Author: Douglas Adams
Publisher/Publication Date: Del Rey Books, April 30, 2002 (First published in 1979)
Genre: Science Fiction
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback Omnibus Edition
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
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...
Before I get on with this review, I just have a quick clarification to make. I have the omnibus edition but I plan on reviewing the books separately. So, for today, I’m going to stick with my thoughts for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
And now, I’ll be moving on.
With this one, I ran into a small dilemma. When I first decided I wanted to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—and this was after staying up late one night, when the movie was on—I discovered that I didn’t actually have the first book in the series. I had the sixth, And Another Thing by Eion Colfer. Fast forward a week or so, and I’ve gotten my copy of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I read the first book.
Did I like it?
The story follows Arthur Dent, who is the unfortunate recipient of a decidedly bad day. His house is about to be demolished to make way for a bypass. And on top of that, the earth is about to be demolished to make room for a galactic highway that could have really gone around it—but then, there wouldn’t be a story.
I could describe Arthur as a character who had previously lived under very ordinary circumstances. However, his problems began to add up all at once. It was interesting to see his reactions to everything that happened around him. The other characters were interesting too—Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, and even Marvin—there interactions were highly entertaining, and a joy to read. The Guide itself offered up interesting facts about the universe as the book presents it.
The settings were very interesting—from Vogon ships to strange planets and an even stranger ship called the Heart of Gold with its Improbability Drive.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a very entertaining read that was sometimes serious and sometimes a little silly with the much needed humor of outrageous situations.