The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)
Seconds before 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 began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed, ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) Details

TitleThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 23rd, 1997
PublisherDel Rey
ISBN0345418913
ISBN-139780345418913
Number of pages193 pages
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Humor, Fantasy, Classics

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) Review

  • J.G. Keely
    May 28, 2009
    The universe is a joke. Even before I was shown the meaning of life in a dream at 17 (then promptly forgot it because I thought I smelled pancakes), I knew this to be true--and yet, I have always felt a need to search for the truth, that nebulous, ill-treated creature. Adams has always been, to me, to be a welcome companion in that journey. Between the search for meaning and the recognition that it's all a joke in poor taste lies Douglas Adams, and, luckily for us, he doesn't seem to mind if you The universe is a joke. Even before I was shown the meaning of life in a dream at 17 (then promptly forgot it because I thought I smelled pancakes), I knew this to be true--and yet, I have always felt a need to search for the truth, that nebulous, ill-treated creature. Adams has always been, to me, to be a welcome companion in that journey. Between the search for meaning and the recognition that it's all a joke in poor taste lies Douglas Adams, and, luckily for us, he doesn't seem to mind if you lie there with him. He's a tall guy, but he'll make room.For all his crazed unpredictability, Adams is a powerful rationalist. His humor comes from his attempts to really think through all the things we take for granted. It turns out it takes little more than a moment's questioning to burst our preconceptions at the seams, yet rarely does this stop us from treating the most ludicrous things as if they were perfectly reasonable.It is no surprise that famed atheist Richard Dawkins found a friend and ally in Adams. What is surprising is that people often fail to see the rather consistent and reasonable philosophy laid out by Adams' quips and absurdities. His approach is much more personable (and less embittered) than Dawkins', which is why I think of Adams as a better face for rational materialism (which is a polite was of saying 'atheism').Reading his books, it's not hard to see that Dawkins is tired of arguing with uninformed idiots who can't even recognize when a point has actually been made. Adams' humanism, however, stretched much further than the contention between those who believe, and those who don't.We see it from his protagonists, who are not elitist intellectuals--they're not even especially bright--but damn it, they're trying. By showing a universe that makes no sense and having his characters constantly question it, Adams is subtly hinting that this is the natural human state, and the fact that we laugh and sympathize shows that it must be true.It's all a joke, it's all ridiculous. The absurdists might find this depressing, but they're just a bunch of narcissists, anyhow. Demanding the world make sense and give you purpose is rather self centered when it already contains toasted paninis, attractive people in bathing suits, and Euler's Identity. I say let's sit down at the bar with the rabbi, the priest, and the frog and try to get a song going. Or at least recognize that it's okay to laugh at ourselves now and again. It's not the end of the world.It's just is a joke, but some of us are in on it.
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  • Jon
    June 29, 2007
    In my experience, readers either love Adams' books or quickly put them down. I, for example, quite literally worship the words Adams puts on the page, and have read the Hitchhiker's Trilogy so many times that I have large tracts of it memorized. But both my wife and father couldn't get past book one: the former because she found it too silly, and the latter because he found the writing to be more about "the author's personality" than plot and character. Whatever.The first three books in the Hitc In my experience, readers either love Adams' books or quickly put them down. I, for example, quite literally worship the words Adams puts on the page, and have read the Hitchhiker's Trilogy so many times that I have large tracts of it memorized. But both my wife and father couldn't get past book one: the former because she found it too silly, and the latter because he found the writing to be more about "the author's personality" than plot and character. Whatever.The first three books in the Hitchhiker's Trilogy--The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and Life, the Universe and Everything--are inspired lunacy. The ideas, plots, puns, jokes, and phrases that fill their pages have influenced an entire generation of not only writers, but people from all fields. For instance: the Babel Fish software that translates foreign websites for you is named after a species of fish that Adams created in book one; you can find dozens of recipes online for Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters; the chess computer Deep Thought that lost two matches to Gary Kasparov in 1989 was named after a computer in book one; and seriously, who hasn't heard that the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42? (For more of these, consult wikipedia.org's entry on "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Cultural References".) Chances are, if you're reading these books for the first time, you'll be surprised to see how many everyday things were named after Adams' creations.The books aren't, of course, without their problems. Adams himself admitted that the Trilogy had, and I paraphrase, a long beginning, a long conclusion, and not much in the middle (though I can't remember where I read that). He was also regularly accused of writing for the sake of cranking out one-liners. The books as a whole jump about like a manic puppy on methamphetamines, and there are at least a few jokes in there that will completely fly over the heads of any readers who lack a basic comprehension of quantum physics. Despite this, the Hitchhiker's Trilogy remains as the single most entertaining and enjoyable series of books I've ever read--a position they've occupied for some fifteen years. Adams' wit and wisdom still baffle me in their greatness, and he remains to this day one of only two authors who can regularly, consistently make me howl with laughter (the other being Terry Pratchett). Readers beware: if the Adams bug infects you, you will have it for life. And you'll never be sorry you let it bite.
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  • Stephen
    August 10, 2008
    What does Kim Jong-Il, a thong-wearing mechanic and this missing link furry fellow have to do with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? ...you owe it to yourself and your family to find out. With the plethora of wonderful reviews already written for this book by my fellow GRs, I decided instead to provide some helpful, practical advice on why reading this book might benefit my fellow goodreaders. Therefore, as both life management tool and a safety warning, I have compiled my: Top 5 Reasons Why What does Kim Jong-Il, a thong-wearing mechanic and this missing link furry fellow have to do with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? ...you owe it to yourself and your family to find out. With the plethora of wonderful reviews already written for this book by my fellow GRs, I decided instead to provide some helpful, practical advice on why reading this book might benefit my fellow goodreaders. Therefore, as both life management tool and a safety warning, I have compiled my: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:.. Number 5 : It’s a pleasant diversion to keep your mind occupied and pass the time while you are getting electrolysis to remove those areas patches blankets of unwanted hair: …Yikes, somebody please get that man a Klondike Bar. Number 4 : The book is smart, funny, well-written and full of wonderful commentary on the human condition and clever humor: …The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't. … ‘You know,’ said Arthur, ‘it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.’ ‘Why, what did she tell you?’ ‘I don't know, I didn't listen.’… Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mindboggingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this: `I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’ ‘But,’ says Man, ‘The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.’ ‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic. …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 … ‘Ah,’ said Arthur, ‘this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.’ Number 3: This gentleman DOES NOT appear in the book: Seriously, isn’t the absence of thong-boy reason enough to give this book a chance?Number 2: North Korea's Kim Jong- il hates this book ...and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And finally….Number 1: Understanding the deep, nuanced meaning at the heart of this novel will help better prepare you should you ever find yourself in a situation like this: Don’t wait until it’s too late…for yourself and your loved ones, read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy today. If through sharing the above bit of meaningless nonsense wisdom, I have: (i) introduced someone to a worthwhile read, or (ii)provided a means of dealing with the agonizing pain of having chunks of fur ripped from their body, or (iii) shown people a picture of a man in a thong changing a tire, or (iv) pissed off a despotic assclown, or (v) simply provided a safety tip regarding avoiding unsolicited sexual advances in the guise of impromptu gift-giving, than I feel I have accomplished something. I only did this because I had a collection of funny pics and couldn’t figure out what else to do with them so I bootstrapped them in to a review I care.3.5 stars.
