Fiction. Science Fiction. Thriller. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER â?˘ â??Extremely funny . . . inspired lunacy . . . [and] over much too soon.â?ťâ??The Washington Post Book World SOON TO BE A HULU SERIES â?˘ Now celebrating the pivotal 42nd anniversary of The Hitchhikerâ??s Guide to the Galaxy! Nominated as one of Americaâ??s best-loved novels by PBSâ??s The Great American Read Itâ??s an ordinary Thursday morning for Arthur Dent . . . until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly after to make way for a new hyperspace express route, and Arthurâ??s best friend has just announced that heâ??s an alien. After that, things get much, much worse. With just a towel, a small yellow fish, and a book, Arthur has to navigate through a very hostile universe in the company of a gang of unreliable aliens. Luckily the fish is quite good at languages. And the book is The Hitchhikerâ??s Guide to the Galaxy . . . which helpfully has the words DONâ??T PANIC inscribed in large, friendly letters on its cover. Douglas Adamsâ??s mega-selling pop-culture classic sends logic into orbit, plays havoc with both time and physics, offers up pithy commentary on such things as ballpoint pens, potted plants, and digital watches . . . and, most important, reveals the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. Now, if you
Arthur Dent doesnâ€™t have a lot on his mind other than surviving his hangover when he wakes up one morning to find that his house is about to be bulldozed to make way for a bypass. His objections are met with sympathetic indifference by the crew chief until he lies down in the mud in front of the offending bulldozer. What he doesnâ€™t realize is that the earth itself has been slated for destruction by the evil Vogons as part of the development of a hyperspatial express route. Moments before the earth disintegrates, Arthur and his secretly alien friend Ford Prefect escape by hitching a ride on one of the Vogon ships, and their journey begins.
As Arthur and Ford and the improbable gang of galactic characters they join up with travel from system to system in search of the mythical planet Magrathea and the Question to the Ultimate Answer, they are guided by The Hitchhikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxy, an e-book that offers such insightful wisdom as â€śDonâ€™t panicâ€ť and contains articles on subjects such as the importance of towels as well as helpful information about various planets and species. Along the way, Adams hilariously lambasts everything from religion to art to politics to human nature.
The story, while mildly entertaining, is not what makes the book work. Rather, Adamâ€™s sardonic narration and ultra-dry humor are what make it worth reading. Virtually every page contains at least one description or parodic exposition that makes you want to either laugh out loud or groan.
Since the book doesnâ€™t have a message or even much of a plot, it might be hard for some to find a reason to read it. But those who enjoy British humor (think Monty Python) or want to see how the destruction of the earth can be so funny may well enjoy it. The good news is, if you really like it, there are four sequels, so you could potentially be laughing for a long time.
As it turns out, it doesn't much matter that his house is being destroyed because the whole planet is being demolished by Vogons (a type of Alien). Arthur is the only human rescued by his friend Ford Prefect, who is actually an alien from Betelgeuse. They travel in a ship known for its improbability drive - which means that every improbable event that you would never expect to happens, happens. One of the most entertaining and intriguing bits is finding out the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything - probably one of the most well known parts from this book.
At times it can be a little difficult to follow the journey of Arthur and has companions (Ford, Zaphod, Trillian, and Marvin), because each chapter jumps around to a different event. This is no doubt due to the fact that this series started as a radio play. Also, we meet a wide cast of characters but get very little character development - we don't really get to know these people, and as a result don't particularly care about them.
Though the books is mostly silly and humorous, it does leave you able to contemplate a few things about human existence as we know it.
It is still very funny and just has so many quotable passages in it. Yes, it has little in the way of character development - perhaps our Earthman, Arthur Dent, is slightly less bemused at the end of the book than at the
Such as: The destruction of the Earth in chapter 3; The Vogon Constructor Fleet hanging "in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't"; The planet to which all biros travel after you have mislaid them; Marvin the depressed robot whose first words are "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed".
His best friend, Ford Prefect, just happened to be an alien in disguise who just happened to know about the earthâ€™s destruction and just happened to hitch a ride for him and Authur on an alien ship. Then the real adventure began.
Honestly I would have never picked up this book if I hadnâ€™t seen the movie and for that matter, I wasnâ€™t at all impressed with the movie, in fact I didnâ€™t get through it until after I had read the book. But this book is really really funny. Adams has a dry wit and loves to make fun of just about everything. This book isnâ€™t something you should read in a public place or while you are drinking milk, because youâ€™re going to laugh out loud. Adams tends to rattle a bit but youâ€™re going to be quick to forgive. Anyone who likes sci fi or humorous books should pick this up.
The story follows Arthur Dent, who is quite annoyed because his house is going to be demolished to make way for an overpass. Of course that should be the least of his problems because Earth is going to be demolished to make way for an overpass. What follows is a parade of nonsense, surreal moments, funny stories and much wackiness.
To elaborate more on the awesomeness of the book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is extremely funny, described by the author as â€śa story with a long beginning and then an endingâ€ť, which is true, but causes no problem for the reader. You just want to keep on reading more and more. It is filled with so much nonsense, that it ends up making perfect sense. More than a story, it a Universe, one that is most fun to be in. Sometimes is not so much about the characters and their plight, but where they are and how they got there. That being said, I loved the characters, all of them.
If there is any down side to this book is that it feels terribly short (I want more! Now!), but that's is easily rectified as there are four more books in this trilogy (written by Douglas Adams, that is â€“ there is a sixth one by Eoin Colfer). I will be getting my hands on them as soon as I can.
Now, go read this book!
Also at Spoilers and Nuts
The characters have great personalities that are so amusing especially that of Arthur. One of my favorite quotes in the book is made by Zaphod Beeblebrox though, "If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now." And then there's Marvin, he has got to be the most depressed robot that ever existed, the poor fellow just can't see any light at the end of the tunnel but it's funny how his depressing mood saved them in the end. The concept that we are all part of an experiment is quite interesting too, who knows maybe we really are after all!
Put together, the great characters, their journey through space on the Heart of Gold and their adventures make for a witty and fun book. I am definitely going to read the rest of the books in the series.
This is the funniest book I have ever read. I have read it many times, and it never fails to make me laugh out loud. I love the narratorâ€™s way of connecting unconnected events in the storyline, and the many memorable descriptions (e.g. â€śthe ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks donâ€™tâ€ť)!
The Hitch-Hikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxy, in this book, is an actual book, that this book is written about. Douglas Adamsâ€™ book contains many helpful examples of entries from the true Guide, informing the unwary Arthur, and thereby the reader, about various alien races, planets, and beverages. As such, reading this story can be a little like dipping randomly into an encyclopaedia, but in the mean time a sort of plot does unfold.
The plot of the novel is complicated by the invention known as the Infinite Improbability Drive, which powers one of the spaceships Arthur and Ford eventually hitch a ride on. Although the mathematical explanation given in the story is a bit bewildering, this Drive essentially means that whenever the characters are stuck, something extremely improbable is likely to happen to them.
For example, the extraordinary coincidence of being picked up from the total vacuum of space just before running out of their one lungful of air is not sufficient; the improbability factor is such that both Ford and Arthur recognise the two people already on board the ship, despite the fact that the Earth has indeed been destroyed to make way for a new hyperspace bypass.
In addition to Ford and Arthur, the bookâ€™s other significant characters can be found on the Heart of Gold spaceship. There is Trillian, who Arthur once tried to hit on at a party; Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy and the guy who took Trillian away from Arthur at the party; Eddie, the shipâ€™s computer; and (my personal favourite) Marvin, a robot with the brain the size of the planet and a great deal of dejection and boredom to go with it.
