My rating: 4 of 5 stars
How I Got It: Borrowed it from a friend, :)
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 The Hitch Hiker'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 their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker's Guide "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: 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 ball-point pens he has bought over the years
There are those books out there that we've all read, where we sit there repeatedly going, "WTF?" several times while we work our way through the book. Page by page, we go, "Wtf?" and sometimes it's because the book is fun and witty, or in some cases because the book is quite rubbish and that's the only reaction we can have.
Thankfully I said "Wtf?" a lot because this book was witty and off the wall. Really. This book is a prime example of an author going, "Hey, I have something of a plot, a quirky sense of humor, and lots and lots of sarcasm. I should write a book." This is exactly why this book got four stars from me, and exactly why it didn't get five stars.
Arthur Dent wakes up one morning to find his house is about to be demolished by a bulldozer to put in a new bypass, and decides to lay in front of the large piece of equipment in protest. But this isn't even a fraction of his problem that day. It seems that Earth itself is going to be demolished and Arthur's only hope is to be saved via his friend Ford, who Arthur doesn't know is a alien, and the seemingly popular hitchhiking form of travel in the universe.
Just stick out your thumb and hitch a ride across the galaxy.
That is the general idea of this novel. Arthur then goes on to meet certain figures in the universe and travel to a planet that isn't supposed to exist.
Douglas Adams is rather funny. His dialogue is witty, his characters are shockingly hilarious, and you just want to read this book. You put it down, you chuckle, you sit there for a few more minutes and then you pick the book up again, and suddenly doing the dishes, cleaning your room, and feeding the outside cats is the last of your worries. You're more interested in the Galactic President with two heads or the depressed robot with a massive "Oh, woe is me..." complex.
I think at parts this book was too funny, as in the author couldn't stop cracking jokes to get on with the plot. "Hm, should I make a funny or write? Funny..." Also, the length. I get this this is the first book in a five book trilogy (WTF? See? Told you you would say it a lot), but at the same time I feel like I got a copy that for some reason only had half of the entire book. Yes, it makes me want to read the others, but I still felt like there should have been more.
That is why the book lost a star for me. There was too much funny that the laughs died away once or twice and I was wondering when the story was going to move on. Plus, I had issues with the characters. Maybe I only connected a little with Arthur Dent because we had one thing in common - we are both from Earth. But otherwise, it was hard to understand characters who's only memorable attribute was an extra arm and another head. Really, some scenes in this book read less like plot and more like a three minute skit on the Johnny Carson show.
By the time I'd finished the book, though, I could look back (on the day or so it took me to read it) remember the laughs and even the plot and suddenly realized there were more books in the series and that I indeed wanted to pick them up when I could.
Anyway, this is a super fun read if you have a rainy day or need a break from some really thick writing. It really is just a fun book so don't be shy, grab a copy, and stick out your thumb.
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