May 24, 2014

Book review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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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.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

For the "Relive the Magic" box of my Reading Outside the Box challenge, I chose The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not only is it one of my favorite books of all time, but it's probably the funniest book I've ever read. Rarely do I laugh out loud when I'm reading, but this book had me doing so on several occasions.

The plot, while implausible, was entertaining. Best of all, because it's such a silly story, there were plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Unless you're easily offended or were expecting deep revelations from this book (spoiler: the answer is 42), you'll find it a lot of fun to read.

I first read this book over twenty years ago, and I've re-read it a couple of times since. Even now, I get a good chuckle out of this classic.

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