The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Published: October 12, 1979
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
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 The Hitch Hiker’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 their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker’s Guide “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have” and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: 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 ball-point pens he has bought over the years.
Easily one of the greatest books ever written. I’ll admit that not everyone will like this book. The plotline is thin and definitely more character driven. But even then, the writing is dry and technical and random. Being a sci-fi fan is the absolute minimum of being able to appreciate this book. The characters are random and hilarious and, in many cases, confusing and shallow. Arthur Dent is the one that I identified with. The lone human in this amalgam aliens, creatures, planets, probabilities, drink recipes, space ships, robots, and sea creatures; he’s the grounding influence.
It’s so hard to describe this book to those who haven’t read it; it’s hard enough to describe to those who have! I think the most accurate comparison I can make (super random, I know, but stay with me) is to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Definitely one of the greatest films ever made, but don’t ask me to explain why, because I can’t. I put Hitchhiker’s Guide ahead of Rocky Horror because I actually got it while I was reading it. Rocky Horror Picture Show is more of a hindsight enjoyment. Even though not everyone will enjoy it, I still encourage everyone to read it! Those who will love it, will love it with all their hearts and be so thankful that someone suggested they read it. Hitchhiker’s Guide is one of my new all time favorite books!