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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
32
4.0 out of 5 stars
Colony
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on 3 August 2017
Loved it! Wish there was a sequel.
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on 8 January 2001
Having seen the Strangerers on Sky I wondered if Rob Grant had lost his sense of humour but this book proves he hasn't lost his touch. It contains many more laughs than his previous works, scattered evenly throughout the book and to me it appeared marginally funnier than Backwards. Although it is a completely different world from that of Red Dwarf it owes a lot to its predecessor and could easily have worked as a prequel to the Red Dwarf saga. It seems ironic that the man who complained that he didn't want to be remembered purely for Red Dwarf seems to be going back to his RD roots once more. Significantly the books jacket also describes him as the co-creator of Red Dwarf and not the creator of The Strangerers, his most recent SF comedy. The first section of this book seems incredibly similar to the beginning of Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and he seems to be reworking his old material. However it is interesting enough to keep the reader entertained until the story really gets going. The plot is fast paced and features an unlikely hero who has to try and save the human race. I think the story is based on the Douglas Adams idea that the person who least wants to direct the future of humanity is the only one on whom it would be wise to place the responsibility. The main character is slightly reminiscent of Arthur Dent as he suffers and bumbles his way through life. The ending is surprisingly sentimental considering the dark tense nature of the rest of the book and doesn't blend in as well as it could, although it does open up lots of possibilities for future novels. Rob's well known love of It's a Wonderful Life is expressed very obviously! This book is of a high standard although it could do with some of the more stunning imagery employed in his previous books and a little more original material to really make it stand out. I look forward to the TV series with eager anticipation.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 22 October 2007
The Willflower (a nice pun on the Mayflower) is a state of the art space craft designed to take the most talented, the most gifted, and the most intelligent people on a mission to repopulate somewhere else in order to continue humanity somewhere else (a back up for when we all get extinguished from existence).

One of the intended crew, Charles Gordon is celebrating his last days on Earth when he wins a fortune in a casino - reluctant to leave his new found wealth and envisaged lavish lifestyle behind, he decides to stay.

He gives his Mayflower entry to Eddie O'Hare - the main character of the book. Eddie has hit a bit of a financial crisis (a lot of one actually) and seizes the chance to escape, given the fact that someone attempted to kill him earlier - it seems like a pretty good opportunity.

Once on board, he discovers he has replaced a fascist loon who is the community planner - and soon after - he is killed.

Revived several generations later; the ship is ran by the inbred descendants of the original crew. They are retarded and the captain has a habit of giving new planets rude names. The ship is in a state of disrepair and seems to have forgotten how to auto-repair itself. And on top of all this - a centuries old mentalist is trying to kill Eddie.

His adventure often seems a bit daft, but it is entertaining enough to take you through the full story. I suppose it's best described as "a yarn". This isn't going to be your favourite book, but you'll care enough about the lead character to want to know what will happen to him.

This is a funny book - not laugh out loud hilarious, but it is still funny. It is sci-fi, and it's different to Red Dwarf, it seems a little like The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy with its anti-heroic Eddie O'Hare.

This isn't best sci-fi comedy piece you'll come across, but it is still a worthy read. I feel this is a 3.5 star book, but as there is no option for that, I'd say it is more deserving of four than three. You might not consider it to be one of those books you want to read over again - but I'm sure you'll want to explore more of Rob Grant's solo works, and for that I strongly recommend his non-sci-fi novel "Fat".
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on 30 November 2000
Quite frankly this book is a must for any Red Dwarf junkie looking for somthing different. The same delightful style shown in all of the Red Dwarf novels is shown in abundance in Colony but with the added bonus of new characters and an unfamiliar plot. This brings me on to the main character, Eddie. A pathetic man that turns out to be a hero, not an original idea but still done very well. I won't say any more about the character but they are all beautifully thought of. I have no choice but to give this book 5 stars. Superb. Please buy this book its a delight.
- Jonathan Capps
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on 31 July 2006
As a fan of Red Dwarf I had high hopes for this book, and I wasn't dissapointed. This has got to be the first book without a story which I've read...oh sure there's some kind of story there but it's not up to much - and frankly I didn't give a damn. Some of the lines in this left me in tears of laughter (albeit crossed legged after our man Eddie "wakes up" and tries out his new pincers...) Some really fantastic jokes and set pieces here to enjoy and so easy to get into and read that you'll have trouble putting it down... though not picking it back up again! I seriously recommend you read it and prepare yourself for the frosty stares of your fellow commuters when you're guffawing your way to work...
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on 10 April 2007
It seems that a lot of these reviews are from 'red dwarf' fans. I have not read these, or indeed know what they are- but i should say that i really enjoyed reading this book. I found it in a bookshop next to a sign that read "if you like hitchhikers guide to the galaxy then read these", and that sign was right too. It is a very funny comedy/sci-fi novel suitbale for young teens and up. Do not think you have to be a red dwarf fan to read it- this story as far as i know is unconnected and is worth your time. Buy it now!
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VINE VOICEon 3 November 2008
OK, technically it's not A Red Dwarf book but really it's so close there's no real difference. Both solo novels 'Last Human' and 'Backwards' were disappointing for different reasons and this is an improvement, it zips along and is very readable