This book, which is an adaptation of a radio series, was not intended for a young audience. All the characters in it are adult, and many are preoccupied with recreational alcohol. However, I feel that the zany humour throughout the narration is a sufficient recommendation for any mature reader. It is, like its namesake, â€śa wholly remarkable bookâ€ť.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in The Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy by Douglas Adams. Yes, you read that right: the series is a trilogy in five parts. This is the novel adaptation of the radio series of the same name. The book begins with a rather mundane
This was a group read on another forum and a reread for me. I last read it in 2010. I had definitely forgotten many of the details. The book has aged quite well. It has some very British humour, which I enjoyed immensely. The book is quite quotable:
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?"
The book also introduces several great concepts, some of which are still used in pop culture today: The answer to everything is 42; the Improbability Drive; Babel Fish; always know where your towel is; humans are only the third most intelligent beings on the planet.
It's a fun, irreverent scifi classic. One day I need to download and listen to the original radio broadcast.
It is all very clever, and such a part of popular culture that its catchphrases ("Don't Panic!", "42", "So long and thanks for all the fish") are familiar even to those who haven't read the book. I couldn't help but feel, however, that I am missing part of the joke. I am glad I read it, if only to be able to say I did.
The irreverent humour, the fun of it all. And to make this re-read even better I listening to it on audio read by the incomparable Stephen Fry he did a Fantastic job as narrator.
Normally these types of books are not my cup of tea but reading it, I was astound at how much laughter could come out of me. The characters were quirky and fun, saying the right things at the right
It is so absurd it's amazing. Props to being hit when you think !
The novel's twisted plot concerns the perpetually perplexed Londoner Arthur Dent, who is taken away from his one-man protest to keep his house from being demolished to make a freeway by yet another public works project: the Earth is being destroyed to make way for a galactic freeway. He and his extraterrestrial buddy Ford Prefect then proceed to, as expected, hitchhike the galaxy while seeking answers to also sorts of questions -- not the least of which is the Ultimate Question.
The book's plot is hardly a surprise to most people, and those who are familiar at all with the story will find the book a phenomenally easy read. It's almost the precise definition of light reading, a work whose pages fly by at breakneck speed, perfectly matching the twisted machinations of plot and Adams's trademark absurd observations. The edition I borrowed from a friend is the film tie-in, featuring a lengthy interview with the screenwriter, who frequently asks how the author came up with this stuff. The observation is totally accurate, and makes for a hell of an entertaining adventure.
I suppose my criticism is that, outside of its exceptionally radical creativity, the novel is fairly mundane. The story ends with a certain degree of suddenness, propelling the reader into the sequels, but as a stand-alone novel it's a bit lacking. In addition, much of the joy of one's first reading is to be surprised by the ridiculousness that ensues -- but though I only just read it for the first time, I'm a huge dork. And when one is as entrenched in dork culture as I am, HHG references drop often, rendering the craziest plot points little more than oh-THAT's-where-that-came-from! moments sprinkled throughout. It was like hearing the setup of a great joke but knowing the punchline's coming eventually.
While I suppose that criticism is my own fault, it's still surreal to see how influential this book has been on science fiction, comedy, and pop culture at large. If you are unfamiliar with it, you should read it as soon as possible to avoid the anticipointment I experienced. And if you have read it before, then I don't need to say anything more to get you to read it again.
This that book for. I honestly cannot see what the 5 star reviews saw that I didn't. I found the plot boring, the jokes unfunny and
I love science fiction/fantasy books, I also like comedy books.... maybe I struggle with the combination of the two? I just felt as if it was trying to be too clever and the humour just seemed a bit pointless and mostly passed me by:
â€śFor a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.â€ť
â€śSpace is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.â€ť
Anyway, I know I am in the minority and it is a very small majority, but this tale of Arthur Dent and his quest to find the legendary planet of Magrathea following the Earths destruction, just didn't do it for me.
Maybe 42 was the page I should have stopped reading at.
Utterly random, but very entertaining, and Mr Adams' imagination is staggering. I love Marvin the Paranoid Android (I think we share a life philosophy), and can't wait to read the rest of the series. Better late than never!