The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Let me preface this review by explaining a few things. The Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy (though there are five books - go figure) is one of the hubby's all time favorites. He doesn't read much fiction but will reread this series every few months and even went as Arthur Dent for Halloween a few years ago. I've never read them *gasp* but I've seen the movie - which I liked but always end up falling asleep during the last bit. He's always saying I should read them, and last week, he finally got his way. Last week being our 30 hour cross-country drive from Ohio to Utah where he persuaded me to listen to the audio book. I've decided the audio version is the only way to read this series. If you've seen the movie, the narrator also reads the books in a wonderful British accent.

Here's the plot in a nutshell: Arthur Dent, human, thinks he has encountered the worst day of his life: his house is about to be destroyed to make way for a bypass. What he doesn't realize is that 1. his best friend, Ford Prefect, is actually an alien masquerading as an out of work actor and 2. Earth is about to be destroyed by a Vogon ship trying to clear a path for an intergalactic expressway. Ironic isn't it? Ford however knows of the impending destruction and helps Arthur 'hitch' a ride on this Vogon ship. What follows are their adventures encountering intergalactic presidents who steal expensive spaceships, depressed robots, and centuries old world-builders all in search of the ultimate answer (or question) to Life, the Universe and Everything.

Douglas Adam is witty in that unfailingly deadpan British way. He is also one of the most unusually creative writers I've ever come across. Not only are his characters unusual and competely real (even if they are robots) but some of the cosmic situations he describes are down right hilarious. Occasionally, he would begin to wax poetic about some scientific topic or other and I'd sort of zone out until I caught the hubby chuckling and then demand we rewind it until I got the joke too. Over all, it was decidedly different and inventive - I just might start celebrating towel day myself...

series reading order:
~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
~ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
~ Life, the Universe and Everything
~ So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
~ Mostly Harmless

And just for kicks, here's a picture of the hubby as the ever-confused Arthur Dent with his trusty towel - love you babe!


Amber said...

Hooray! I'm so glad you read this book. Isn't it fantastic? Hey, maybe we should make it a yearly tradition to all read it at the same time or something.

Michelle said...

That would be truly fantastic Amber. I also think we could have a fancy dress party - Prehaps I'll go as Livingston, I presume.