The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  • Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Author: Douglas Adams
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books, 2005
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 0345391802

This was a much shorter book than I anticipated! My copy of the book had about 90 pages of “about the making of the movie” info, which I didn’t read cause I haven’t seen the movie yet.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for YEARS – 7, at least. Ever since I worked at Waldenbooks and saw how popular it was. I started to read it once, but ended up putting it down and reading something else instead. But since John Gribbin made mention of THGTTG at least twice in his book In Search of the Multiverse, it renewed my interest and I finally got around to reading it. Yay!

This book is… goofy. But fun and interesting and I want to read the second book, so it was good. Basically Arthur is a human that is rescued by his friend Ford, who it turns out is from another planet and is a field researcher traveling theย galaxy to update The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. They leave Earth minutes before it’s vaporized, and from there they go on a weird journey of sorts. They meet up with Zaphod Beeblebrox (the President of the Galaxy), Marvin (a severely depressed robot), Trillian (another Earthling who hooked up with Zaphod a while back) and funniness ensues.

This book is very obviously a small part of a much longer story – this is just the beginning of the travelers’ odd little trip through the galaxy. So, it’s not a huge plot or anything and in only 200 pages, it’s not like you really get to know the characters too well. But I’m still really looking forward to reading the next book and seeing what happens to them next. I like when fondness for characters kind of creeps up on me like that, without me really expecting it.

There’s a lot of randomness in this book – if you try to memorize all the different names of species and planets and other stuff, you’ll just get confused and frustrated. Just keep reading, and you’ll find that you’re able to remember the stuff that matters, and even some of the stuff that doesn’t.

I am a little bummed, however, that I did not learn exactly WHY a towel is the most important tool for a galactic traveler to have. Also, the green smily face guy on some of the covers apparently doesn’t really mean anything and isn’t actually in the booksย – it was just a cover design that really caught on as a symbol for the series.

So, this was a fun and silly sci-fi read, with oddly endearing characters. I’m looking forward to the other four books in this “trilogy”.

Sarah Says: 4 stars

~Sarah

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14 comments

  1. I always love reading Douglas Adams reviews, as they remind me of the first time I read him–it was for a high school assignment, and back in the 1990s, it was more than a little unusual for a teacher to assign Adams as required reading!

    I seem to remember there was a small paragraph or two about the important of the towel: for use as a blanket when cold, for use as a sunscreen when warm, and of particular use when traveling through dry, dusty, deserty planets because you can use it as a sand screen over your mouth and nose.

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    1. Don’t forget that it’s an effective weapon against the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal that is so mindbogglingly stupid that it thinks if you can’t see it, it can’t see you!

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      1. HAHA! I must have been expecting some epic explanation of the importance of a towel, cause my brain just glazed over all of the reasons. Tsk tsk on me.

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it! It was so crazy, you laugh yourself silly. I recommend the movie–lots of fun. I have the same edition of the book and I found the “bonus material” a bit much (only for die-hard fans). FYI, a towel is multi-purpose as you can use it for drying off, covering your head, making a tent, sleeping, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I’ve seen the movie, and I liked it, so I’ve been meaning to read the series, too, but I haven’t got around it yet. I will pick it up eventually, I hope, as it seems an entertaining read.

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  4. This is my favourite book ever and I’m always glad when someone tells me they’re reading it! Even the fact that its part of a “trilogy of 5” relates to my sense of humour. I’m hoping that Douglas Adam’s influence has rubbed off on me in my writing – if you’re interested I’m posting my book “In That Other Dimension” as I write it on my blog. Just one warning if you’re thinking of watching the film – some people loved it but I was disappointed, the characters just weren’t as I had imagined them! You’re very well read, well done ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks Matt! I did see pics from the movie version online, and I’m a little disappointed with how Zaphod and Marvin look in the movie. Couldn’t CGI do any better? Oh well, still want to see it, just cause ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m about the start the second book in the “trilogy” today!

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      1. cool! enjoy! restaurant is very good too! well, they all are in my eyes ๐Ÿ™‚ it was those two i was disappointed with, zaphod especially. still, I’ve seen far worse films i have to admit so give it a go! just been to waterstones, bought bram stokers dracula (why have i never read that?) and “the good fairies of new york” which from the back cover sounds like my perfect book! just gotta finish the two i’m currently reading first!

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  5. I adore this book, it’s one of my all-time favourites. My boyfriend’s reading it at the minute, and it’s a massive struggle not to sneak it away when he’s not looking and start reading it ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve only read the other books in the series once, and I remember thinking they were nowhere near as good.

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  6. This kind of reminds me of how I felt about The Eyre Affair. I noticed that once I stopped trying to remember every little detail and just READ, I was able to enjoy the story much more. I’m glad to hear that this is a good one, though. It’s been on my TBR for a while.

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