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

ISBN: 0739322206
ISBN 13: 9780739322208
By: Douglas Adams Stephen Fry

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Genres

Classics Currently Reading Fantasy Favorites Fiction Humor Sci Fi Science Fiction Scifi To Read

About this book

Don't leave Earth without this hilarious international bestseller about the end of the world and the happy-go-lucky days that follow. Join the gruesome twsome of Arthur Dent and his friend, Ford Perfect, in their now-famous intergalactic journey through time and space.

Reader's Thoughts

Tom

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!

Alan

Absolute genius. His deliberate construction of interesting, often grammatically tortuous, always rewarding prose was fantastic.I listened to the radio series.I bought the books.I taped the radio series and listened endlessly; especially to the second series.I bought the LPs!I bought the Marvin the Paranoid Android single!!I did NOT like the TV series; maybe the technology wasn't up to itI liked the film.I liked the fact that every single version was different!!

Kate

Mostly harmless. That’s the entirety of the entry for Earth in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Of course, it hardly matters now, since Earth was destroyed half an hour ago to make way for a hyperspace express route. Now Arthur Dent is stuck on a stolen spaceship with the two-headed, three-armed President of the Universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the girl he stole from right under Arthur’s nose. Arthur Dent is having a very bad day—and that’s even before he has to deal with the hypochondriac, suicidally depressed robot, Marvin.With no home to go back to—his house was demolished minutes before the Earth was vaporized—Arthur has no choice but to continue on his adventure. Before he’s finished, he’ll know three things—what is the meaning of life, which species was really in control on Earth, and that he should never, ever be without his towel.

Lorenzo Berardi

Dear Isaac, Ray and Philip K,don't you think you're taking your job a bit too much seriously? Please, relax for a while. Listen, I've got this book called "The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" to suggest you. Though I'm not sure you will appreciate it I think you should have a look at it.You will discover a new planet called sense of humour.Universally yours,Lorenzo

Donster

This just might be the most over-rated book ever. Don't get me wrong; I liked it and thought it was funny. Clever and funny, in fact. But that's all it was. A surprisingly large number of people seem to think this is The Greatest Book Ever Written, or something close to it. In fact, it's funny at a high school level (meaning rather puerile), and clever only in its use of absurdity, but Adams doesn't really have anything deep or important to say. It's also somewhat diminished by multiple, increasingly stale sequels that are pretty much carbon copies of the original. Douglas Adams was very much a one trick pony. My brother sometimes describes immature adults as "the kind of people who still think Douglas Adams is really funny when they're 40". He's right. Twenty years after reading this book it just isn't that great anymore. It's just silly. And there's nothing wrong with silly, it's just not what great literature is made from. So go ahead, read the Hitchhiker's Guide. Laugh out loud and enjoy it. But don't expect too much. Shakespeare, it isn't. It's not even Vonnegut.

midnightfaerie

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is in a class all by itself. I have never read anything like it, and for that reason alone I recommend it. A science fiction comedy, it’s about a man’s adventures after being taken from earth by an alien. Not being a big fan of science fiction, I can say that it’s an easy read comparitively when looking at other typical science fiction. I loved the humor and sarcastic wit of the characters and the pure silliness of it. I usually have a hard time remembering all the weird names and places in science fiction books, but this was easy to follow. With a cult-like following, this book has a huge fan base and after reading it, it’s not hard to see why. Even for those who don’t like science fiction, I implore you to give it a try. You might be surprised. Because it is like nothing I’ve ever read and tops the list in it’s genre, I would put this on my “to be considered a classic” list. ClassicsDefined.com

Jon

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.

Manny

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 in my book What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations

Tim "The Enchanter"

Idiocy Meets Intellect - 3 Stars This entertaining romp through the absurd is mildly reminiscent of the absurdity of a Monty Python sketch. There is plenty of dry and absurd humour for the British humour enthusiast. If British humour is not your cup of tea *pun alert* then you will want to skip this one. This hardly needs another lengthy review so I will avoid the temptation and will keep it short.This silly story of Arthur Dent and his secretly alien friend, Ford, escape earth moments before it is destroy to make way for a galactic bypass. There is plenty of idiotic banter with humour arising when characters state the obvious. While the story is funny and the writing sharp, it fails to have the coherence of say a Monty Python movie (I am a bit biased in favor the MP) as it often finds humour in the creation of absurd non realities as opposed to satire.That said, much of the ridiculous humour has an intelligent basis. Whether or not the crazy ideas in the story have a basis in scientific fact, it manages to give the impression that it could be based loosely on scientific principle. Additionally, while some humour is silly some humour is dense and requires concentration. When I notice it, it makes me feel highly evolved and inflates sense of heightened intellect. If you didn't find this funny, you were simply to dense to understand the humour :)I understand that this was first a radio program. The pacing and tone of the story makes it suited for the audiobook format. In this case Stephan Fry does an admirable job narrating but imagine a radio production would be even better.I liked it but did not love it. I am sure I will read the next in the series but I won't be starting it immediately.

Felicia

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

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.

Mary Elizabeth

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?

David

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.

Paul Dura

Don't PanicIf ever there was more helpful a phrase in the history of all that is written, that phrase should be terminated. "Don't Panic" should be reason enough to give this book a five star rating, but since you're probably not going to read it solely on that bit of information alone I will be forced to expound on the subject. (And I'm not quite so happy about that)Douglas Adams presents us with Arthur Dent, your proverbial "every man". This makes Arthur Dent very ordinary, very accessible, but otherwise very boring to the majority of readers like me who need merely to wander to the local pub to find a dozen of these fellows and instantly lose interest. However, should any of those fellows at the pub raise their thumb in an expert pose and suddenly be whisked away into the oblivion of the cosmos to argue with paranoid androids, endure the abusive prose of very, very, very, very, very horrible Vogon poets, and you'd have something altogether not quite unlike a cup of tea. Or this book.If you enjoy British humor of the unbelievably silly and clever nature then you should find yourself right at home with this book on your lap in your...well...home. My recommendation? Go out and grab this story of the universes general mish-mash, brew a cup of tea, and enjoy the tales of Arthur Dent. He's just a regular guy stuck in a rather irregular and unhealthy universe.

Chris

I picked this up at a book fair in seventh grade, which is the perfect time to stumble across the Hitchhiker trilogy (yes, trilogy; I deny the last 2 or three books), and the next week I was kicked out of independent reading because I was laughing so loud that I disturbed the others. I don't like a lot of wacky humour books (I can't stand "Good Omens"), but Douglas Adams has the perfect blend of over-the-top craziness and dead-pan ("the space-ships hung in the air exactly the way that bricks don't"). I spent the next four years driving my English teachers nuts by trying to write like him.

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