Humor is the keystone of Douglas Adams’s fiction. His sense of humor is decidedly understated, influenced by the deadpan Monty Python school of laughs. He has a knack for distilling something as impossibly complicated as the Ultimate Answer to the Universe into a two-digit number. He can take something as simple as a bath towel and instill it with such cosmic significance that readers may want to meditate on their linen closets. His style of humor relies on unexpected narrative turns delivered by means of witty twists of the English language. His linguistic deftness and narrative adroitness enable Adams to make readers regularly laugh out loud.
His innovative views of the universe allow readers to step back from the status quo and look at things from a different perspective. Both reader and protagonist are provoked into viewing life afresh on virtually every page of his novels through delightfully unnerving story lines that tend to make readers smile and the protagonist scratch his head wondering where he can find a good cup of tea.
Adams pokes fun at virtually everyone. He satirizes governments, bureaucracy, business, technology, philosophers, dictionaries, airports, politicians, bad poets, queues—anything in which he can place his cosmic comic barbs. He is an equal-opportunity satirizer, pointing out the flaws of almost everything while simultaneously dramatizing its unrealized potential.
Adams’s fiction is replete with...
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