Yvette Keller is a lifelong fan of the British writer, Douglas Adams, best known for the 5-book, science fiction humor “trilogy,” The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The Santa Barbara, California-based writer now invites Adams fans and London tourists to experience all things Adams through a new literary guide, “Douglas Adams’ London,” published by Herb Lester Associates. Pre-orders are now available at www.herblester.com with a ship date of March 11, chosen because it is Adams’ birthday.
Adams lived and worked in London for decades. “Douglas Adams’ London,” is a hitchhiker’s guide to 42 places (chosen honor of Hitchhiker’s reference to the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything) drawn from the reality and fiction of Adams’ life. On one side, a stylized map pinpoints relevant sites across London. On the reverse, detailed information about each site spotlights its significance to the author.
From Shepherds Bush to Highgate, the map leads tourists along the streets that Adams knew and cared about, noting the rampant development of his beloved Islington, “Grim concrete monoliths, eyeing the new spaces in Upper Street where they hoped to spawn their horrid progeny.” Expressing the timeless joy Adams referred to Hyde Park as, “stunning except for the rubbish on Monday mornings.”
Keller’s pilgrimage to walk in Adams’ footsteps began very simply. It began with her 42nd birthday and a book, one she is writing to share her experiences with other fans. “By exploring the meaningful places in Adams’ life, you start to see how reality and fiction came together for him,” Keller explained. “Character, setting, and author, intersect with reality, and, as Douglas said, ‘If you’re going to set it in London, you may as well set it where you live because you know it. There’s no point in setting it in Putney if I’ve then got to get a bus down to Putney to see what the layout is.'”
Ben Olins is the director at Herb Lester Associates. He was intrigued by how real and imagined worlds overlap. So, to explore real places from the work of an author best known for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was, in his words, “irresistible.” The publisher is no stranger to literary maps. The company’s “guides to the unexpected,” include Agatha Christie’s England, Occult Paris, and New Orleans Good Times.
“One’s first thoughts of places included in a galactic travel guide don’t include the north London estate agents and residential streets. But places he (Adams) knew are used throughout his books,” Olins said. “In charting all of that, I hope we bring to life the world Adams inhabited, and in doing so perhaps bring readers closer to a writer they admire.”
Those who pre-order the Douglas Adams’ London guide directly from Herb Lester Associates have an opportunity to order a set of six coasters gathered from fictional pubs and clubs across the Hitchhikers universe. (Check out the author’s unboxing video here.)
While supplies last, they will also receive a seventh, exclusive beer mat from Milliways – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The guide will be available to fans in the United States beginning April 15. For more information, or to order, visit www.herblester.com.