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Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic: A Novel [Paperback]

Terry Jones
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Nov 1997
At the centre of the galaxy, an unknown civilization is preparing for an event of epic proportions, the launch of the most technologically advanced spaceship ever built - the Starship Titanic. The ship that cannot possibly go wrong.

Product details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; paperback / softback edition (30 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330354469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330354462
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Starship Titanic was inspired by Douglas Adams--the creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--and forms the basis of a computer game which was launched in late 1997.

At the centre of the galaxy, a vast, unknown civilisation is preparing for an event of epic proportions--the launch of the greatest, most gorgeous, most technologically advanced spaceship ever built--the Starship Titanic. Leovinus, the galaxy's most renowned architect and designer of the craft, notices something is not quite right just before the ship is launched: poor workmanship, cybersystems out of control, and robots walking into doors. The maiden voyage goes horribly wrong as the Titanic veers off course and crashes towards Earth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consider it On its own merits 29 July 2005
By Mr. D. Clark VINE VOICE
Actually, this is asking quite a lot, since such a big thing is made on the cover of this being 'Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic. Well - its not Douglas Adams at all, and I'm afraid that if you want a Douglas Adams novel then re read the Hitchikers and Dirk Gently series, because that's all there is. This is by Terry Jones, and its a very different kettle of babel fish. .
So, once you've managed to get rid of all the expectations you'd have of a Douglas Adams novel - how much will you enjoy it ? I have to say that I was quite pleasantly surprised, especially bearing in mind the book's unusual genesis. Without going into great detail about this, the idea came from a very brief throwaway gag digression in Adams' third Hitchikers Guide novel, " Life, The Universe, and Everything " . Created as a computer game, the deal Adams had struck with Simon and Schuster meant that there had to be a novel come out at the same time as the computer game. Considering this far from ideal conception process, the book does hang together rather well. It all makes sense - actually the plot is rather simple. Its pretty much all there in the title. There are jokes aplenty , although you get the feeling that a lot of the humourous digressions are put in to please Adams fans, rather than because Jones wanted to actually write the book this way. And the unfortunate thing is, it won't please Adams fans, because its done rather without conviction. While Adams derives so much of his comic power through an almost unique ability to explain the most illogical things in terms of perfectly understandable logic, Jones just tells you that he could explain how something happened, but it would be very long and boring so he won't bother.
Still, what you lose on the roundabouts. . .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starship Titanic 23 Sep 2006
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
A very strange book, this is a novel by Terry Jones based on a computer game of the same name by Douglas Adams, which was itself based on a throwaway line from one of Adams' `Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' novels. As such it's difficult to determine exactly how much of this should be credited to Jones or Adams, but `Starship Titanic' is very much in the same comedy science fiction style as Adams Hitch-Hikers novels. The plot however betrays its computer game origins at points, with a storyline constructed around a search for the missing shards of the Starship Titanic's central intelligence, and a seemingly interminable quest to deactivate a self-destruct bomb on board. Still, while it's a little thin around the edges there is still plenty to enjoy in `Starship Titanic' with some decent humour and a reasonably engaging cast. Not a work of genius by any means, but a good fun romp in a sub-`Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' way.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
An excellent book, with all the charm and pace you'd expect from an Adams book, but a quick glance through the preface will tell you this ISN'T an Adams book. This book it written by Terry Jones, one of the original "Monty Python" crew, and it carries subtle but visible overtones of the Python-style humor. So why is Adam's name there, I hear you ask? Well basically this book is an accompaniment to the Game "Starship Titanic" that is written by Douglas Adams with his Software company TDV (The Digital Village). The book was written my Mr. Jones to give Mr. Adams a chance to work on the game (Something he's always wanted to do), and the two were launched simultaneously.
But to sum up, Buy this book, read it, laugh your socks off, Buy the game, play it, Laugh your socks off.
I did, and I'm fairly sure you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sink Or Swim? 27 Jan 2006
This book is really a 'how to' guide for the computer game and, as such, lacks the depth of Douglas Adams' other works (I know he didn't write this but you can see his ideas are all in here) The plot is quite shaky and one dimensional (as it has to follow the computer game's own plotline) but you cannot expect everything. The book is full of wonderful humour - not up to the standards of HHG or Dirk Gently but still funny enough to keep you reading. I would suggest geting this if you are a completist but DO NOT ASSUME THAT THIS IS FROM THE PEN OF THE GREAT MR ADAMS, treat this more as a 'tribute' by one of the funniest comedians ever to grace our shores.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As It Might Have Been 18 Aug 2004
By M. Lill
I was a little dissappointed with Starship Titanic. I have played the game which makes me laugh out loud, and I think Douglas Adams is one of the most generally underrated writers of our times. I wanted it to be as enjoyable as reading Douglas, but it felt at times as if the author was trying too hard to make it read like DA... and never quite got there. At times the jokes are a little forced and the plot is too contrived. A reasonable enough read for holidays... but if you're expecting to be as entertained as reading Hitchhikers or Dirk Gently, you'll be dissapointed...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great. 18 Dec 2006
I've given this 3 stars as it was pretty average.

Most Adams' know the story behind the authoring of it - Douglas Adams didn't have time to write it and gave the plot to Terry Jones who wrote the novel based on what Adams told him.

The result is a book that feels unloved. You expect more from such a great pairing, but it doesn't come across.

I did enjoy the book initially, but it never really tickled me or got me thinking in the same way that other Adams' books have. It's worth a read, and I'll probably read it again - like I say, it's 'okay', but the concept could have led to a fantastic story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Terry Jones...about as close as you'll get to the comedic and...
There's a distinct bond here, one of brains, great humour and rampant left-field madness; thank goodness for that. Read more
Published 15 months ago by W. R. Harper
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid at all costs - it deserves no stars!
Don't be fooled by the large, friendly letters on the cover reading "Douglas Adams". Starship Titanic is made of paper, but that's where the resemblance to anything by Douglas... Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2012 by Tartanman1
4.0 out of 5 stars A Crazy Voyage!
This is a beautiful-looking book on the outside, its cover faithfully reproducing the art deco design on the computer game's box. Read more
Published on 2 Aug 2012 by Suzy P
4.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?
Personally I loved it. H2G2 and Python were a massive influence during my teens and I played the online ST game a few times.

Is it any good? Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2012 by Donna Saunders
4.0 out of 5 stars adams and jones
a good fun read. theme by douglas adams but written by python, Terry Jones ( naked if you believe him ) with those two behind it it amuses and is a great companion to the game.
Published on 8 Aug 2010 by phoenix
5.0 out of 5 stars Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic
I have read all Douglas Adams's books and every one has provided endless laughter... and astonishing imagination. One of the best authors EVER!
Published on 18 Dec 2009 by S B DEMPSTER
1.0 out of 5 stars Dross
This is the 'book of the game', and is every bit as bad as that would lead you to expect. It has 'contractual obligation' written all over it, and since contracts and deadlines... Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2004 by tinybulcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Choclate pudding with strawberry jam, fudge and golden syrup
I think I devoured this book in a matter of minutes, it was just non stop end to end hilarity. Its only shortcoming, if you can call it that, is that its a bit of a lightweight and... Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2004 by Uncle Sam
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