The Hitchhikers’s Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams Pages: 193 First published: 1979
The book: Arthur Dent wakes up on a Thursday morning to discover his house is about to be demolished to make way for a new road. Just when it looks like things could not get worse, Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway. Luckily, unbeknownst to Arthur, one of his friends, Ford Prefect, is in fact from another planet and is on Earth doing research for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Seconds before Earth is destroyed, Ford escapes by hitching a ride on a spaceship. He takes Arthur with him, and so their journey through the galaxy begins.
You might like it because: It’s witty, ironic and often laugh-out-loud funny. The story is filled with strange characters, like the two-headed, three-armed, ex-hippie, president of the galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Marvin, a paranoid, depressed android.
What did other people say?
“[A] whimsical odyssey…Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy.” – Publishers Weekly
“Extremely funny….inspired lunacy…[and] over much too soon.” – The Washington Post Book World
Awards & Recognition:
New York Times Best Seller
How quickly will you get into the book? The two-page prologue is interesting and then at the very beginning of chapter 1 we learn Arthur’s house is about to be knocked down. From that point on I was engaged in the story.
You might not like it because: If irony and sarcasm are not your thing, then this book won’t impress you. If you have no desire to learn how to mix your own Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster or meet Slartibartfast, then warp elsewhere for your sci-fi.
What might you read next?
Read about another android, one that’s not paranoid, in To Dream – Anatomy of a Humachine by Louis K. Lowy.
Or read about an earth-bound hitchhiker in Carsick, John Water’s account of his hitchhikes across America.
Alternatively, pick up a copy of A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin. It is the true story of the Apollo space program.