Wednesday, May 1, 2013

REVIEW: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

Paperback, 815 pages for the complete book (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy only is 143 pages)
Published April 30th 2002 by Del Rey/Ballantine Books (first published 1992)
ISBN  0345453743 (ISBN13: 9780345453747)

About the Author
from Goodreads

Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was completed after Adams' death. The series has also been adapted for live theatre using various scripts; the earliest such productions used material newly written by Adams. He was known to some fans as Bop Ad (after his illegible signature), or by his initials "DNA".

In addition to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams wrote or co-wrote three stories of the science fiction television series Doctor Who and served as Script Editor during the seventeenth season. His other written works include the Dirk Gently novels, and he co-wrote two Liff books and Last Chance to See, itself based on a radio series. Adams also originated the idea for the computer game Starship Titanic, which was produced by a company that Adams co-founded, and adapted into a novel by Terry Jones. A posthumous collection of essays and other material, including an incomplete novel, was published as The Salmon of Doubt in 2002.

His fans and friends also knew Adams as an environmental activist and a lover of fast cars, cameras, the Macintosh computer, and other "techno gizmos".

Toward the end of his life he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment.

Check out the author's blog

My Thoughts
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

This book takes know... in space...
By NASA, ESA, and R. Humphreys (University of Minnesota) (HubbleSite) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A human unwittingly winds up a galactic hitchhiker, and of course meeting lots of aliens along the way. An absolutely crazy story, at times babbling gibberish and at other times you feel as if you almost have genius within your grasp, but are frantically grabbing air as you try to catch yourself. It's okay. Just go with it.

There were lots of little passages that made me chuckle, or perhaps just cock my head in wonder...
Time blossomed and shrank away. The highest prime number coalesced quietly in a corner and hid itself away forever. (page 56)
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now. (page 91)
...they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying. (page 100)

And this book introduced me to what may become my favorite book passage of all times...
Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled My Favorite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leaped straight up through his neck and throttled his brain. (page 45)
My final word: This book sort of makes me think of Saturday Night Live. I heard that Jeremy Renner called Jon Hamm for advice on appearing on the show. Jon Hamm suggested that Renner simply let loose and go with it. You can't take yourself too seriously or be self-conscious, or it just won't work and will come off awkward and uncomfortable. Just give into the childishness. This book is like that. An utterly ridiculous and preposterous story with moments of childish brilliance. A fun ride, and I look forward to the rest of the collection.

Buy Now:

Barnes and Noble

Cover: A
Writing Style: A
Characters: A
Storyline/Plot: B+
Interest/Uniqueness: A+

My Rating (for the first book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy):


The book I am reading is The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is the entire Hitchhiker collection, but I am reviewing it book by book.

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