For anyone interested in how the Hitchhiker's Guide came into being, this is essential reading. For anyone interested in the evolution of a great idea into a radio series, album, TV series, computer game, five books, and more than one attempt at a film script, this is equally vital.
I found it particularly helpful in providing explanations of why:
1. episodes five and six of the first radio series have a different style to the wonderful episodes 1 to 4.
2. the second radio series was so sloppy in comparison to the first.
It's fascinating to read Douglas Adams' original summary of the Hitchhiker concept. (Goodness knows why Arther Dent was originally going to be called Alaric!) It was depressing to read how Adams and John Lloyd (co-writer of episodes 5 and 6) fell out when Adams changed his mind about co-writing the first book, but encouraging that they put their differences behind them and went on to collaborate on works like 'The Meaning of Liff'.
There are plenty of bits of unused dialogue spread across the pages of this book. It is partly a biography of Adams and partly a biography of the Hitchhikers Guide itself. There is a BBC-produced double cassette tape which also tells the story of the Hitchhiker but tends to gloss over most of the disagreements that Adams had with various BBC colleagues and publishers.
I would strongly recommend Hitchhiker fans to get this book.