans, The Anthology at the End of the Universe should find a niche with any reader of speculative fiction that is interested in the whys and hows that we love a work. Hopefully, you may enjoy this book more than I did, but give it a go, and see what delights you may find.
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