The plot in this book is really pretty clichéd, but the dialogue is good and the characterisation (although very similar to Red Dwarf) works well.
The plot is basically revived human tries to save a colony ship (a ship that carries generations on its long journey) while trying to avoid being killed by an assassin on his trail. The ending is literally a 'Deus Ex Machina' ending but the writing carries it.

The ship society seems to be a direct lift from Plato's Republic, incidentally. RG reads quite a bit of Philosophy.

So decent attempt, it just doesn't quite hit the heights of the Grant Naylor originals.
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on 27 December 2000
Rob Grant has, apart from being a prolific script writer, co-authored "Red Dwarf:Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers", its sequel "Red Dwarf: Better Than Life", both with Doug Naylor, as well as the merchandise spin-offs. Lately, he's trecked off solitary with "Backwards", possibly one of the most hilarious novels ever produced, and this new edition to an afficionado's collection, "Colony." "Colony" is not, specifically, the eptiome of Red Dwarf, although there certainly are moments where this has to be put under careful consideration. The novel, fundamentally, entails the exploits of one man, the last surviving Original human of his race, Eddie O'Hare. He's an amiable, pleasant character, and Grant represents him with panache. The majority of the miscellaneous characterisations are fairly brilliant as well. Eddie is the most unlucky sod on planet Earth, and to show testament to this, Grant gives us a quandary of scenes for the first eighty pages just showing Eddie's utter lack of fortune. There are very little characters up until "Generation I" and the humour does not become fast and furious until "Generation X." Eddie is much more intelligible than Lister, but he doesn't carry Lister's bawdy charm or boyish nature that is admirable. The fact that, seemingly, Kochanksi has been substituted by Oslo, Rimmer for Peck and Lewis, the Cat for Gwent and Kryten for Apton Styx is not such a big deal, but there are not as many wonders to look forward to in "Colony" as there were in "Backwards", so it is difficult to really give this 5-stars, but nevertheless... Besides Eddie, Gwent and Styx, possibly my favourite character of all is Mr Pink Socks the maniacal gangster, because he reminds me of Mr Pin and Mr Tulip of Terry Pratchett's "The Truth". He is probably a more effective antagonist than the agonoids in "Backwards" as well. The novel is full of suspense for the Red Dwarf junkie, and although there are only a few times where the book is laugh-out-loud funny, throughout is Grant's irrepressible wit. There are possibly more actual surprise explanations to the events that occurred in "Colony" than in any other Red Dwarf novel, which indeed is credible. Although it is not up to the standard of "Backwards" Grant's "Colony" has a verifiably huge array of potential for countless sequels, and the fact that Eddie is a charismatic protagonist makes it all worth while.
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on 10 November 2000
In many ways, Colony is a poor man's Red Dwarf. Certainly, it is very, very funny in places and I found it difficult to put down. However, there's always the feeling that you've been there before. There are very few new ideas in Colony. Yes, much of it is well written - the characterisation is excellent and it flows like every novel shuld but few do. It's just impossible to fail to compare every little detail with that of Red Dwarf. Take, for example, the plot: A likeable, unlucky nobody wakes up to find he is one of the few remaining humans alive, the rest of the crew are all lunatics and the ship is heading for disaster. Describes Red Dwarf to a tee doesn't it? Couple this with a weak, almost sentimental ending, and Colony is ultimately disappointing. So, although I laughed a lot, I can only award Colony 3-stars. Maybe I'll read Backwards again.
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When I started to read this book i was fully engrossed in it, as generally it is of a very good standard, some good humour and quite a good plot. This book isnt too similar to red dwarf, but it is more rob grants style of writng that may make it seem this way.
The only problem I found with this book was character development, Eddie, the main character you get to know well enough but the other characters seem to move on too quickly and you never realy get to know them.
This book was worth the read, but there beter books, especially the red dwarf ones.
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