Not as many laughs as the TV series, but, in a way, the books are better, because they are more structured. You also get a good look at Lister before he enlisted, you find out who the heck McIntyre was and, best of all, in the book universe Lister enjoys a few blissful weeks with Kochanski before the Big Blowup.
The scene describing how Dave The Dumped felt are the most minimalist and poetic tribute to love lost that I've ever read.
It's so good, in fact, that I'll quote it here, in the hope you go out and buy the book:
|He’d been not going out with Kochanski now for three weeks. |
The whole affair, the glorious ‘forever’ he’d imagined, had lasted just over a month. Then one evening in her sleeping quarters, as Lister arrived to take her to a movie, she’d told him she wanted to break it off. He’d laughed. He thought it was a joke. But it wasn’t.
She’d been seeing ‘Tom’ (or was it ‘Tim’?), a Flight Navigation Officer, for almost two years. Tom or Tim (it may have been Tony) had left her for a fling with some brunette in Catering. And Lister had been a rebound thing. She hadn’t realised it at first, but when Tom, Tim, Tony or Terry, or whatever the smeg he was called, had turned up at her door, having dumped the brunette in Catering, she’d gone scurrying back.
There were tears, there were apologies, and pathetic clichéd platitudes: they could still be friends; if he met Trevor, he’d really like him she wished she were two people so she could love both of them ad nauseum.
She’d returned the blue jumper he’d left. She’d returned his DAT tapes, and offered to give back the necklace he’d bought her, which, of course, he’d declined.
And that was that.
Except it wasn’t. Because now she was everywhere. Everything he did, he did without her. Everywhere he went, he went without her. When he went shopping, he didn’t go shopping, he went shopping without Kochanski. When he went to the bar, he went to the bar without Kochanski. She’d infected every part of his life. His mental map of the ship now judged all distances in relation to her sleeping quarters, or the Drive Room, where she worked. He wasn’t walking on such-and-such a corridor, he was walking on such-and-such a corridor which was n floors above or n floors below where she was at that precise moment.