Douglas Adams Read-Alikes

(The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul)

Adams wrote novels with a great blend of science fiction, humor, and satire.  The classic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is at once a send-up of the space invasion school of science fiction and an example of it, and the end result is a space adventure, social commentary, and a fun romp with British humor and great characters.  This tongue-in-cheek insightful humor is a hallmark of all of Adams’ work.

If you like Douglas Adams, try:

Terry Pratchett  (if you want a very similar read, Pratchett has the same humor, pointed social commentary, great characters, and clever allusion.  Try The Colour of Magic, Mort, or Maskerade.  Take a look at the Terry Pratchett entry for more)

Jasper Fforde (if you like the parody aspect of Adams’ work and don’t mind a slower pace and more in-jokes and literary allusions, try The Big Over Easy, a parody of noir mysteries)

Connie Willis  (a Hugo award-winning sci-fi author, Willis might appeal to Adams fans after some “softer” science fiction with a “comedy of manners” sort of style, along with some social commentary—try her novella Inside Job)

 Christopher Moore  (if you enjoy the “Everyman plunked into outrageous situation” aspect of Adams’ Hitchhiker books, and like screwball comedy mixed with poignancy, some of Moore’s books might appeal to you.  Try A Dirty Job, Bloodsucking Fiends or Practical Demon-keeping to start)

 Neil Gaiman  (Gaiman might appeal to fans of Adams’ British wit and wonderful characters who also enjoy some creepy atmosphere but plenty of heart.  Stardust or Neverwhere might be good to start with)

 James Morrow (if you’d like to try something a little heavier, but with the same humor and sensibility, try Only Begotten Daughter or The Philosopher’s Apprentice)

4 responses

  1. Would you count P G Wodehouse as a read-alike?

    1. That’s an interesting thought! I’d say that Wodehouse would be a great “out-of-the-box” suggestion for readers who like Adams’ British sensibility. Thanks very much for the input!

  2. You should add Tom Holt, Robert Kroese, Esther Friesner and some of the anthologies edited by Mike Resnick and Martin Greenberg like Comic Fantasy. Stephen Faulds is also great (but unknown) in his books Sinkronicity and Treuth. There’s also Peter (forgot his last name), The Alternet and The Alternet 2. Also, Eirik Gumeny’s series Exponential Apocalypse… Ira Nayman’s Multiverse series, Jenn Thorsten and Aaron Rosenberg’s Duckbob Spinowitz trilogy. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Teri! Many thanks for the further suggestions! It’s always great to have different readers chime in with ideas!

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