The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
January 1st 1979
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.
Well, this is a bit of a departure from the norm over here, isn't it! I don't think I've ever reviewed a book written before 2000 before! But I felt the sudden need to read the Guide because it's kind of a staple sci-fi book, and I, being a bit of a geek, felt I should finally get around to reading it after 6 years of just watching the TV series and the film a multitude of times. And trust me, I heartily enjoyed it.
It was definitely different from what I usually read, but I loved all the sarcasm and wit and I really must read some more adult books that are in this kind of vein. I am totally planning on reading the Jasper Fforde books as soon as I can find them, and I still have the rest of this trilogy of five to read!
I felt a bit of a disconnect with the characters, but I somehow don't think that was the most important aspect of the book. Regardless, I do love Arthur and Ford, and Zaphod Beeblebrox (who is insane and possibly the douchiest douche ever to amble around the universe, but you can't hate him. You just can't! Even though he ruined Arthur's chances with Trillian. Oh well. You can't get with them all, Arthur Dent! I think this section of bracketry should end now, before I ramble your eyes off or something.) I think my favourite character is Marvin though. He was in the film and tv show, and he is in the books. I don't care if he's ridiculously annoying to the other characters, a robot with manic depression is always going to win my favour. (That sounds awful actually.. But you know what I mean. Possibly.)
I love the plot. It's a little insane, like, but it's nice to get a bit of a break from your regular, hum-drum plots where mice haven't invented a super computer that instructed them build Earth (an ever superer super computer) in the hopes that it would tell them the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (the answer of which being 42), and where the mice aren't really mice at all, but from another dimension and only appear to be mice when they're in our dimension. Whoops, did I just let some of the plot slip? Yup, you caught that. Some. I'll be honest, for most of this book I was a bit comfused, but the dry humour kept me going and though it's all a bit insane, it doesn't really matter because it's brilliant.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is a book I definitely think you should read if you're into sci-fi and sarcasm, and just want a short book to keep you entertained. I can see why it's so popular though!