Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2)
A wild and wacky SF series--based on the popular BBC-TV series--reminiscent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Lister--who passed out drunk in London and awakened in a locker on a moon of Saturn--now finds himself trapped in a computer game that transports players to the perfect world of their imaginations--a game people are literally dying to play.

Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2) Details

TitleBetter than Life (Red Dwarf #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 1st, 1993
PublisherRoc
ISBN-139780451452313
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Comedy

Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2) Review

  • David Sarkies
    January 1, 1970
    Trapped in Virtual Reality17 March 2016 I version I was reading was actually part of the Red Dwarf Omnibus which, along with the first two books, also has the script of the original radio play, and the pilot episode that they used to pitch to the TV executives (and as was suggested, at the time TV executives were very reluctant to take on a science fiction show, despite the fact that at the time Doctor Who was a rip-roaring success). Anyway, in the script for the pilot episode there was a line w Trapped in Virtual Reality17 March 2016 I version I was reading was actually part of the Red Dwarf Omnibus which, along with the first two books, also has the script of the original radio play, and the pilot episode that they used to pitch to the TV executives (and as was suggested, at the time TV executives were very reluctant to take on a science fiction show, despite the fact that at the time Doctor Who was a rip-roaring success). Anyway, in the script for the pilot episode there was a line with a star next to it, and the footnote said 'the rest of the line is missing'. Upon seeing this I immediately thought of the ancient texts that I read where you see this occurring fairly often. This made me wonder what would somebody two thousand years from now, after our society had collapsed, think if he (or she) unearthed a casket that contained a copy of the Red Dwarf Omnibus. In fact what would they think if this box contained a bunch of John Grisham novels, along with say, something by Jackie Collins. In fact, if this box contained a copy of Life of Pi, what would they think of our society – would they have this weird understanding of the world that existed before the collapse of our society, and would they actually believe that we had conquered the stars? Mind you, sometimes I have the desire to build a huge underground vault and stock it full of books (and maybe even a computer, along with all of the manuals) for somebody in the future to uncover. Anyway, I'm not going to answer that question, but if you have any thoughts please put them in the comment section below because I would love to hear what other people would think. This is how the first book in the series ended:What harm was one more day? He turned away from the dissolving exit and crunched up the drive to 220.One more night of that pinball smile.Just one.He couldn't leave them on Christmas Eve.But, of course, in Bedford Falls it was always Christmas Eve … Lister and the crew of Red Dwarf had found themselves trapped in a game called 'Better than Life' and this is where this book begins. Mind you, the book isn't set entirely in Bedford Falls, just the first part, and we learn how they escape – thanks to the fact that Rimmer has this mental disorder in which he simply cannot accept that anything good can ever happen to him. Mind you, it is not that this is a disorder that he knows, but rather something deep in his subconsciousness, something that he doesn't realise himself, but a reality that will eventually rise up and destroy any joy that he has in his life. This is hinted at in the first book, where we learn that despite the fact that they live in this virtual world where everybody's fantasies come true, the Brazillian bombshell that he married still has an affair with the pool cleaner. That is the thing with Better Than Life – it is supposed to create a world based on your subconscious where everything is perfect, which means that when you jack into the game you never want to leave. As such while you live in paradise, your body is slowly dying. Of course the writers never consider that people living in such a world could be hooked up to an intravenous source for sustenance, but then again this game is illegal so such facilities basically don't exist. Actually, I remember watching a film once (I can't remember what it was called though) where everybody lived in such a game while in the real world they were sleeping in beds being fed intravenously (no, it's not The Matrix). The scary thing is that we see similar things happening today, where people log onto online computer games and simply spend their entire lives immersed therein. I remember living with somebody like that, in the days before World of Warcraft (back then it was Everquest and Ultima Online). His fiancée ended up breaking off the relationship namely because he preferred to play Ultima Online than actually spend anytime with her. Seeing this unfold before my eyes sort of put me off the whole online roleplaying phenomena (and the fact that I was never willing to ply the subscription fees – though I did play around with Neverwinter Nights for quite a while, but that had more to do with creating a world using their editor than anything else). Like the first book in the series, Better then Life contains a montage of episodes from the next couple of seasons. Mind you, I have to admit that reading some of the jokes, such as the joke where Lister and the Cat dream of having an affair with Wilma Flintstone, and then discarding it based on the fact that she would never leave Fred, are so much better when you watch the TV series than when you read it in the book. However, having watched pretty much all of the original seasons, reading the same jokes still gives me a chuckle, namely because I remember the visual jokes from the screen. In fact I simply cannot picture the crew of Red Dwarf without images of Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn, and Danny John-Jules (not to forget Norman Lovett) in my head. Actually, I suspect that they intended this to be as such since the books were written after the TV series were released. Better than life ends similarly to the previous book, in a way that suggests that a sequel could be coming along, and ending it in a way that could leave us quite content. While it is tempting to write about the last section of the book I think I'll leave it at that, namely because if it is similar to this book then the beginning of Backwards is going to go on from the end of Better than Life. I just hope I don't forget some of the ideas that related to this when I get around to reading that book (which shouldn't be too far into the future).
