Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

By: Douglas Adams
Genre: Sci-Fi/Humorous
First Published: 1995
Publisher: Del Ray
POV: Third Person - Multiple Narrators
Kat's Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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 Hitchhiker'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 a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: 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 ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Main Character: Arthur Dent is an average Englishman who is saved right before the destruction of Earth. So he is one of the two last existing humans in the whole galaxy. He's a little bumbling, a lot confused, and he has that persistent blustering disbelief that only an Englishman can have and while still just avoiding the label of "super annoying."

Love Connection: Trillian (Tricia McMillan) the second of the two last existing humans in the whole galaxy. She's a little hippie-dippie, but she does love adventure, so I can respect that. Also, she did give Arthur a chance when he met her at that Earth party, he just kind of dropped the ball there.

Allies and Enemies:  Ford Prefect - Arthur's best friend who turns out to be not-so-human. He works for The Hitchhiker's guide and he's on Earth doing some research. 

President Zaphod Beeblebrox - a two-headed, forgetful hippie with half his brain and a lot of self-importance. In other words, every guy in mid-town manhattan (zing!)

Marvin - a paranoid depressed robot who is supposed to be kind of the R2D2 of the ship, but just mostly mopes around.

Towel - a Hitchhiker's best friend in space.

Setting: Space-ace-ace-ace!

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.
Review: Fact: This book is hilarious.

Fact: If you didn't like this book, then you don't like laughter, space, and you're not my friend.
(You know what, that wasn't cool. I'm sorry. I just got a little passionate and I took it out on you. No hard feelings right?)

I imagine Douglas Adams thought to himself, "what's all the weirdest stuff I've had random thoughts and dreams about? Now I'm going to put it all in a book."

The book is full of funny satirical observations on life. It's also filled with hilarious strange characters that are not so different from humans if you think about it.

I realized on a recent re-reading that this humor is probably pretty British, it's very tongue-in-cheek and dry. It reads very easily and I finished the book in less than two days when I first read it. Douglas Adams is pretty spot on with a lot of the delivery in this book and I would recommend it to readers of any age. Even if you don't like Sci-Fi you should really give this book a try.

Recommendations: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman

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