Title: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Humor, Science Fiction, Fiction, Adventure
Publisher: Del Ray Publishing
Published: September 27, 1995
Page Amount: 21 pages
Blurb From Goodreads: Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Why Read: This is one of those books that, as an avid reader, you claim to have read far before you’ve actually done it. I will openly admit that I have said I’ve read this…. a lot. Have I seen the movie? (Nope) This past vacation, it felt like time. The book is only 216 pages, which I was completely unaware of, and at least according to every die-hard science fiction fan, it was a riot of a book. Speaking 24 hours after the read-through… I will agree that it is quite probably one of the better humor-based science fiction books I’ve gotten to read.
Review: There is an undeniable hilarity when it comes to aliens blowing up the earth and my first reaction was snorting out of irony. No sadness and certainly no horrific feelings of gut-wrenching sadness. That’s how the book opens. Picture British dry humor paired with space opera and you’ve got the Hitchhikers Guide. The characters are ridiculous, and paired against each other – they only get better. The main earthling, Arthur Dent, is funny enough as he must screw his head on straight after getting tossed into hitchhiker status. But add in a girl he tried to pick up at a cocktail party, who has stolen the newest in space travel technology along with the President of the Universe. Who is that and how it is related to Arthur’s Hitchhiker Extraordinaire Leader, Ford Prefect? You’ll just have to read to find out.
Part of why this book was so appealing to me was the pace. There were no moments of pause, where I felt like the characters or the author were disinterested. Each new page brought a twist and turn where I couldn’t help but laugh. No spoilers, but perhaps three-quarters of the way through of the book, the earth’s purpose was suddenly made quite clear: and it’s not at all what you think. The famous answer to all things in the universe: 42 is fantastic to know in context… but ask the second smartest computer in the world, and he’ll tell you, there’s something missing from one part of that equation.
Adams created characters that made me laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. That space is suddenly set as a stage for any number of new aliens, creatures and a manic depressive robot seems just as reasonable as the normal cup of tea taken with with full fat milk no sugar on the side, please.
In case you hadn’t noticed, British humor is more than abundant and it’s catching. If anything, this book has reminded me how deliciously funny space opera books have a tendency to be. Where’s the fun in reading if you can’t have something this hilarious come along and spice up your reading life. Conclusion? Please read this book. If you’re a science fiction fan, read it. If you hate all things space, read it. If you are a human with one brain cell, R.E.A.D. I.T.
That is all.
Rating: 5/5 Stars