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  • Angus McKeogh
    January 1, 1970
    This series was great. I've run into a couple of 1-star books recently and since I loved the first one in this series I thought I'd plug it in here to end that negative trend. Red Dwarf is a collaboration between two authors and it's ingenious, smart, and funny, which is an impossible combination to achieve. Unfortunately I believe this is the last book in their collaboration (although the ending was set for possibly more). A little bit of Ready Player One well before that book was ever released This series was great. I've run into a couple of 1-star books recently and since I loved the first one in this series I thought I'd plug it in here to end that negative trend. Red Dwarf is a collaboration between two authors and it's ingenious, smart, and funny, which is an impossible combination to achieve. Unfortunately I believe this is the last book in their collaboration (although the ending was set for possibly more). A little bit of Ready Player One well before that book was ever released; a little bit of Douglas Adams but I'd say even more brilliant in certain respects; and just a load of inventive genius. I highly recommend these two books to fans of entertainment in general.
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  • NumberLord
    January 1, 1970
    Funny book! Best line (and perfect description of "Cat"):God, it was cruel to have been born a male, and have a reflection that was also male, forcing him into a platonic relationship with his own image.
  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    As with the first Red Dwarf book the writers have fleshed out and made highly detailed stories within different episodes of the TV show. And once again it's done amazingly. As the title suggests the main crux of the book is set within the game Better than Life. And once again it's done in a different (and in my opinion better) than what came before. The entire rules of the game are changed here and there's even a reference to what we saw in the sitcom and explains why it's not possible here. One As with the first Red Dwarf book the writers have fleshed out and made highly detailed stories within different episodes of the TV show. And once again it's done amazingly. As the title suggests the main crux of the book is set within the game Better than Life. And once again it's done in a different (and in my opinion better) than what came before. The entire rules of the game are changed here and there's even a reference to what we saw in the sitcom and explains why it's not possible here. One thing I didn't mention in my review of the first book was the characters of Lister and Rimmer. Lister isn't anywhere near the brainless slob we first met, in fact he's quite intelligent. And as much as Rimmer begins out as an anal retentive, unlikeable git who's got no time for anyone but himself we get to see how he thinks, why he behaves the way he does and see his attitude to Lister change quite a lot, to the point I'd catagorise them as friends. He's not the loveable hero that an alternate version of himself becomes but he's certainly a lot more likeable than the version Chris Barrie portrayed. This is the last book co-written by the two creators. After this are two more sequels, one by Grant, the other Naylor. I look forward to seeing where they took the story next. I'd personally love to see more stories from the show receive this kind of treatment but that ship has long since sailed. This is a real shame.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Well after the fun of the first book in the series - the nostalgia has started to wane - not because of the show but more the book. This book starts to deviate more and more from the series - now as I said in my previous review my love for this was due to the farcical nature of the show and the visual as well as scripted jokes, with the book starting to veer further away from the path the show took I struggle to imagine those same scenes now in a new light - now do not get me wrong I am sure som Well after the fun of the first book in the series - the nostalgia has started to wane - not because of the show but more the book. This book starts to deviate more and more from the series - now as I said in my previous review my love for this was due to the farcical nature of the show and the visual as well as scripted jokes, with the book starting to veer further away from the path the show took I struggle to imagine those same scenes now in a new light - now do not get me wrong I am sure someone who has limited exposure to the series (which was NOT the case for me since I shared a house at Uni with 2 other fans of the show) you could possibly enjoy this book more but for me my mind keeps on wanting to find ways to bring it back on track - yes I guess I am that shallow but for somethings you hold dear I say you are allowed a few indulgences. The book is just as readable and cleverly written I guess it just didnt hit it off as well as the first book which is strange consider it too took liberties with the storyline.