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  • Tom
    January 15, 2008
    Another classic. If you don't like this series, you probably put your babel fish in the wrong hole. You are the reason that human beings are only the third most intelligent species on earth behind mice and dolphins. So long, and thanks for all the fish!
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  • Alejandro
    November 21, 2013
    Please, before anything... DON'T PANIC.This review is harmless, well mostly harmless.I think that one of the things that one has to keep in mind while reading this book is that it was written in 1979. Having this important factor in perspective, it's quite astonishing the vision of Douglas Adams, the author, presenting a lot of visionary elements, starting with the very "book inside the book", I mean The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, since it's presented as an electronic book. which now it's Please, before anything... DON'T PANIC.This review is harmless, well mostly harmless.I think that one of the things that one has to keep in mind while reading this book is that it was written in 1979. Having this important factor in perspective, it's quite astonishing the vision of Douglas Adams, the author, presenting a lot of visionary elements, starting with the very "book inside the book", I mean The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, since it's presented as an electronic book. which now it's a very common way to read a lot of books now. Also, he mentioned stuff like "touch-sensitive screens" that yet again, it's now something introduced in our daily lives. Science-Fiction, the good science fiction is defined by being visionary in the moment to be published and a fact, years later. Just like Verne's work predicting events like space rockets and nuclear submarines. The President of the Universe holds no real power. His sole purpose is to take attention away from where the power truly exists... Obviously, beside the mesmering tecnology stuff that he predicted, the signature style here is his remarkable sense of humor, SMART sense of humor. In literature and pop culture in general, there were been unforgettable examples of computers like the cold HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and the noble K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, also robots like the loyal R2-D2 from Star Wars and the logical robots from I, Robot short story collection. However, nothing of that can prepare you to the experience of meeting "Eddie", the Main Computer of the Heart of Gold spaceship or Marvin, the Paranoid Android. This is one of the best traits of Douglas Adams' wit in the development of artificial intelligence. I wasn't surprised since some months ago, I read Shada by Gareth Roberts but based on the Doctor Who's unaired script written by Douglas Adams where you find another priceless example of a computer with a personality that only Adams is able to develop. You laugh and laugh with them BUT not only because they's funny but also they are truly logical as artifical intelligences in their way to react to situations. Adams' impact of how presenting artificial intelligence can be found too in another novel of Doctor Who, Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris, where the author showed how well he learned Adams' lessons. Resistance is useless! I believe that Douglas Adams' involvement in the production of the iconic British sci-fi TV series Doctor Who as script editor and writer of three stories, it was fated since I found remarkable similarities on the premises of both works, this novel and the TV series. Both has a peculiar fellow who stole certain machine and along with companions is travelling around. So, it wouldn't a surprise that he got some inspiration since Doctor Who was widely known since 1963 specially on its native country, England. Of course, his participation on another British TV institution like Monty Python's Flying Circus was a relevant point for Adams to explode his humoristic potential. To boldly split infinitives that no man had split before... It's possible that people unfamiliar with Adams' work could think that since this is a novel with comedy, they could think that it can't be a "serious" science-fiction book. However, the brilliance of this novel is its capacity of offering smart humor while using scientific concepts like the theory of faster-than-light objects. Even you won't be able to fight against his priceless explanation behind the UFOs' sightings.Without spoiling anything, I think that my only reason of getting off a star in my rating of this great novel was its lacking a proper closure. I understand that this the first book in a trilogy of five books (yes, you read correctly, it wasn't a mistake) so the adventures and mysteries will continue in the second book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. However, it was quite unsettling when you are having the time of your life reading it and the book just stopped to have words. I describe it like that since I didn't feel an ending. It was indeed just like the impossibility of not finding more words in the book. What I can give to Adams is that that was quite improbable but in my opinion, quite unlikely way to just "ending" this book. Certainly I want to read the rest of this great TRILOGY of FIVE books. (Yes, yet again, you read well, and it isn't a mistake)
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  • Emily May
    December 5, 2010
    This is not the best book ever written. It is unlikely to affect you on any deep emotional level and you probably won't spend sleepless nights just thinking about it.But it's a simple, humourous sci-fi adventure. It won't do something for everybody but I'm a massive fan of Douglas Adams' and his sense of humour. Come on, like it or not, Adams' has some awesomely quotable sayings (not all of these are from this exact book):"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people This is not the best book ever written. It is unlikely to affect you on any deep emotional level and you probably won't spend sleepless nights just thinking about it.But it's a simple, humourous sci-fi adventure. It won't do something for everybody but I'm a massive fan of Douglas Adams' and his sense of humour. Come on, like it or not, Adams' has some awesomely quotable sayings (not all of these are from this exact book):"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." "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.""The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.""A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." "Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?" "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."
