Literary Significance and Reception
Reviewing the book for The Times, John Nicholson wrote it was "endearingly dotty", but doubted its commercial potential. Austin MacCurtain of the Sunday Times reviewed the paperback edition in 1988, saying that it was "more of the same" as Hitchhiker's, and that the "cosmic romp is stretched thin at times but will not disappoint fans". The book was the 9th highest-selling hardback in the UK in 1987.
In 1990, the Magill Book Reviews said "The author's whimsical sense of humor and his sense that the universe has many unexplored possibilities will arouse the interest of a wide readership."
This novel caused Adams to become acquainted with the well-known scientist Richard Dawkins. As Dawkins explains, "As soon as I finished it, I turned back to page one and read it straight through again – the only time I have ever done that, and I wrote to tell him so. He replied that he was a fan of my books, and he invited me to his house in London." Adams would later introduce Dawkins to the woman who was to become his third wife, the actress Lalla Ward, best known for playing the character Romana in Doctor Who. One of her early serials on the programme was City of Death, which Adams wrote, and which shares certain plot elements with the novel.
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Famous quotes containing the words reception, literary and/or significance:
“But in the reception of metaphysical formula, all depends, as regards their actual and ulterior result, on the pre-existent qualities of that soil of human nature into which they fallthe company they find already present there, on their admission into the house of thought.”
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“We postpone our literary work until we have more ripeness and skill to write, and we one day discover that our literary talent was a youthful effervescence which we have now lost.”
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