Idgiepug’s #CBR4 Review #32: The Road to Mars by Eric Idle
My love for Monty Python is pretty boundless, so it’s nearly as hard for me to be objective about Eric Idle’s The Road to Mars as it was for me to look at Simon Pegg’s book objectively. It’s clearly not great literature, but I went into knowing that and enjoyed it for what it was.
The novel is narrated by a greedy professor who has stumbled upon a manuscript about comedy written by the robot servant of two comedians, Muscroft and Ashby. Carlton posits that Muscroft and Ashby fit the classic model of comedy duos in which one man, the “white face,” plays the long-suffering straight man, while the “red nose” plays the fool. Carlton describes his adventures with Muscroft and Ashby as they travel the universe and eventually land a gig on a mega-spaceship. Things go predictably screwball, and along the way, Idle manages to get a few digs in a John Cleese. It makes me a bit sad to know that all the Pythons aren’t living happily together somewhere dressing up as women and making dirty jokes, but the novel comes across as light-hearted and mostly funny.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this novel to everyone, but it’s a good little read for those of us who still miss Monty Python.