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  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    I love the TV series Red Dwarf, so as soon as I saw there were some books based on it I just had to get them. The good news is that they convert over to story-book version well. You already know the characters so a lot of the work has already been done for you, this story was already been made into an episode, so even more work has been done for ya...maybe even a crap author could produce a good book from this? Luckily Grant Naylor is a really good writer and has produced an excellent book.Readi I love the TV series Red Dwarf, so as soon as I saw there were some books based on it I just had to get them. The good news is that they convert over to story-book version well. You already know the characters so a lot of the work has already been done for you, this story was already been made into an episode, so even more work has been done for ya...maybe even a crap author could produce a good book from this? Luckily Grant Naylor is a really good writer and has produced an excellent book.Reading this you'll laugh out loads, some of the laughs will be from what has been written and the others will be from bits you remember from the show.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    As good as 'Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers' though qualitatively fairly different. Despite being shorter, 'Better Than Life' presents a very in depth look at the dangers of being able to have whatever we want, whenever we want. A comedy book that explores the darkest nature of the human psyche? Only Grant Naylor could pull that off flawlessly. Amazing.
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  • Virginia Rand
    January 1, 1970
    It was funny, but it suffered because I watched the TV show first. I'd definitely recommend it to those who haven't.
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    The audio book recordings by Chris Barrie are amazing. He does all the voices so well.The first book is the better of the two, but this is well worth a listen and reminisce.
  • Christopher
    January 1, 1970
    Much faster than the other one for some reason, though they're the same size. Weird.There were two parts of the story that had me in stitches. The first involved the incredible shrinking trousers and the second involved the description of time going thataway. Just hilarious all-round. I actually snorted at one point I was shaking from laughing so hard. And this was while on the bus! Oh well.
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  • Tim Hewison
    January 1, 1970
    First "Living in a Simulation" book I read - was ground-breaking stuff for me at the time (1990?). But then I loved the TV series and "proper" Sci-Fi, so of course I was always going to love it. Let me fly, far away from hereFun Fun Fun, in the Sun Sun SunI want to lie, Shipwrecked and comatoseDrinking fresh mango juice
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  • Abigail
    January 1, 1970
    IT'S SO GOOD
  • Crystal Starr Light
    January 1, 1970
    I saw this book at the same time I saw "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" and bought both. I enjoyed the movies and figured the books would be insightful.Plot:At the end of "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers", Lister, Rimmer, Cat, and Kryten were stuck in a video game--"Better than Life". They realized it was unreality, but as they got what they wanted, they didn't care to go back to the real world. In this installation, Rimmer's fantasy starts to tear apart the world, and the remaining crew of I saw this book at the same time I saw "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers" and bought both. I enjoyed the movies and figured the books would be insightful.Plot:At the end of "Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers", Lister, Rimmer, Cat, and Kryten were stuck in a video game--"Better than Life". They realized it was unreality, but as they got what they wanted, they didn't care to go back to the real world. In this installation, Rimmer's fantasy starts to tear apart the world, and the remaining crew of the Red Dwarf leaves the game.Meanwhile, Holly has turned to a talking Toaster for help in regaining his 6000 IQ. Holly's IQ skips to 12000+ but his run-time is down to minutes. He shuts down, unable to help the ship navigate past an imminent black hole.Good:One of my complaints with IWCD was that it felt like a screenplay of the TV series. This one repairs this fault considerably, feeling much more original. I enjoyed reading about Lister on garbage world, fighting the acid rain, befriending the cockroaches, the effects of time when in close contact with a black hole (it is cool how the book attempts sometimes to be scientific--just don't trusts the planet pool!), and even reading about the origins of the polymorph. The events were original and exciting. I finished this book in less than a week--a world record for me!The Toaster was an absolutely hilarious addition to the team. I enjoyed the £19.99 (plus tax) toaster's smarmy remarks, heroic actions, and egotism. I was crushed when he was ground in the garbage masher and rejoiced when Kryten put him back together.Speaking of Kryten, I enjoyed seeing him convert from an eccentric cleaning mechanoid seen in the episode "Kryten" to the companion of Rimmer, Lister, and Cat in later episodes. The TV series never explains this inconsistency--not that I am that concerned about Red Dwarf continuity (but see below).Bad:Towards the end of the book, the authors fall back into rephrasing the TV series. The Polymorph is brought up, the Backwards planet introduced, etc. I like these episodes and reading about them is great; however, if I wanted to read a screenplay of Red Dwarf, I would do so.While sexual jokes have been reduced from last time (and the TV series), there are just enough that make me cringe. Again, I think good humor is more than commenting on organ size or who did it with whom.Lastly, while I am pretty care-free concerning Red Dwarf continuity, one thing that does bother me is when Lister (I think Rimmer also does it) recalls his three week dating of Kristine Kochanski. In IWCF, Lister and Kristine only were dating in his mind.Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:Dialogue constrained to sh**, mild profanities and some crude British words (of course, I could be wrong as I am American). Sexual situations are pretty common although more restrained in my opinion than in "IWCD. Rimmer is caught trying to fool around with his ex-wife just after getting remarried. A prostitute invades Lister's ideal world. Cat imagines a land with large breasted women. As for violence, Kryten blasts things with a bazokoid. Lister loses an ear lobe in acid rain (gross for people like me!). On the whole though, there isn't much in the violence department that will have you in twitches.Overall:Either I am getting used to "Grant Naylor's" writing style, or this is a better book than IWCD. The events are more original and less like a rehash of the TV series. The humor was great (as always). The characters great. Besides frequent sexual references and some falling back to the TV series, this is a great book.
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  • Glenn Conley
    January 1, 1970
    The first third of this book is fucking awesome. The Better Than Life bit. It's amazing. That's why I wanted to read this book. I saw that episode of Red Dwarf, and it was so good, I just had to read the book. And, that part of the book was great, but after that, it turns to complete horseshit.Better Than Life is the most addictive game ever developed. It's a completely immersive virtual reality game, that allows you to create your own perfect world. Where Lister is living the perfect family lif The first third of this book is fucking awesome. The Better Than Life bit. It's amazing. That's why I wanted to read this book. I saw that episode of Red Dwarf, and it was so good, I just had to read the book. And, that part of the book was great, but after that, it turns to complete horseshit.Better Than Life is the most addictive game ever developed. It's a completely immersive virtual reality game, that allows you to create your own perfect world. Where Lister is living the perfect family life, in a small time, with the his lifelong love obsession Kristine. Where Rimmer is rich as balls, with all the hot bitches, and the biggest penis on the planet. Seriously, Rimmer goes to his Personal Body Tailor, because his current body had gotten a bit wrinkled. The tailor asked Rimmer how he likes his new body. "The penis could be a bit bigger," Rimmer says. "Sir, any bigger and it would be dragging on the ground," the tailor responds.All this is great stuff. But, then they finally get out of the game, and the story turns to trying to rescue their spaceship from colliding with a rogue planet. Oh noes! Who the fuck cares?Lister gets stranded on a garbage planet, and makes friends with 9 foot long cockroaches. Okay, that's a bit weird. But again, who the fuck cares?So, here's some advice, if you want to read this book. Stop reading when they get out of Better Than Life. Because after that, you'll just want to kill yourself.
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  • Tom Sadira
    January 1, 1970
    Take my review of Red Dwarf #1, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and shove it in a blender. Then add: - 1 cup of appreciation for fun, intense action.- A couple slices of anxiety over an epic, polymorphic antagonist.- 1 scoop of love towards a talking toaster (with pretty good leadership skills, actually).- Sprinkle in 2 scoops of gratitude for the many wonderful sci-fi components, such as: black holes; virtual reality games gone wild; planetary billiards; heat-seeking explosive bolts; and, of Take my review of Red Dwarf #1, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and shove it in a blender. Then add: - 1 cup of appreciation for fun, intense action.- A couple slices of anxiety over an epic, polymorphic antagonist.- 1 scoop of love towards a talking toaster (with pretty good leadership skills, actually).- Sprinkle in 2 scoops of gratitude for the many wonderful sci-fi components, such as: black holes; virtual reality games gone wild; planetary billiards; heat-seeking explosive bolts; and, of course, six other universes that run in reverse time.Blend until well-mixed. Chug. Belch. Live long and prosper.
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  •  Charlie - A Reading Machine
    January 1, 1970
    Almost every Dystopian book about computers and virtual realities - see Ready Player One, James Dashners new series - probably found it's roots here...unless someone else did it ages ago.Better than life is a computer simulation where your subconscious mind combines with technology to create the ultimate experience with one of it s first functions being to wipe your memory of the starting the game. For this reason many players simply never make it out as they don't realise they are in.In this bo Almost every Dystopian book about computers and virtual realities - see Ready Player One, James Dashners new series - probably found it's roots here...unless someone else did it ages ago.Better than life is a computer simulation where your subconscious mind combines with technology to create the ultimate experience with one of it s first functions being to wipe your memory of the starting the game. For this reason many players simply never make it out as they don't realise they are in.In this book the crew of Red Dwarf find themselves trapped in the game and trying to rescue each other. It is hilarious and scary as shit all at the same time.