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  • Councillor
    October 17, 2016
    “You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.""Why, what did she tell you?""I don't know, I didn't listen.” Did this make you laugh already? Fine, because the rest of Douglas Adams' famous novel includes many more of those humorous elements.I have a very difficult personal history with Sci-Fi novels; so “You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.""Why, what did she tell you?""I don't know, I didn't listen.” Did this make you laugh already? Fine, because the rest of Douglas Adams' famous novel includes many more of those humorous elements.I have a very difficult personal history with Sci-Fi novels; some of them I could appreciate but not enjoy; some I could appreciate but got bored with them very quickly; but The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the first Sci-Fi novel which ever made me simultaneously appreciate, enjoy and even love the book. Love is a strong word, but if a book is filled with sentences like “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't” or “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job” or “My capacity for happiness you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first”, then I simply can't help but fall in love with it. “So this is it," said Arthur, "We are going to die.""Yes," said Ford, "except... no! Wait a minute!" He suddenly lunged across the chamber at something behind Arthur's line of vision. "What's this switch?" he cried."What? Where?" cried Arthur, twisting round."No, I was only fooling," said Ford, "we are going to die after all.” I could go on and quote the entire book now, that's how much fun it was reading this and that's how quotable the book is. But Douglas Adams didn't only attempt (and succeed) to write this groundbreaking approach to the science fiction genre, he was also able to make you think a lot about several important questions: What is the meaning of life? Why do we live? Why do we die? What is the meaning of the Universe? Adams intentionally answers these questions in rather absurd ways, mainly because it is impossible to find ultimate answers and definitions for these topics. But those are all questions everyone has already asked themselves, and Adams isn't afraid to tackle them in a way that the reader can't help but laugh about it. “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.” If you haven't read this book yet, perhaps because you are afraid of the Sci-Fi genre (which I was as well, until I started my adventures with Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Marvin and all the others in this book): then don't hesitate to read it. But don't be mistaken, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is (probably) not the best book you will ever find, it is (probably) not going to make you cry because of its emotional intensity, it is (probably) not going to keep you on the edge of your seat due to its ming-bogglingly suspenseful plot. Adams' book is rather an episodic account of several random adventures in the cosmic space, and for me it was mostly Adams' writing style which it was impossible to resist. He lures his readers into the story and before you even realize it, you are probably already laughing.And don't forget to bring your towel!
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  • Felicia
    March 21, 2009
    What can I say? I wish I had been in the movie, although it was bad and I guess I should be happy about NOT being in it.
  • Carole
    April 1, 2008
    I hated this book. It was required in one of my English Lit. classes in college. The time spent reading this book is time that I will never get back. I think this book may have shortened my life; it was such a waste of time.
  • Will M.
    June 13, 2014
    This is another instance where it's daunting to write a review because the novel is well-known and loved by millions of people. As a Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader, it's embarrassing that I've only read this once, and I've waited 'till 2016 to read this. I'm glad that I can finally say that I've read this. I've finally read and enjoyed one of the most influential books of the sci-fi genre. I understand all the buzz regarding this novel. This is the first time in my whole life that I laughed out loud whil This is another instance where it's daunting to write a review because the novel is well-known and loved by millions of people. As a Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader, it's embarrassing that I've only read this once, and I've waited 'till 2016 to read this. I'm glad that I can finally say that I've read this. I've finally read and enjoyed one of the most influential books of the sci-fi genre. I understand all the buzz regarding this novel. This is the first time in my whole life that I laughed out loud while reading a novel. I've never believed that a novel could be humorous enough to make me elicit more than a giggle or a smile. This novel changed my perception of humor novels in general. I finally have faith in that genre, and an even stronger desire to read more important Sci-Fi novels.I don't see the need to make a short summary of the novel. You can find other reviews that did that. I'm writing this review to express my feelings toward the novel, and the journey that I had with it. Speaking of journey, it was a damn short one. I honestly hate gigantic novels, but it's always fulfilling to finish one if the book is great. This book I can consider amazing, but too short.Aside from the humor, I enjoyed the wittiness of the novel and the author himself. The ideas he incorporated in the novel are vital for the readers to understand. It may be a humor novel, but it's more than that as a whole.The characters are funny and well-developed. The main ones managed to make me laugh. Ford reminds me of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and Arthur as Leonard Hofstadter. This is like a classic Big Bang theory episode, or maybe The Big Bang theory is a modern Hitchhiker. The plot is not that complex, but it is interesting. I'm always interested to read about other planets in the galaxy, even if it's just fiction. I like to imagine that there are hundreds or thousands of worlds out there in the galaxy. Funny thing that the Earth blew up in this novel. Funnier that they considered Earth as a funny name in the beginning.All the ideologies Adams incorporated here are interesting to me. How some animals are superior and manipulated us, or how the Earth was all a project of some aliens. It's funny and vastly interesting. I can't wait to read the other books in the series.4.5/5 stars. I decided to round it down because while the novel truly entertained me, it still lacked something and made me think twice about the 5-star rating.
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  • Manny
    November 20, 2008
    They stumbled out of the Heart of Gold and looked around them. It was very quiet among the tall buildings. The ground was covered with brightly-colored objects that, from a distance, looked a little like paperback novels. Trillian picked one up."It's a paperback novel!" she said, surprised. "Long Hard Ride, by Lorelei James." She flipped through it. "Hm, who'd have thought that the late inhabitants of Frogstar Z would have been into women's erotica?"She picked up some more. "Be With Me, by Maya They stumbled out of the Heart of Gold and looked around them. It was very quiet among the tall buildings. The ground was covered with brightly-colored objects that, from a distance, looked a little like paperback novels. Trillian picked one up."It's a paperback novel!" she said, surprised. "Long Hard Ride, by Lorelei James." She flipped through it. "Hm, who'd have thought that the late inhabitants of Frogstar Z would have been into women's erotica?"She picked up some more. "Be With Me, by Maya Banks... Dangerous Secrets, by Lisa Marie Rice... A Little Harmless Pleasure, by Melissa Schroeder. They're all women's erotica!The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)
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  • Melina
    April 24, 2008
    I read this book about 51,017 times when I was in seventh grade. I wore my copy out. That was a time in my life when I very much would have preferred to belong to some alien species, trapped here through no fault of my own. Also: "The ships hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don't." How can you improve on writing like that? Q: What's so bad about being drunk?A: Just ask a glass of water. ahhh, good times.
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  • Mary Elizabeth
    May 1, 2008
    I was quite afraid I wouldn't take to the book considering how many people close to me -- as well as at parties -- would rage, rage, RAGE at my never having read Hitchhiker's Guide. What would the fallout be? Would I be shanked at the next party I went to if, when asked about my liking of the book, I were to shrug? Oh, the anxiety! But I'm happy to report I did like it. A lot, too, once the sperm whale and petunia chapter came up, and then all the more when the old world builder (or award-winnin I was quite afraid I wouldn't take to the book considering how many people close to me -- as well as at parties -- would rage, rage, RAGE at my never having read Hitchhiker's Guide. What would the fallout be? Would I be shanked at the next party I went to if, when asked about my liking of the book, I were to shrug? Oh, the anxiety! But I'm happy to report I did like it. A lot, too, once the sperm whale and petunia chapter came up, and then all the more when the old world builder (or award-winning fjord artist) wandered in. And then I felt as if I might come to possibly have a crush on the book after Zaphod gave his monologue about how he thinks. The absurdity in the story and its world was of the specific kind I care about -- an absurdity that manages to parallel this world's absurdity but tinged with mystery, whimsy, and wonder, of course. It's the kind of absurdity that exists in the stupendous Doctor Who, which makes sense, and exists somewhat in Dead Like Me. I don't find much purpose for the other kind of absurdity. You know the kind, that ragged, empty, cold, fraught, and menacing absurdity that lives in the Batman's Joker and performance art projects by people with bold, asymmetrical hair cuts. Shudder. It's all right. I've found my way back. I'll now take joy in reading Chris's hefty and timeworn Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide, rather than approach it with the dread of potentially being shanked. Which is a good thing, no?
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  • Cecily
    June 19, 2010
    Hitchhiker's, volume 1.Earth is destroyed to make way for a bypass. Fortunately for Arthur Dent, his friend Ford Prefect turns out to be an alien and manages to escape, with Arthur.The plot is not bad, but it's the writing that is fantastic:Vogon ships "hung in the sky in exactly the way bricks don't". The Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the colour blue. The old man who said nothing was true but was later found to be lying. "After a second or so, nothing continued to happen". "This mus Hitchhiker's, volume 1.Earth is destroyed to make way for a bypass. Fortunately for Arthur Dent, his friend Ford Prefect turns out to be an alien and manages to escape, with Arthur.The plot is not bad, but it's the writing that is fantastic:Vogon ships "hung in the sky in exactly the way bricks don't". The Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the colour blue. The old man who said nothing was true but was later found to be lying. "After a second or so, nothing continued to happen". "This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays" (borrowing from Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's). "Bits of it were dullish grey. Bits of it were dullish brown. The rest of it was rather less interesting". "An acute attack of no curiosity"."Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea". "It's unpleasantly like being drunk. What's so bad about being drunk? Try asking a glass of water." God refuses to prove he exists because proof denies faith and without faith he is nothing. But the Babel fish is a dead giveaway - so God disappeared in a puff of logic. Infinite improbability drive.Brief summary and favourite quotes from the other four of the five books, as follows:Restaurant at the End of Universe (vol 2): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...Life, the Universe and Everything (vol 3):http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish (vol 4): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...Mostly Harmless (vol 5): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...And Another Thing...( vol 6), by Eoin Colfer : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...Adams' thoughts on the Babel Fish are cited by linguist David Crystal in Language Death
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    March 15, 2016
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1), Douglas Adamsعنوان: راهنمای مسافران مجانی کهکشان؛ نویسنده: داگلاس آدامز؛ فرزاد فربد؛ تهران، پنجره، 1386؛ در 207 ص؛ شابک: 9789647822336؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز علمی و خنده دار از نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 معنوان: راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپزنها؛ نویسنده: داگلاس آدامز؛ آرش سرکوهی؛ تهران، چشمه، 1394؛ در 205 ص؛ شابک: 9786002292902؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز علمی و خنده دار از نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 مراهنمای کهکش The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1), Douglas Adamsعنوان: راهنمای مسافران مجانی کهکشان؛ نویسنده: داگلاس آدامز؛ فرزاد فربد؛ تهران، پنجره، 1386؛ در 207 ص؛ شابک: 9789647822336؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز علمی و خنده دار از نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 معنوان: راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپزنها؛ نویسنده: داگلاس آدامز؛ آرش سرکوهی؛ تهران، چشمه، 1394؛ در 205 ص؛ شابک: 9786002292902؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال انگیز علمی و خنده دار از نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 مراهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها داستان آرتور دنت، مردی از طبقه ی متوسط انگلیس، و نقش ناخواسته ی او را برای دریافتن معنی زندگی روایت میکند. رمان با حادثه‌ ای آغاز می‌شود که برای ساکنان کره ی زمین مهم‌ترین رخداد، اما در رمان رویدادی فرعی ست. وگون‌ها که یکی از نژادهای کهکشان هستند، سیاره ی زمین را برای احداث یک بزرگراه بین کهکشانی نابود می‌کنند. کره ی زمین نابود می‌شود، اما فورد و آرتور دنت (دوست فورد) چند ثانیه پیش از نابودی زمین، به کمک دستگاهی که فورد به همراه دارد، خود را به سفینه ی وگون‌ها منتقل کرده، و از آن پس با «اتواستاپ» زدن، سفر خود را در کهکشان‌ها ادامه می‌دهند. فورد پریفکت، از محققان مؤسسه‌ ای ست، که کتاب راهنمای کهکشان برای اتواستاپ‌زن‌ها را منتشر می‌کند. او سال‌ها پیش از نابودیِ زمین، برای تحقیقات میدانی به زمین سفر کرده بود. رمان، ماجراهای سفرهای این دو دوست، و نقشِ آرتور را برای دریافتن معنی زندگی در بافتی جذاب و با زبانی روان به تصویر می‌کشد. گویا داگلاس آدامز برای همین مجموعه شش کتاب در خیال خویش کاشته بوده، پنج کتاب در زمان حیات نویسنده، منتشر شد، عنوان کتاب نخست با عنوان سری و مجموعه یکسان است؛ و چهار کتاب دیگر مجموعه، با عنوان‌های: «رستوران آخر جهان»؛ «زندگی، جهان و همه‌ چیز»؛ «خداحافظ و ممنون از اون همه ماهی»؛ و «بیش‌ترش چیزی خاصی نیست»؛ نامگذاری شده اند؛ داگلاس آدامز در سال 2001 میلادی، از در این دنیا یگذشتند و پس از درگذشت ایشان؛ «ایون کالفر»، نویسنده ی ایرلندی، با اجازه‌ ی بیوه ی آدامز، و با بهره‌ گیری از آرشیو یادداشت‌ها و نوشته‌ های چاپ نشده ی داگلاس آدامز؛ جلد ششم و آخرین کتاب همین مجموعه را نیز با عنوان: «راستی تا یادم نرفته...» را نوشتند، و در سال 2009 منتشر کردندا. شربیانی
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  • Algernon
    January 21, 2014
    It's a sort of electronic book. It tells you eveything you need to know about anything. That's its job. [...] Which is exactly the sort of thing you need to know if you are an impoverished hitchhiker trying to see the marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairan dollars a day. Anybody can have a brilliant idea for a good story, but it takes hard work and dedication to transform it into a magnum opus of satirical science-fiction. According to legend, Adams was lying on his back, pennyle It's a sort of electronic book. It tells you eveything you need to know about anything. That's its job. [...] Which is exactly the sort of thing you need to know if you are an impoverished hitchhiker trying to see the marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairan dollars a day. Anybody can have a brilliant idea for a good story, but it takes hard work and dedication to transform it into a magnum opus of satirical science-fiction. According to legend, Adams was lying on his back, pennyless and with a beer in his hand, somewhere down Innsbruck valley, gazing up at the starry night, thinking how great it would be to keep on hitchhiking all the way up there among the stars. The story may even be true, I don't give a hoot one way or another. I'm just grateful for the result of this flight of fancy that was first put together as a BBC radio show and later written down in a series of novels.This here is a revisit, after almost thirty years, from my own hitchhiking youth to the current soft middle age comfortable armchair. I was afraid I would find the text silly, and there is enough inside that is chaotic and playful and improvisational, but there is also the "Heart of Gold" of the artist captured for eternity and beyond - the exuberant energy, the sense of wonder and the acid observations of human folly (making us understand we are not at the top of the evolution ladder is sort of the point if the exercise). In the introduction, Neil Gaiman refers to the author as : "tall, affable, smiling gently at a world that baffled and delighted him.", and it is this image that I see as I picture myself the hero of the journey, the Earthman Arthur Dent, who is send tumbling out into the universe one fine morning, as bulldozers gather around his modest home while up in the sky Vogonian spaceships are waiting to obliterate the Earth.Arthur Dent finds himself marooned in space, with only an electronic guide book for wisdom and solace, but that is after all the human condition, and without a sense of humour we would have probably have slit our common throats before now. So listen to the words of wisdom printed on the good book, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime: ... he also had a device that looked rather like a large electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million "pages" could be summoned at a moment's notice. It looked insanely complicated, and this was one of the reasons why the snug plastic cover it fitted into had the words DON'T PANIC printed on it in large friendly letters. The plot is absurd and episodic, relying on word games, dramatic developments and wacky characters. The Brits have transformed this type of satire into an art form, starting with P G Wodehouse, who is cited as an influence by Adams, and continuing with Blackadder, Monty Python Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers and more recent shows like Red Dwarf. The Hitchhiker's Guide belongs in this Hall of Fame of intelligent and subversive entertainment, indeed it could be said to be one of the foundation stones of the whole edifice. Any attempt to explain and to describe the characters out of context is doomed for failure on my part, you simply have to be there to understand the importance of the towel in the career of Ford Perfect, the researcher-editor of the Guide; to be crushed by the ego of Zaphod Beeblebrox, president of the Galactic Council ("adventurer, ex-hippie, good-timer (crook? quite possibly), manic self-publisher, terrible bad at personal relationships, often thought to be completely out to lunch.") ; to design fjords with Slartibartfast or to sigh at the pointlessness of existence with Marvin the Paranoid Android: Pardon me for breathing, which I never do anyway so I don't know why I bother to say it, oh God, I'm so depressed. Here's another of those self-satisfied doors. Life! Don't talk to me about life. Suffice to say I had a great time revisiting the novel, and that I even found some interesting actual sci-fi concepts among the jokes and the satirical sketches. The Guide is very much like a smartphone with acces to Wikipedia, and The Infinite Probability Drive is a cool plot device, allowing the adveturers to travel from one corner of the universe to the other in a blink of an eye ("... we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway."), but it was the description of motion detectors in entertainment devices that really rang a bell: For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriantingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program. The first book in the series ends on a cliffhanger, so I guess I have to hold on to the "a nicely chilled Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster in my hand." and hitchhike in the Heart of Gold to the next destination for Arthur Dent and his friends. Until we get to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe: ... we'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere ... and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.
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  • ConstantReader Paul O'Neill
    May 23, 2016
    I can't remember laughing at a book so much! Loved, loved, loved(!!) everything about it. The delivery by Stephen Fry is outstanding also. Hugely recommend! There aren't enough superlatives to throw at this!
  • Andrew
    May 14, 2007
    I read about 150 of 215 pages of this book, and couldn't even bring myself to finish it. I didn't find it funny, and decided to start another book I actually enjoyed reading than to plow through the end of it.
  • David
    April 6, 2012
    Okay, I can understand how somebody might not absolutely love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It does after all combine a few things—such as scifi and screwball comedy, for instance—that not everyone can deal with. In other words, the nerd quotient is high here, and people who aren't wired that way might end up perplexed. BUT--and this is a big ol' BUT: I don't understand how anybody can HATE this book. In fact, if I weren't such a saintly, even-keel, kittenish kind of guy, I might say tha Okay, I can understand how somebody might not absolutely love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It does after all combine a few things—such as scifi and screwball comedy, for instance—that not everyone can deal with. In other words, the nerd quotient is high here, and people who aren't wired that way might end up perplexed. BUT--and this is a big ol' BUT: I don't understand how anybody can HATE this book. In fact, if I weren't such a saintly, even-keel, kittenish kind of guy, I might say that I'm tempted to hate haters of this book. How can you hate such a genial, well-meaning book? I mean, Douglas Adams just saunters in, gives his readers the glad hand, rolls up his sleeves, and gets down to business—summoning every gag in his repertoire just to keep you curmudgeons entertained. And does he succeed? In my opinion, yes. Most definitely. I should probably tell you, by way of disclaimer, that I have some hardcore nostalgia invested in the Hitchhiker books. (There are five in all, but I never read the fifth Mostly Harmless.) This may be the first non-film novelization full-length book that wasn't strictly intended for kids that I ever read. That's an accomplishment for a kid who was raised on reruns and talking to himself in the tool shed in the backyard. I kind of hated reading for the most part before I got out of college. (I know! I was one of those people! Endlessly grasping for the channel changer and being ruined by the media.)Since I was maybe twelve or thirteen when I read this, I'm sure some of the dry humor flew right over head, but the slapstick, sight gags, and ridiculous plotting sure didn't. There are so many absurdist details in this ricocheting narrative that presenting you with a thorough summary would be tough. Suffice it to say that it centers on an Earthling named Arthur Dent who narrowly escapes the destruction of the planet when it is destroyed to build a galactic superhighway. He ends up hitching a ride on a stolen spaceship with the (two-headed, three-armed) president of the galaxy.If you're rolling your eyes, you are (1) a killjoy and (2) not the intended audience for this book. Go read Jane Austen or one of those books about cats that live in libraries. If you're smart and have good taste, read this book. It's kind of like a slightly lowerbrow Woody Allenesque scifi farce, if you can imagine such a thing. (Well, there was Sleeper, so I guess maybe you can.) The plot, like those in Allen's earliest films, is a little flimsy and haphazard, but the Child Version of Me insists that you will enjoy it anyway unless you're a complete asshole.
