The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Published October 12, 1979 by Pan Books
Format: audio book; 5 hours 51 minutes (224 pages)
Also By This Author: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
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My Rating: 4/5
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.
I listened to an audiobook version of this beloved novel back in May when I took a road trip to Florida, and it definitely helped to pass the time! The version I listened to was narrated by Douglas Adams himself, which was quite a treat. Although I had never read this book before, I had seen the movie version starring Martin Freeman, but to be honest, I forgot most of what happens after the Earth is destroyed!
I haven’t read very many comedies, or science fiction novels for that matter, but I did enjoy the humor in this one. The tone took a little time to get used to, and some of the characters and situations were hard to keep my interest at times (although, to be fair, that could also have been because I was listening instead of reading for myself), but overall this novel was definitely enjoyable and very funny.
My favorite part of the story was probably the whole idea that there were multiple alien civilizations existing in the galaxy that Planet Earth was oblivious to. And the “legendary planet” Magrathea was pretty neat, too (you’ll have to read the book to find out why it’s so awesome).
Read This Book If:
…you like to laugh out loud.
…you have a vast imagination.
…you’re into science fiction.
…you get witty, sarcastic British humor.
If you need a short book to entertain you, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is sure to do the trick. Just make sure you pay attention or you’ll end up seriously lost (I had to rewind the audiobook a couple of times while I was driving to figure out what was going on). And if you’re into comparing book-to-film adaptations, you can always treat yourself to this gem afterwards: