Customer Reviews


32 Reviews
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly, belly-achingly hilarious
Red Dwarf is the funniest science fiction book I have ever read, featuring a cast of unforgettable characters. First there is Lister; he celebrated his 25th birthday by taking part in a Monopoly-based pub crawl on earth and somehow ended up stuck on Mimas, one of Saturn's moons. He desperately wants to return to earth but cannot raise the funds; tiring of living inside a...
Published on 21 Jan. 2003 by Daniel Jolley

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars depends if you've seen the TV series or not
How much hillarity and comic value you take from this book depends very highly on if you have seen the TV series or not. If you haven't it is a stonkingly good laugh, but if you have it is still funny but the jokes have just been recycled a million times already reused many times in the TV series as a whole. There is some back story filled in though but overall 5* if...
Published on 16 Jun. 2010 by Mike Swann


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly, belly-achingly hilarious, 21 Jan. 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Red Dwarf is the funniest science fiction book I have ever read, featuring a cast of unforgettable characters. First there is Lister; he celebrated his 25th birthday by taking part in a Monopoly-based pub crawl on earth and somehow ended up stuck on Mimas, one of Saturn's moons. He desperately wants to return to earth but cannot raise the funds; tiring of living inside a storage locker and stealing taxis to earn money, he decides to sign up for service with the Space Corps and jump ship as soon as he is back on his home planet. First Technician Alfred J. Rimmer is a truly remarkable and hilarious personality. Rimmer is basically in charge of keeping the vending machines operating on the ship Red Dwarf, and Lister finds himself working under and bunking with this incredibly strange and rather pitiful underachiever. Rimmer is the proverbial born loser, failing at virtually everything he does. He desperately wants to pass the astronavigation exam and become an officer, and he works incredibly hard at preparing for the test despite the fact he has already failed it 11 times (actually, two of those times he got an X for unclassified, such as the time he wrote "I am a fish" 500 times on each answer sheet after panicking and convincing himself he did not actually exist). Rimmer's preparation consists of establishing incredibly exact, inclusive schedules for studying; the problem with this approach is that his constant revisions of the schedule take up all of his preparation time, and he usually ends up cramming three months' of study into a few hours just before the exam begins. Lister annoys Rimmer to no end. As fate would have it, an explosion ends up killing everyone on board Red Dwarf. Lister, having been put in stasis for smuggling a cat on board, is reawakened by the ship's computer Holly three million years later when the radiation levels have returned to safe levels. Holly also resurrects the quite dead Rimmer as a hologram, and the fact that he has died does nothing to help Rimmer's attitude. Lister and Rimmer are soon joined by a highly evolved yet fastidious, incredibly vain feline descendant of the cat Lister originally smuggled on board. This incredibly strange crew attempts to return to earth, and their efforts are as funny as they are ill-fated.
Lister is a simple man just trying to get by in life, wishing for nothing more than a basic, happy family existence such as that of George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life. Rimmer's inferiority complex and stubbornness are unmatched.. His failings and pessimism are comically ridiculous yet somehow plausible, and one can't help pitying a man who fails in life, in death, and even in his own fantasies. I have not seen the Red Dwarf series, so I cannot compare this book to its television counterpart. I can declare this book hilarious; anyone with a sense of humor (even those who hate science fiction) will, I believe, enjoy this book immensely. If you read this book apart from its sequel, though, you will be disappointed by the ending because it is not really an ending at all--I would recommend buying the sequel Better Than Life along with Red Dwarf because you will surely want to follow the comical travails of Lister and Rimmer as far and as long as you can. Only the late Douglas Adams has ever produced such wickedly funny science fiction as Red Dwarf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cool and intresting Story, 29 Dec. 2003
By 
Christopher Hill "thedrazen" (Plymouth, Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is for fans of the bbc tv series "red dwarf"
This is a story of david lister a man who sick of being a minicab driver joins a mining ship red dwarf in order to return to earth.
After a accident killing all the crew expect lister and his bunkmate rimmer the two while returning to earth encounter many strange things including a man who evolved from cats and a game which makes all your fantasties come true but kills you.
Read by Chris Barrie who makes the story come to life so well.
If You are a fan of red dwarf buy it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius!, 26 April 2004
For the past eight years I have been a dedicated reader of Sci-Fi, beforethis I had a very short concentration span and very rarely got into a goodbook. The Red Dwarf series taught me that not all books are hard to followand that even I couldn't put a good book down once in a while. I was a bigfan of the TV series so the books were a natural progression and I wasn'tdissapointed, the two authors (Rob Grant and Doug Naylor) quite obviouslywork exceptionally well together and have produced the funniest series ofsci-fi books since Douglas Adams Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy. In factI could safely say that together they continue the genius that was DouglasAdams. The concepts and characters that make up Red Dwarf are fantastic,perfectly thought out and expertly developped. Things like Better ThanLife, Cat, Polymorph - in fact I am going to stop there because I could goon and name everything, but it is all brilliant stuff which immerses yourinquisitive minds into a world of comedy, claustrophobia, space and smeg!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy!, 5 Aug. 2005
It's not quite the same as the TV sitcom it spawned, but this book is quality.
It's not laugh-a-minute stuff, some of it is even almost poignant, but it's a roaring good read and you won't regret buying this one. A book to read, put away on a bookshelf, and to return to a few years later, when it will be a delight to re-discover.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong comic SF novel that stands on its own feet, 9 July 2011
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Mimas, 2180. After an epic all-night bender in London to celebrate his 25th birthday, Liverpudlian slob Dave Lister wakes up a billion kilometres away on one of Saturn's moons with the mother of all hangovers. Desperate to get home, Lister hits on the plan of enrolling in the Space Corps, getting a job on an Earth-bound ship and then going AWOL the second he gets home. Unfortunately, the only vessel that will have him is the city-sized Jupiter Mining Corporation ore-hauler Red Dwarf. And before it gets back to Earth, it's going all the way to Triton on a job. So it will take Lister four and a half years to get home.

Driven to distraction by his mind-bogglingly anally-retentive bunk-mate Arnold Rimmer and heartbroken by a doomed romance with navigation officer Kristine Kochanski, Lister hits on a plan: by smuggling an unquarantined cat on board and getting caught, he gets condemned to spend the rest of the trip in temporal stasis and forfeit four years pay. Unfortunately, whilst he's in stasis, the Dwarf's fusion reactor unleashes a deadly radiation pulse which kills everyone. The ship's AI, Holly, takes the Dwarf into deep space and waits for the radiation to die off before reviving Lister...which takes three million years. Lister awakens to find his only companions are a holographic simulation of Rimmer, a senile AI and a creature which evolved from his pet cat. Their mission: to get back to Earth. Somehow.

As the above precis indicates, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (originally published in 1989) is a spin-off of the British TV series Red Dwarf, published just after the airing of the show's third season. It is not a novelization of the episodes, but can be regarded as sort-of reboot of the format. Creator-producers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor were unhappy with both the small budget given to the show and how that money was spent for the first two seasons; notably, when they took over as showrunners in the third season it took a quantum leap forward in its visual style and quality. When asked by Penguin Books to write a novel based on the series, they leapt at the chance and used the opportunity to write the big-budget SF epic that the BBC's lack of money had denied to them.

The result is something far more interesting than a bog-standard TV novelization. Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers stands alone very nicely as a solo SF novel, with no foreknowledge of the TV series required. The storylines of several episodes have been reworked into one large over-arcing narrative and the start of the story is very different, with a lot more time spent on the pre-accident Red Dwarf. This allows the writers to flesh out a number of other characters (some new, some recast versions of TV characters) before the accident takes place and they zero in on the characters of Rimmer and Lister.

These two characters are well-established in the TV show, but the authors take advantage of the novel format to really delve into their psyches and get into their internal drives and motivations. Lister benefits from this the most, since as the TV show continued Lister was sometimes sidelined in favour of the more inherently funner character of Rimmer. The Cat also benefits from added material, turning him from a rather one-note character in the first two seasons to a more rounded figure whose alien, non-human characteristics are emphasised. Holly also gets more development, with the reasons for his computer senility made clear (though current editions of the novel drop his ongoing inexplicable hatred of 1970s British footballer Kevin Keegan for legal reasons, sadly).

The novel is cleverly written, using ingredients and events from several episodes to build up a larger storyline. Some jokes are re-used a little too freely from the TV series and there's a couple of spots where the episodic building blocks betray themselves (Lister's determination to go back into stasis until they get back to Earth is handwaved away a little too easily in both the TV series and novel, but in the novel is more jarring given we move into the Nova 5 storyline almost immediately), but overall this works well.

As the novel continues, the more amusing and comic moments start giving way to moments of pathos, even tragedy, which gives the novel more depth than it first appears. It's a very funny book, but it's also one that focuses on character-building and using the humour to illuminate the story and themes. A more disappointing element is that the actual science in the novel is occasionally woeful (the writers' understanding of relativity, breaking the speed of light and, in particular, how long it takes to travel between different star systems at below lightspeed is rather lacking). Given that the TV series, particularly in later series, prided itself in the use of real science to back up the story, the somewhat shoddy application of it here is unfortunate.

Overall, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (****) is a splendid comic SF novel, funny but with real depth of character. The book builds along nicely to a big climax (that riffs heavily on the movie It's a Wonderful Life) and a huge cliffhanger. The novel is available now in an omnibus edition with its sequel, Better Than Life, in the UK and USA.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to laugh out loud?, 26 Nov. 2002
By 
A. Lorton (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
There aren't many books that I have read and re-read so many times I can't remember. There are even fewer books that have made me laugh out loud. This book is one of the rare ones that does both. It's got the balance of description, plot, pace and laughs just right. And to top it off, you don't need to be a Red Dwarf fan to enjoy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best sci fi comedy books ever, 6 Mar. 2003
I first read this book about 10 or so years ago and it still reamins my favourite book ever.
The book follows closely to the BBC2 TV series with some extra bits that they wouldn't have been able to film. (budget reasons) I won't go into the details of the plot as lots of other people on this page have do so already, but I will mention the easy to read style of the book and the many laugh out lould moments.
If youv'e never read a red dwarf novel but like the TV show, then I suggest reading this now, you don't know what your missing. If your not a fan of the TV show then this book might change your mind. Excellent
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word: Brill-smegging-iant., 13 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
How to adequately rave about this book? This book is an absolute rival to the television show, and even out-classing the series in some ways. Not only funny, the first Red Dwarf book takes time to really expand on the TV character's personalities: neuroses, startling moralities, good qualities, obsessions, and all. This is a must read for all smeg-heads everywhere, and in general a darn good sci-fi read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, not the best format to present it in., 13 Nov. 2010
By 
RMS Oceanic (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Unabridged) (Audio Download)
This book may not be for you if you didn't like Red Dwarf, but it's great if you do. It spins many plots of the series into a cohesive story, and it does so well. It also has more subtle satirical humour about the world Red Dwarf is set in. What I like most about it is how it fleshes out the characters and gives them more depth. An added bonus to having it on audio tape is having it read by Chris "Rimmer" Barrie. His time as a voice actor is well displayed here, giving voices that allow you to sink into the story.

As much as I love the book however, I have to knock off a point because the format is a single mp3 file, meaning there's nowhere to stop listening to it and pick up again later. It would have been better if it was an mp3 file per chapter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In one word "smegging brilliant", 12 April 2001
By A Customer
After purchasing every Red Dwarf video over the years and watching several times i decided to buy my first RD book. Although not being a keen reader i have to admit i loved this. It manages to add so much more comedy and detail than a 30min TV episode could ever do and the way it draws on various events throughout the series is very clever.Particularly enjoyable are the events leading up to how Lister arrives on RD in which Grant and Naylor show great immagination. All in all an excellent text and very much worth purchasing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews