I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy some time ago because it’s a science-fiction classic. And also because I wanted to read it for quite some time. So one day I saw it at the book store and thought, it’s now or never.
This is the first book of a series of five. So if you like it, you’ve got much more to look forward to. You can now check out my review for the second one, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
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. Ford is 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 the 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. Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and 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.
I have to admit that I read fast (and the more I read, the quicker it gets). But I’ve never read a book that fast. I took it with me on a train ride to Brussels, which is about 4 hours from where I live. But I’ve finished it even before we arrived at our destination. It was such a captivating read I literally couldn’t keep my eyes off of it because I wanted to know what happened next.
The forward in the edition I read is written by Russel T. Davies. The guy who brought us Doctor Who back. In it, he says that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was one of his favorite books growing up and that it inspired him for Doctor Who. And I have to say that I agree with him. When I read it, I really felt that I was reading Doctor Who in a novel form. Even though the characters, the setting, and even the universe are not the same at all as the TV Show.
What I love most about this book is that even though it’s a Sci-Fi classic, it doesn’t have the feeling of it. I’ve read Frankenstein and others. And in some way or not, there’s always something that makes it seem unapproachable. But The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy isn’t like that at all.
I also really enjoyed the absurdity of the novel and especially the one in the dialogue. It always seems like they aren’t that serious, even though they are almost always in mortal peril. This is where I got the Doctor Who vibe the most. It could be a dialogue in the show. They always seem to be talking nonsense, when it really is totally understandable if you dive into it.
Should you read it?
I would advise that everyone read this excellent book even if you don’t like Sci-Fi or Fantasy. It goes much deeper than that. It’s an entertaining and fantastical story; all you have to do is get into it.