Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Michael J A Tyzuk
Helge Moulding

Eric Idle

The road to Mars

Sorting things out in the years after the Second World War led to a great increase in travel, and this can be seen as an influence on much of the science fiction of the 1950's, as well as forming the basis of the 'Road to ..' series of films starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. The Road to Mars by Eric Idle is a science fiction story inspired by these films. It's the story of two comedians plying their trade around the solar system. Somehow havoc seems to follow them wherever they go. They meet an interesting woman - but is there more to her than there seems?

I have to say that I found the book a bit of a disappointment - billed as a 'post-modem novel', and written by one of the creators of the revolutionary Monty Python, I had expected something a lot more modern than its 1950's genre. There's quite a lot of the robot Carlton's theory of comedy, but it's hard to see why, since a theory of comedy isn't particularly funny. Possibly the humour in the book would work better on screen, but I don't think that it will make it that far. If you like the 1950's style then you might want to give this a try, but if you want modern science fiction then you should look elsewhere. info
Paperback 309 pages  
ISBN: 0330481800
Salesrank: 5302102
Published: 2000 Pan MacMillan
Amazon price $23.00
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Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0330481800
Salesrank: 448734
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2000 Pan
Marketplace:New from £56.82:Used from £0.01
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Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0330481800
Salesrank: 68898
Weight:0.35 lbs
Published: 2000 PAN Macmillan Adult MM
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 21.89:Used from CDN$ 0.95
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Product Description

Carlton is an android working for Alex and Lewis, two comedians from the twenty-second century who travel the outer vaudeville circuit of the solar system known ironically as the Road to Mars. Being a computer he can`t understand irony, but is nevertheless attempting to write a thesis about comedy, its place in evolution, and whether it can ever be cured. He is studying the comedians of the late twentieth century (including obscure and esoteric comedy acts such as Monty Python`s Flying Circus) in his search for the comedy gene.

Meanwhile, during an audition for a gig on the Princess Di (a solar cruise ship), his two employers inadvertently become involved in a terriorist plot against Mars, the planet of showbiz.

Can Carlton prevent Alex and Lewis from losing their gigs, overcome the love thing and finally understand the meaning of comedy in the universe?

From one of the original members of Monty Python`s Flying Circus.