An Analysis of the Literary Works of Douglas Adams

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Douglas Adams, an English writer, may in fact be one of the most spontaneously humorous writers of all time; he exhibits this in many unique ways, although many could overlook this and think of his works as elementary. In many ways, one could argue that the aspects of his writing are juvenile, but one must see past this front that he puts on and realize that there is far greater thought and meaning behind it if you delve. In the truly sidesplitting novels The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (the latter is the sequel to the former), Adams incorporates the following: a sarcastic, agreeable style, ironic theme within this style, and a humorously diverse set of characters that only he could have portrayed.

One aspect of Adams’ style is that he is exceptional at creating dry humor out of anything. What is dry humor? speculates that “Dry humor is humor told in a “dry” way, without emotion or seriously. It is telling a joke in a matter-of-fact kind of way.” ( 1). When one reads a passage in which Adams uses this type of humor, one can only think that if Adams were speaking right in front of you, he would have a face of stone while telling you some incredibly outlandish phenomenon. In Chapter 17 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams explains that “The next thing that happened was a mind-mangling explosion of noise and light” (88). The next thing that happened was that, in fact, every physical object around the characters completely transformed into something irrelevantly different (including two missiles that were headed in their direction which turned into a whale and a flowerpot). Many authors would have gone about stating this in a very colorful and may...

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...are just an insignificant blue and green speck of a planet in a vast universe of nothingness. Finally, he has a group of characters which he creates that are unmatched in individuality, and the interactions that they share are truly amusing. All in all, Douglas Adams is a greatly overlooked author who should never be characterized as elementary because of his style, theme, and characterization and because his works are the essence of English comedic writing.

Works Cited

Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. New York: Harmony, 1980. Print.

Adams, Douglas. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. New York: Harmony, 1981. Print.

“Douglas Adams’ Biography.” 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.

Garland, Robert. “Douglas Adams’ Writing Style.” 13 Jun. 1996. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.

“Dry Humor.” Web. 4 Mar. 2012.

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