Douglas Adams, the author of the sci-fi classic “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” once described his own book within that very book: “…wholly remarkable.” That is truly the only phrase that can adequately describe this immensely enjoyable novel.
A masterful blend of science fiction and humor make this book a must-read for any fans of science fiction, British humor, or Doctor Who.
The story begins when mild-mannered Arthur Dent wakes up to find that his house is about to be demolished to make way for a highway. Coincidentally, this is happening at the very moment that an intergalactic planning council is about to destroy the Earth for the very same purpose. That premise alone is enough to make one crack a smile, but that’s nothing compared to the gut-busting humor exhibited throughout the rest of the book.
At the very last second, Arthur is saved by his best friend Ford Prefect, who just so happens to be an alien and a researcher for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a handbook that explains everything that one would ever need to know about the universe. Ford had been doing research on Earth for the Guide for the past 15 years and only managed to write this much about the Earth: “Mostly harmless.”
Thus begins a whimsical adventure through the stars full of wacky and silly characters like the conceited Zaphod Beeblebrox, the seriously depressed robot Marvin the Paranoid Android, doors with human personalities, mice that know all, and many, many more.
The amazing thing about this book is how side-splittingly funny it is. Every time you turn the page you can expect to laugh until you cry. In many instances, the narrator provides large amounts of playfulness, often going off-topic to tell a funny story, giving humorous insight about humans, and constantly reprinting entries from the Guide that perfectly compliment the story.
The book has also spawned several equally fantastic sequels, and has been adapted many times. At the time of this writing, it has been adapted into a 1981 TV series, a 1984 computer game, as well as a 2005 film, and a second TV adaptation currently in the works from Hulu.
Memorable characters, quotable quotes, very British humor, unique writing style and enthralling plot line make this book well worth a read.
By: Brig Larson
Photo Credits: Communardo Products