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  • Namratha
    January 3, 2010
    It’s true what they say... You pick up The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and either chuck it away when your head starts to whirl OR you totally appreciate the head-whirling sensation, plunge right in and don’t surface till you have reached the Restaurant at the End of The Universe.It is with great delight and spots before my eyes that I can proclaim that I belong to the latter breed. You need a wee bit of whimsy, a lot of quirky and a love for all things whacky (all three which I possess in It’s true what they say... You pick up The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and either chuck it away when your head starts to whirl OR you totally appreciate the head-whirling sensation, plunge right in and don’t surface till you have reached the Restaurant at the End of The Universe.It is with great delight and spots before my eyes that I can proclaim that I belong to the latter breed. You need a wee bit of whimsy, a lot of quirky and a love for all things whacky (all three which I possess in abundance) to appreciate the magnificence of this space odyssey.The plot is fairly simple. Seconds before planet Earth is completely demolished to make way for a galactic bypass, bemused Englishman Arthur Dent is whisked away to safety by his friend, Ford Prefect. Ford is not an out-of-work actor as he has led everyone to believe. He is in fact, the resident of a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and a researcher for the revised edition of ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. Together, the bursting-with-enthusiasm Ford and the bursting-with-disbelief Arthur get set to cruise around the galaxy. Adding to the comedy of errors are Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed galactican president; Trillian, a lady who by some bizarre coincidence had once given Arthur the ditch at an earth-party and Marvin, the oppressively-depressed robot who could drive even a spaceship to suicide. Along the way, they have many a hit-and-fly situation with various warped creatures who inhabit the universe…they listen to some truly terrible poetry…they land on the legendary planet, Magrathea…and even learn about the super-intelligent computer *DEEP THOUGHT* and it’s mission to answer the question to Life, The Universe and everything. All this while trying to find a decent cup of tea...Douglas Adams was the king of one-liners and whip-smart dialogue. He took human flaws, failings and reams of red-tape and converted it into a seriously funny tale. Many argue that the written work is just a reflection of Adams’thoughts…well hell..which book isn’t?!?I have hemmed and hawed over the years wondering whether I should pick up the book or not…always inhaling it in bits and pieces. All I can say to the still-wary is this: grab the spaceship by it’s tail-lights and get geared for a mad-trip of a lifetime.
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  • Henry Avila
    December 24, 2013
    Arthur Dent, is having a bad day, his home is being demolished. A new highway bypass is needed, progress you know, it's for his own good, so goodbye house. On the bright side(by the way), it does not matter. Earth too, will no longer be . The powers of the galaxy, have decided this little, insignificant, dull planet, at the edge of the Milky Way, must go! A byperspatial express route, is being built. Earth is in the path, no big deal, to the rest of the galaxy, just a few souls, will disappear . Arthur Dent, is having a bad day, his home is being demolished. A new highway bypass is needed, progress you know, it's for his own good, so goodbye house. On the bright side(by the way), it does not matter. Earth too, will no longer be . The powers of the galaxy, have decided this little, insignificant, dull planet, at the edge of the Milky Way, must go! A byperspatial express route, is being built. Earth is in the path, no big deal, to the rest of the galaxy, just a few souls, will disappear . His friend drops by, Mr.Ford Prefect, and finds Arthur lying in the mud, in front of the bulldozers, and asks him what's new ? And can he go to the local pub, for a drink, they need to talk... Seems okay to Dent, but first, the intelligent man, gets a gentleman's solemn promise, from a bureaucrat(who shall remain nameless), that his house will still be standing. When he gets back! Even has Mr.Prosser, replace him in the dirt(I can never keep a secret). After a few drinks, which relaxes Arthur, Ford tell's his friend, that he's an alien from a planet, in the vicinity of the great star Betelgeuse, just 600 light-years away. Dent always thought Prefect was an eccentric man , but this being England, perfectly permissible. Goes on to explain, he's a researcher for something called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". A weird sound emulates from the outside, disrupting this enlightening discussion. Arthur jumps up , runs out the door and sees that there are no more gentlemen, in the world. Home gone, but the over excited man , starts calling the wrecking crew, unkind names. Such language(I will not repeat them, in mixed company, besides this is a family site!). People should be , calm, always calm, nothing to be concerned about, remember you are English! Looking up, odd yellow streaks, in the sky, Dent wonders, Ford did say the Earth would be destroyed today , but he is strange...Stiff upper lip ...But something is occurring, though. Ford arrives and the noise level rises also...A short time later, the waking, Dent...Mr.Dent, comes to in the dark, in an alien spaceship , one of those that vaporized his not quite beloved planet, with Ford... Evil green, and very ugly aliens, the Vogons. Who like to torture people by reciting bad poetry, I mean really bad Vogon poetry, that captives welcome death, rather than listen to another word... Captain Jeltz, hates hitchhikers, and Ford had a devise, to enter the ship, secretly. But the clever friends , say that they loved the excruciating poem, of the captain's. Obvious lying, the angry poet, has the two rudely thrown off the craft, into space, without spacesuits. These aliens, are barbarians! They can hold their breaths for thirty seconds. A miracle, on the 29th second, they're saved by the President of the galaxy's stolen vessel. And the runaway politician(not exactly honest), Zaphod Beeblebrox, is on board, so is his two heads and three arms. With his girlfriend Trillian and Marvin, the paranoid robot(don't talk to it, he's very depressing, you would want to crush him, with your bare hands ). As the semi cousin(what's that?), of the president, Ford Prefect, is in luck. All the galaxy, are after the Heart of Gold, the new spaceship, that can cross the Milky Way, in a flash. On ship,the greedy, seek the legendary, lost and fabulously rich planet, Magratha. In the vastness of the whole endless Universe, everything's is possible, except an android like Marvin...Remember the Guide's motto, "Don't Panic"...
