The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

- Douglas Adams

Goodreads Book Blurb:

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.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

Series / Genres:

My Review:

enjoyable/easy to read:

“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”
“Why, what did she tell you?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”

I remember listening to this audiobook several years ago and it didn’t quite sink in. I have a hard time truly absorbing audiobooks and the fantastical nature of this narrative definitely didn’t help. Due to this first, albeit unsuccessful, attempt, I was very aware of what I was getting into here. I knew that it would be nonsensical and a little crazy and that if I took it too seriously, I probably wouldn’t enjoy myself. I think that has made all the difference here.

There isn’t much that can be said about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that hasn’t been said before. Published in 1979, it has over 1.5 million ratings and 30k reviews on Goodreads at this point in time, all skewed incredibly positive. I think it says a lot that this 180-page humorous science fiction is so embedded in our society and popular culture that you would be hard-pressed to find someone that is unaware of its existence. Sarcastic, illogical, and downright zany, it is an excellent start to a truly unique series. If it was any longer I think the narrative would start to wear on me but it seems the perfect length to just relax and ride along on this absurd adventure.

“Look,” said Arthur, “would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

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