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The Road to Mars: A Post-Modem Novel (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 31. August 1999

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pantheon (31. August 1999)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 037540340X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375403408
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,3 x 16,4 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (38 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 922.748 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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The Road to Mars is the second novel by Eric Idle--yes, that Eric Idle, the guy from Monty Python's Flying Circus. No, the book isn't like a Monty Python skit (and a good thing too, since silly sketches are no basis for a successful novel). Yes, Monty Python is mentioned in the book, but the self-referentiality is blessedly confined to two paragraphs. Yes, The Road to Mars is funny. It's also genuine science fiction. And it's satirical, sharply characterized, well-written, thoughtful, fun, and more complex than you'd expect from its picaresque structure, in which a stand-up-comedian odd couple and their robot knock around the outer planets in search of decent gigs. Well, Alex and Lewis are looking for work (and sex); their android, Carlton, unfazed by his own irony impairment, is trying to write a thesis about comedy. The trio quickly find themselves mixed up with a mysterious beauty, a famous diva, the captain of the solar cruise ship Princess Di, and a band of terrorists determined to blow up Mars.

In addition to The Road to Mars and Monty Python scripts, Eric Idle is the author of the SF/fantasy novel Hello Sailor (1975), the play Pass the Butler (1982), and the children's book The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. --Cynthia Ward


Advance Praise for The Road to Mars

"If you like smart, insightful books by foreigners who take jobs from American writers, you'll love The Road to Mars.  Every fan of mine should read it--and so should you."
-- Garry Shandling

"Part biting satire, part loony vaudeville, part comic dissertation, The Road to Mars will make you bark."
-- Robin Williams

"I laughed, I cried, and then I read the book."
-- Steve Martin

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Eric Idle is the only writer that can make me laugh and blush at the same time. I found The Road to Mars to be very witty and very entertaining (and unlike another critic on this page, I did not think the ending "sucked" at all). The story follows two comics Lewis and Alex who are on the vaudeville circut known as "The Road to Mars". Along for the ride is their android Carlton who is a (David) Bowie model(this would be Bowie from the 1980's with the sunny blonde hair and not the Ziggy Stardust model). Carlton, as an robot, does not understand what exactly makes humans "bark" (laugh) and has begun to write a thesis on the subject. Although,this is the main basis of the story this does not make up the entire story. Their's a bit of a detour on their trip to Mars as the two comedians and their robot buddy find themselves in the midst of danger, scandal and plenty of romance. Well, when I say "romance", I mean plenty of "sex". Eric Idle has written a very good Science-Fiction comedy with plenty of witty dialogue that he is very well known for. I'm not going to ruin the book for any potential readers out there by giving away too much of the plot. But I will say, that this isn't the usual witless celebrity book, this is a book from a celebrity who knows how to write. It's an actual novel and not just a useless collection of wit, puns and bland insight from comedians who, for the most part, are not that funny (if I don't intend to Stand Next to the Naked Guy, why should I want to read about him). I whole heartedly recommend this book. And for all those disappointed fan who think this "sucks". Lighten up! It's not suppose to Be Issac Asimov, it's just suppose to be fun. And I hope that Eric Idle comes out with another book very soon.
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Von S. Gibson am 27. Dezember 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I must admit serious amusement and minor shock over the venom being unloaded on this little confection of Eric's. I mean hey, it's just a book. Chill out, kids.
I own a copy of Hello Sailor and I can assure you all this is four million light-years better than that book. Eric has advanced mightily from that 1976 effort, moving on from the strange calculus of politics and sex (its main character's goal was to bed all the daughters of the British government's cabinet) to the richer, more rewarding issues posed by science, comedy, the future of humanity, and how the three relate to each other in turn.
That having been said, I tried to give this book 2 1/2 stars but can't do so under this system. And in the interest of full disclosure, I am compelled to state I'm exactly the sort of person who would watch a test pattern with Eric on it (hey, I videotaped Nearly Departed, for cryin' out loud). I ran out to buy this in hardback. I am also a great flaming fan of Pratchett (sp?) and Adams as well as the Red Dwarf series and Blackadder.
I feel the book is not as good as it should be, given Eric's prodigious talents, but not as bad as others would have you believe. In other words--wait for the paperback.
The schooled Python fan should have fun with this one, as RM's flaws are flaws one finds in Python productions--the female characters are poorly drawn (especially the romantic lead). The only female characters that threaten to be interesting are Brenda Wooley and the Sammy character, but both are cliches and the latter is killed before she can be rescued from one-dimensionalism. In fact I find it a bit disturbing that the android has more depth and complexity to him than any of the women in the book.
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Von Ein Kunde am 8. Oktober 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The Road to Mars jumps between two storylines. The first is a fairly in-depth discussion about the purpose of comedy in the Universe. This is triggered by a character in the second storyline, a droid named Carlton, who is writing a thesis on the very subject. Carlton's work is being studied 80 years in the future by Professor Bill Reynolds, and it is through Reynolds' eyes and his study of Carlton's work that the story of Alex Muscroft and Lewis Ashby unravells.
Initially, I found the Alex/Lewis story quite entertaining. Unfortunately, this narrative is constantly derailed by the 'meaning of comedy' throughline, which I found disrupted the flow of the novel and eventually became thoroughly annoying. I found myself constantly skipping pages as I tried to avoid this ridiculous sideline. Perhaps I'm underestimating its importance in the novel as a whole, but it really didn't hook me in at all. Idle has clearly taken a simple story, and tried to add depth by using it to comment on comedy's place in society. He should've stuck to the more engaging Lewis/Alex story. Had he done so, he may have managed to save it, for while as I said I initially found it entertaining, the climax of the story is so utterly ridiculous I threw the book away in disgust. Idle spends 296 pages building up a terrific tale, where the reader expects some pretty heavy-duty stuff to take place, only to destroy it all in a 'what, is that it?' ending. When the plot is finally revealed, you find yourself backtracking through the story and thinking, 'if these characters were real, why would they do it this way? Surely too much has been left to chance and coincidence'. Contrived I think is the word I'm looking for.
Of course the book suffers the ultimate flaw.
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