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  • Argona
    August 16, 2013
    This is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for ages and thanks to my awesome friend, Roya, I finally did. I will be honest, this is one of those books that I couldn’t have finished by myself. Thanks Roya!As a big fan of science-fiction, I felt obligated to read this book. This book is a classic and so many of my friends love it that I just had to try. However, I knew I might need help for reading this for two personal reasons. First, I am too used to a serious tone in my science- This is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for ages and thanks to my awesome friend, Roya, I finally did. I will be honest, this is one of those books that I couldn’t have finished by myself. Thanks Roya!As a big fan of science-fiction, I felt obligated to read this book. This book is a classic and so many of my friends love it that I just had to try. However, I knew I might need help for reading this for two personal reasons. First, I am too used to a serious tone in my science-fiction stories. Science-fiction and humor in one book? Fascinating and a little hard to believe. I wasn’t sure this combo could even work. Second, I don’t easily laugh. Almost 90% of books and 98% of movies that are supposed to be very humorous and funny, only succeed in making me smile. Now this book's introduction actually managed to make me laugh several times! The introduction raised my hopes and I started to look forward to the story. Unfortunately, I found the beginning of the story boring and I had to drag myself through it. As I continued to read, I kept wondering, where is the appeal? How come so many of my friends love this? Why is this book SUCH A BIG DEAL? I thought perhaps it's necessary to read the entire series. I reminded myself that sometimes the first book is more like a pilot episode and the series gets better as it continues. I did love Arthur as the main character and I specially loved his reactions to all the madness. But I didn’t really care for all the other characters that were running around. Except Marvin. He was awesome too.While I think the author has a very nice sense of humor, I didn’t find the story that hilarious. But the book IS filled with witty and memorable sayings and these sayings were one of my motivations to continue. Eventually I got so far into the story that I couldn’t leave it unfinished since I was very curious about several intertwining plots. I am sorry to say the book ended very abruptly and the story was left unfinished. I was like…what the hell did I just read? So...I didn’t love this book while reading it. I didn’t enjoy it that much either. Many events were just a little too random for me. I actually really love nonsense stories that have their own unique logic, like "Alice in Wonderland" or "Howl's moving castle" but I had a hard time finding any kind of logic in many parts of this story. All the Petunias and whale sperms were just too random. So…why 4 stars?I actually started to really like this book when I finished it and got around to thinking about it. The thing is, this book was first published in 1979. I completely forgot this tiny important detail when I was looking in the story for the appeal. With this in mind, I came to see the ingenuity of the author. I am sure there are people that find Startrek: the original series very silly and don’t pay much attention to the depth of the stories and their messages. I love this series and while I too laugh at many scenes that really are funny to today’s viewers, I also take this series very seriously. Startrek was a visionary series at the time of its creation and the same applies to Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. “To boldly split infinitives that no man had split before... “This books contains many visionary elements, from electronic books, holograms and computers networked together to usable portable information devices and touch-sensitive objects. Even the guide, the book inside the book, is very similar to Wikipedia, a database full of instantly available information. The artificial intelligences like Marvin, the depressed paranoid Android and Eddie, the spaceship’s mind are very unique and memorable. The quotes and sayings that I mentioned above also play an important role in my rating. Many of them are unique, witty and simply unforgettable. Here are a few famous examples:…"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."…"Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?" …"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."…“‘You know,’ said Arthur, ‘it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.’ ‘Why, what did she tell you?’ ‘I don't know, I didn't listen.’”…“Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it?Ford: We're safe.Arthur: Oh good.Ford: We're in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of.”…“The President of the Universe holds no real power. His sole purpose is to take attention away from where the power truly exists...”…“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”The plot IS too random and some events ARE too silly, but all the visionary elements, great quotes and funny commentary on human behavior and society, make it worth reading.So...give this book a try if you are a big fan of science-fiction and want to read the classics. Give this book a try even if you are like me and might not find this story very humorous. Do keep in mind how old this book actually is and that it started out as radio broadcasts. Don’t look too hard for logic. In this book, the universe is a joke and that’s kind of the whole point of the story. “The last ever dolphin message was misinterpreted as a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backwards-somersault through a hoop whilst whistling the 'Star Spangled Banner', but in fact the message was this: So long and thanks for all the fish.”
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  • Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
    December 3, 2016
    I fell asleep while listening to this one... twice.I fell asleep at the beginning of the book, and then at the end of it. I googled the ending because I didn't want to go to sleep again.Don't get me wrong. I didn't dislike the book. It's just that I didn't like it either. It's not my kind of humor, not my kind of story. But I'm sure to remember to take a towel next time I hitchhike through the galaxy.
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  • Arah-Lynda
    January 17, 2017
    Probably should have smoked something before and/or during the reading of this.Awarding one star for each of the following:Digital WatchesBabel FishMarvin
  • j
    October 21, 2009
    I came to Douglas Adams in the way a lot of guys do, probably: I was introduced to it by someone far nerdier than I. Some of us become nerds when people we come in contact with share their obsessions; others are born nerds, and somehow organically discover Monty Python & the Holy Grail or, say, the original BBC miniseries version of this book. And then they make you watch it, twice, and spoil all the jokes by quoting them alongside it. If I remember right, this happened to me freshman year o I came to Douglas Adams in the way a lot of guys do, probably: I was introduced to it by someone far nerdier than I. Some of us become nerds when people we come in contact with share their obsessions; others are born nerds, and somehow organically discover Monty Python & the Holy Grail or, say, the original BBC miniseries version of this book. And then they make you watch it, twice, and spoil all the jokes by quoting them alongside it. If I remember right, this happened to me freshman year of high school, which is a good time for The Hitchhiker's Guide. Douglas Adams' humor is offbeat and makes you feel smart for getting it, and if there is anything a 14-year-old boy likes to have reinforced, it is his smug sense of self-satisfaction.I went on to read the sequels, which kind of petered out for me (not sure I ever finished Mostly Harmless), but the first book is pretty hard to dislike. Though when I re-read it my senior year as part of a sci-fi/fantasy English elective, I don't know if the entire class appreciated it quite as much as I was expecting, perhaps because I didn't know that they weren't taking the course because they liked the idea of reading Tolkien for credit, but because they needed the credit to graduate and the teacher was really nice. Like, open book, multiple choice quiz nice. And some of them still didn't pass. How is reading 25 pages of Anne McCaffrey homework? It was homework for me to stop reading after 25 pages! Not that I did.So, you know this book, I am sure. Probably in more than one of its incarnations: TV series, radio play, big budget Hollywood movie. I love its elasticity -- each medium offers a slightly different take on the plot, which seems appropriate for a "trilogy" that somehow has five installments. Though it's humor, it really is a great sci-fi book, with a lot of ingenious concepts (my favorite being the Improbability Drive, which makes the most unlikely things happen, or the Point of View Gun, which shows you just how insignificant you are on a universal scale). After experiencing all of the various versions, I am getting a little sick of the jokes (Vogon poetry and depressed space whales are only funny so many times), but it was still an easy choice for this day of the book challenge.Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 25: Favorite book you read in school.
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  • Duane
    May 25, 2016
    What a unique book, truly one of a kind. Science fiction? Well kind of. Humor? Yes, that to. And who knows what else was going through Adams mind when he wrote this. It's almost like "stream of consciousness" science fiction/humor/satire. But whatever you call it, it was entertaining and fun to read. 4.5 stars.