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  • Stonemagpie
    January 1, 1970
    Not as good as the first one. Still bad Dwarf is better than no Dwarf at all.This book is basically the one where Grant Naylor decided to be mean to Lister. They gave him his happy ending in 'Better than Life' (I thought the section with all the characters stuck in the 'Better than life' game dragged on for too long) and then took it away again. Then they marooned him alone on a planet of trash and giant cockroaches until he was an old man and at the end they stuck him on the backwards world. Co Not as good as the first one. Still bad Dwarf is better than no Dwarf at all.This book is basically the one where Grant Naylor decided to be mean to Lister. They gave him his happy ending in 'Better than Life' (I thought the section with all the characters stuck in the 'Better than life' game dragged on for too long) and then took it away again. Then they marooned him alone on a planet of trash and giant cockroaches until he was an old man and at the end they stuck him on the backwards world. Come on guys, give him a break! Red Dwarf is supposed to be a comedy!
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  • Benjamin Richards
    January 1, 1970
    The last third of this book made me feel an aching nostalgia for something lost. Red Dwarf is, admittedly, a very special show from childhood. This is the first book I've read on the theme and it takes the humour, panache, style of the television show and amplifies it with an adult-humour edge. The book itself is quite base level, a few made-up words and a few sentences which had me reaching for the dictionary, but, all in all most enjoyable.
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  • Adam Whitehead
    January 1, 1970
    Three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf, the last human alive, Dave Lister, wants nothing else other than to go home. Instead, he has become trapped in a virtual reality computer game, Better Than Life. In his fantasy he is a resident of Bedford Falls (the town from his favourite movie, It's a Wonderful Life), married to Kristine Kochanski with twin sons. The Cat has his own Gothic castle, where his every whim is attended to by Valkyrie warriors in skimpy underwear and h Three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf, the last human alive, Dave Lister, wants nothing else other than to go home. Instead, he has become trapped in a virtual reality computer game, Better Than Life. In his fantasy he is a resident of Bedford Falls (the town from his favourite movie, It's a Wonderful Life), married to Kristine Kochanski with twin sons. The Cat has his own Gothic castle, where his every whim is attended to by Valkyrie warriors in skimpy underwear and he amuses himself by going dog-hunting on his favourite fire-breathing yak. Service mechanoid Kryten has mountains of washing-up to get done. And Rimmer is a multi-billionaire, married to the most beautiful woman alive and using a time machine to get 'the lads' (General George S. Patton, Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte) together every now and then so he can beat them at Risk. Outside the game, the AI Holly embarks on a mission to return his IQ to its previous level of 6,000, but unfortunately relies on the advice of a sentient toaster, with catastrophic results.The problem with the game is that it is almost impossible to escape from, and, eventually it will kill you. However, Rimmer's psyche is so ridiculously self-loathing that he cannot stand to see himself or his friends happy, and it sets out to destroy them...Better Than Life, published in 1990 when the Red Dwarf TV show was on hiatus for a year, is the follow-up to Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and is the last novel written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor as a team. After this book they concentrated on the TV show for a few years until their writing partnership dissolved in the mid-1990s. They would return with solo Red Dwarf novels further down the line: Naylor's disappointing Last Human in 1995 and Grant's superior Backwards in 1996.Better Than Life itself is an improvement over the first novel in several areas. First of all, the already-strong characterisation is deeper and more interesting than before, getting into the psyches of these damaged people, laid bare by the game. The contrast between Lister's fantasy, in which he just wants an enjoyable job and a loving family in a happy community, and Rimmer's world of corporate jets, time machines, gorgeous supermodels and a ridiculously huge manhood, is hilariously emphasised, though the Cat is a bit one-note in the book. We have a new character in the shape of the Talkie Toaster ($£19.99 + tax), whom Holly rather unwisely activates to provide him with some companionship. Unfortunately, the Toaster is completely and totally obsessed with force-feeding everyone around him with toast. It's a great gag, but one in the TV series that was wisely used in only a few scenes and then dispensed with. He hangs around for longer in the novel and starts getting annoying but, realising this, the authors do some very funny things with his character to turn this into an asset, and his eventual fate is amusing.As with the first novel, the authors re-work the plot of several episodes but use them to form a longer narrative. So, as well as the Better Than Life episode itself (which is more of an inspiration than a direct contribution) we get the Polymorph showing up, an interaction with a realm where time runs backwards, Rimmer and Lister being marooned together and having to help each other survive, and a close interaction with a black hole (a white hole in the TV series). Unlike the first book, where the episodic nature of the plot was more obvious, here events are more successfully combined to create a more cohesive story that stands free from the TV series.Again, there are elements of pathos and tragedy that enter the story, particularly towards the end which is unexpectedly emotional (and then brilliantly subverted in the opening to Backwards, the chronologically-succeeding novel). But Lister learning the eventual fate of Earth and rising to become the leader of an entire community (kind of) is well-handled.Better Than Life (****½) is a stronger novel than its forebear, cleverer, funnier and more enjoyable than that already-strong book. It is available now in omnibus form with its predecessor in the UK and USA.
