Review of "The Salmon of Doubt"

The Salmon of Doubt, by Douglas Adams. ISBN 033376657-1.

The scrapings of Douglas Adams’s hard disc after his untimely death. No, that’s not quite fair. Firstly, because these are selected scrapings. Secondly, because some of the material is speeches, bits from web sites, and the like.

So, there are a number of essays and columns and speeches and fragments. They’re mostly very good. Adams talks about his nose, about why he’s an atheist, about the million and one different varieties of mains adapter you need for electrical devices, about chasing manta rays off the Australian coast.

There’s a short story called "Young Zaphod plays it safe", in which Zaphod Beeblebrox takes part in a salvage operation for the sake of a rather weak political joke at the end.

And, finally, "The Salmon of Doubt" itself: the scattered beginnings of a novel, half-begun rather than half-finished. One of the other pieces in the book is a review of an unfinished work by P G Wodehouse, and what Adams says there applies to his own unfinished work: it’s very unfinished, no part of it has been properly polished yet, but it’s interesting because you get to see an artist at work.

I enjoyed reading this, but I’d recommend just about any of his completed works above it.