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Book Review: ‘Backwards,’ by Rob Grant

Review of ‘Backwards’

By Rob Grant

Verdict: 4/5

Great for all ‘red Dwarf’ fans

Backwards is a book set in the ‘Red Dwarf’ universe and written by Rob Grant who, along with Doug Naylor, wrote the TV show. Maybe this helps, as he knows the characters and universe so well.

The story begins with the crew of the ‘Red Dwarf’ on a planet that runs backwards. They have to rescue Lister before he goes back so far in time, he becomes and embryo then a lot worse. From there, they fight against the psychopathic robots, the Agonoids. There is also an appearance from one of my favourite smeg heads, Ace Rimmer, much to Arnold Rimmer’s annoyance.

The original characters are neatly captured, with my mind imagining the show’s actors and voices. There are parts of several TV episodes mixed into the writing, and the same humour is very much present. When a world runs backwards, it leaves so many fun possibilities, and among the many fun scenarios mentioned in the book, sex is so much less fulfilling when it ends with the foreplay. Being a book, the author can get away with more than he could on TV, but the gross-out factor is only the worse for it, with everything being in the reader’s mind. Although this is the third in the series of ‘Red Dwarf’, reading the others is not essential as it is easy enough to follow the plot.

Sadly Cat did not have a large enough role, although what he did have was fantastic, I would say more, but I don’t want to spoil it for readers. The crew leave the backwards planet in good time, and the pace does slow and the humour fades, but even that cannot dampen this hilarious book.