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  • Gabriella
    January 1, 1970
    The second book, starts in better than life and exactly where it left off maybe a few months or weeks later it is hard to tell but later on the story moves forwards. It is amazing to see how some of the facts in the book line up so closely with some of the episodes from the TV series. It made it a little slow going at times yet the similarities with minor differences made it easier to read. It was also interesting to get more background on some of the species that they encountered come from. The The second book, starts in better than life and exactly where it left off maybe a few months or weeks later it is hard to tell but later on the story moves forwards. It is amazing to see how some of the facts in the book line up so closely with some of the episodes from the TV series. It made it a little slow going at times yet the similarities with minor differences made it easier to read. It was also interesting to get more background on some of the species that they encountered come from. The character of Lister grows greater and you can see the entire crew becoming more substantial as their characters grow. Lister being the greatest of all of them for specific reasons. You see more into their subconscious as well as knowing that they are learning in their round about ways. Also meet the toaster that is obnoxious, proud and a show off in many a way. Another good book in the series bring on the next one.
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  • Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Second part of Red Dwarf series is even more wackier and funnier then first one. I did enjoy first part but it was overshadow of perfect TV series which use most of the scenes in the book (or more likely the book use most of the scenes from series). However this second part is original and it is brilliant. And the narrator ohhh Chris Barrie is doing such a good job. It is more like full-cast performance then simple narration.
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  • Billycongo
    January 1, 1970
    There isn't great continuity in the Red Dwarf books. The first book ends with them pretty much decided to leave 'Better than Life'. This book start off with it again, and takes the story to a very illogical conclusion. The talking toaster is a great character that had a brief life on the TV Show. It does a great job in this book.The problem for me was the whole Lister fighting for his life on the trash planet. It easy could have been removed.
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  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    This book and the other in the series are both great, must listens for every Red Dwarf fan. They are just as funny as the show, but also go more in-depth narratively, emotionally, and philosophically. Also Chris Barrie's Lister impression is better than Craig Charles, okay maybe not better, but almost indistinguishable. The same goes for his impersonations of Cat, Kryten, and Holly.
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  • Igor
    January 1, 1970
    The book started rather boring because the whole BTL thing went on for too long. Once the part with Garbage World started it felt like a completely new and much better book. All in all I would still recommend it to fans of the series and people that like absurd humour 😎
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  • Gary E
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a fan of the TV series this is a must read book.It is rather different that the TV show in the best way possible. More details, more laughs, more everything good.Like any good series the book just leaves me wanting more!
  • Giuliano
    January 1, 1970
    Not as enjoyable as the first book in the series, but still a solid 3-stars. Join Lister, Rimmer and the rest of the gang as they struggle to exit Better Than Life, a highly addictive psych game and then get themselves into a raft of adventures culminating in a pretty curious finale.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    The first third of this book almost made me quit - highly misogynistic language for the female characters in the beginning due to Rimmer's pov. But then the writing goes back to normal and wackiness continues.
  • Alex Jory
    January 1, 1970
    A solid read, with the characters we all know and love. If you do know the series well there are no real surprises, but the additional detail and immersion of the book makes it enjoyable none the less.
  • Nuno
    January 1, 1970
    Not as good as the first one, but still enjoyable. There are several "episodes" contained in this book, some better than others which makes it, in my opinion, uneven. Chris Barrie continues to do wonders voicing the characters. I think it's time to appreciate the TV series again!
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  • Jan-Niklas Bersenkowitsch
    January 1, 1970
    Naylor and Grant weave an intriguing tale about dreaming of a better life and getting older. Very dark, very meanspirited, but also very funny. The last fourty pages were weaker than what become before, but nonetheless a fun read.
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