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  • K.D. Absolutely
    April 27, 2009
    Read for the Second Time on March 18, 2012Rating: 3 stars! (After 3 years, I still liked it!)Six hundred books... 3 years... in between. Me not being really a sci-fi fan. But, yes...I still liked this book!Resistance is useless! says the outer space alien who first apprehended Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. I might as well not resist. My group here in Goodreads, Filipinos, love this book as they voted it as one of their 100 Favorite Books. I appreciate the creativity and imagination of Douglas Ad Read for the Second Time on March 18, 2012Rating: 3 stars! (After 3 years, I still liked it!)Six hundred books... 3 years... in between. Me not being really a sci-fi fan. But, yes...I still liked this book!Resistance is useless! says the outer space alien who first apprehended Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. I might as well not resist. My group here in Goodreads, Filipinos, love this book as they voted it as one of their 100 Favorite Books. I appreciate the creativity and imagination of Douglas Adams for thinking that Earth is actually a big computer that is designed to give the Ultimate Question to the Ultimate Answer divulged in the book: "42." There are also references to Christianity like in the introduction where "the man nailed unto a cross" and Deep Thought mimicking St. John the Baptist preparing the way to the "greater one" (Earth symbolizing Jesus Christ). Who says that sci-fi cannot be appropriate as a Lenten Read?My favorite character in this book is that soldier who does not know why he is doing his job and why is he shouting "Resistance is useless!" I also do not know why I reread this book and why I have this strong urge of knowing the Ultimate Question so I have to read the 4 other books in this "trilogy."Resistance is useless!Read for the First Time on June 15, 2009Rating: 3 stars! (I liked it!). Review below:This is a fascinating sci-fi novel. In 1979, it started as a radio program, became a TV series and a stage play. The author died in 2001 and as a tribute to him, the movie was shown in 2005. I am not a big fan of science fictions in book forms but I grew up liking Darna, Zimatar, Magnun, Lastikman, Panday, atbp as komiks (there was no electricity in the province so we did not have access to television) and AM radio were the handiest forms of entertainment when I was growing up in the province. So, reading this book brought me back to those days when I was tremendously hooked in sci-fi believing that there could really be a stone that when you swallow, you can become a superhero without choking or needing a doctor to operate your colon later.I picked up this book two years ago after receiving an email from a British colleague in the UK. He was saying goodbye and his last sentence was “So long and thanks for all the fish!” I wrote him back asking what it meant and he explained that it was from this book. I postponed reading this after finishing less than 5 pages of the book as I found British humor not really funny. There was the transcript of interviews for the movie casts and screenwriter at the end of this edition and one of them said that his daughter literally fell off her chair laughing while reading the novel. Maybe I am already old and obviously not a Briton but I finished this book in less than 48 hours and was able to sleep well (without nightmares unlike when I was reading the holocaust novels). Although I felt happy and light so I am not that old yet I guess.The fish BTW is said to be contradicting the existence of God. As you have to put this fish – a Babel fish – for you to understand any language. I found it funny (which was not in the first 5 pages) and not sacrilegious as the Mary Magdalene being Jesus’ wife brouhaha that made the Catholic Church call for boycott during the promotion of The Vinci Code movie in 2005. I fish swimming inside your ear! There are other funny and witty ideas in the book like the Earth as a big computer designed to answer The Ultimate Question on Life, Universe and Everything with the Ultimate Answer as 42. I have already lined up the 2nd (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe) and 3rd (Life, Universe and Everything) books in my bookshelf as a To Reads later this year. I wish to complete by getting the last two (So Long and Thanks for All The Fish and Almost Harmless) as I would like to see how Douglas (May God bless his witty and talented soul) tied up 42 with the existential questions!
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  • Celeste
    March 1, 2017
    Full review now posted!I finally know the answer to life, the universe, and everything.This was my third attempt at reading this book, because it’s just so gosh-darned silly that I could never get past the first three or so chapters. Well, what was the difference this time, you might be asking. The difference was a British gentleman by the name of Stephen Fry. I would have never made it all the way through this admittedly short book without the voice talents of Stephen Fry. The man is a genius! Full review now posted!I finally know the answer to life, the universe, and everything.This was my third attempt at reading this book, because it’s just so gosh-darned silly that I could never get past the first three or so chapters. Well, what was the difference this time, you might be asking. The difference was a British gentleman by the name of Stephen Fry. I would have never made it all the way through this admittedly short book without the voice talents of Stephen Fry. The man is a genius! Every character had a completely unique voice, and they were all engaging. I’m not positive which came first, the movie or the audiobook, but Fry’s version of Arthur Dent sounded incredibly similar to Martin Freeman, who played Dent in the movie. I’m not usually an audiobook girl. I tend to get frustrated with the slow pace and pick up the print version of whatever book I was listening to, because I can just read faster. But I never had that desire listening to Fry. He was absolutely fabulous, and now I want to track down other audiobooks he’s read. Just another reason to wish I was British, so I could have Audible access to his readings of Harry Potter. *disgruntled sigh*Onto the book itself. I’m pretty sure Douglas Adams is a national treasure of the U.K., as he well should be. These books are meant to be silly, and they most definitely are. The tone of his writing was great, and I love the idea of the story, but something about the humor didn’t translate well for me. It was just too much, somehow, as stated earlier. Honestly, the book itself would have been somewhere between a 2 and 3 star read for me (please don’t lynch me!) had it not been for Fry’s marvelous audio. His reading saved the day and bumped the book up to 4 stars for me. I did end up really enjoying listening to this story, though I’m not sure I’ll continue the series. However, I’m glad to have read this book, and to now understand the cultural references and impact Adams provided here.So long, and thanks for all the fish.For more of reviews, as well as my own fiction and thoughts on life, check out my blog, Celestial Musings
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  • Roya
    August 3, 2014
    I read this as buddy read with Argona. (Thanks again for doing it with me!) You can read her better and more thorough review here.This book just wasn't really up my street. I didn't think it was hilarious. I found parts of it funny and witty, but usually nothing more. I feel like Adams was trying too hard to be amusing and it became a bit of an overkill. I wasn't crazy about the writing style. And as for the plot, I didn't get it. The book was too random overall for my liking, and this is coming I read this as buddy read with Argona. (Thanks again for doing it with me!) You can read her better and more thorough review here.This book just wasn't really up my street. I didn't think it was hilarious. I found parts of it funny and witty, but usually nothing more. I feel like Adams was trying too hard to be amusing and it became a bit of an overkill. I wasn't crazy about the writing style. And as for the plot, I didn't get it. The book was too random overall for my liking, and this is coming from a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland.It was just okay.
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  • Mariah
    January 7, 2016
    I read this book because it is my boyfriends' favorite series. I struggled with it so much. I already struggle with fantasy, and this book didn't explain what is happening thoroughly and develop the characters enough right away in the beginning. So like I said I really struggled. However, I watched the movie and according to my boyfriend there was a lot in the movie that wasn't in the book, so I guess that didn't help.
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