Book Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Well...I just finished reading the strangest book I've ever read.  Yes, it was a very good book with a whimsical, unique writing style - but at the same time, I've never been so bewildered by a plot in my life.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of those peculiar novels that makes fun of its subject matter and yet is serious at the same time.  Well, as serious as Douglas Adams can be.  In this story, he makes jest at the core elements of science fiction, including space travel, aliens, distant planets, intergalactic war - and he tries to make the reader feel that they are ordinary and even rather silly.  At the same time, he addresses philosophical questions that have haunted men for centuries: What is the meaning of life?  What is my purpose?  From whence did we all come?  But his answers are rather more fanciful and imaginative than realistic. ;)

The story begins with the clumsy, unsettlingly normal Arthur Dent who is saved by his friend Ford Prefect just seconds before earth is demolished to create a galactic freeway.  In truth, Prefect is a researcher for the newly revised Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Together, they roam the galaxy with an unforgettable motley crew, including the president of the galaxy who has two heads and a clinically depressed robot named Marvin.  Along the way, they escape from the torture of alien poetry, meet the man who designed Norway, find themselves interrogated by the smartest creatures in the universe....mice....All while searching for the question to the answer 42!

If you want an enjoyable, witty read, I recommend that you pick up The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Adams' expertise of taking a simple concept and giving it a new meaning is what has secured his book as one of the most exceptional science fiction novels of the twentieth century.

I definitely give if 5 stars for ingenuity. :)


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