The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxySo this is the first time I've ever read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - a classic sci-fi book if ever there was one. Apparently it started off as a radio comedy broadcast on BBC before being adapted into plays, novels, comics, a television series, a video game and a film. Colour me surprised - I had no clue! In any case, this came highly recommended a few years back by one of my few real life bookish friends and so it's been on my tbr shelf since then. I felt like as a sci-fi fan, this was one book I needed to read...and it turns out, I was right. Man, I had a blast with this book!
by Douglas Adams
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1
Published October 12th 1979 by Pan Books
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.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is like no other book I've read before. The overall plot is creative, silly and even absurd at times but I wouldn't call it a plot-heavy book. Likewise, the characters are funny and likeable, while being simultaneously wholly unique and familiar....but I would call this a character-driven story. And despite being a character and plot-driven reader, I loved this. Why? Because this book is an experience. The humor, the tone, the adventure strike a balance with the plot and characters that just works. This book made me think and it made me laugh. It immediately lightened my mood no matter what state I was in. I'd burst out laughing at the strangest things all of a sudden and instantly, I felt relaxed and content. It's the strangest experience I've had with a book but honestly? It was kind of perfect.
It didn't hurt that I listened to this on audio. Why? Because this was narrated by Stephen Fry, the guy who narrated the British editions of Harry Potter. Also know as my favorite of life!! He was as perfect in either stories which says a lot about his narrative style if you ask me. He perfectly captured the irreverent humor, the sense of wonderment, as well as the human and alien characters here. Slartibartfast almost had a Dumbledore-ish quality to him, which didn't hurt in the least!
Now I know I haven't said much about what actually happens here but I think that this is one of those books that needs to be experienced and not described. I didn't know any more than what's described in the blurb going in, other than my friend telling me: READ THIS. So I'm paying it forward: if the blurb sounds like something you'd enjoy and like me, you're still in the dark: READ THIS.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is witty, humorous adventurous and compelling. Yes, it's all of those things and it does them perfectly. I know it won't be long before I continue the rest of the series :D
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars