The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

An English writer, humorist and writer of many BBC radio and television pieces, Douglas Adams was head and shoulders above the rest not only in his body of work, but, his shear height (i.e. 6′ 5″).

This book, written after the comedic radio sci-fi piece he wrote for BBC Radio in 1978.  The book is actually rather small at about 180 pages or so and reads very quickly; however, it is jam packed with humor, action, Earth destruction, stolen space ships, space chases, etc…

Arthur Dent is an “every man” who wakes up to find that his house is scheduled for demolition to make way for a freeway bypass.  His friend, Ford Prefect, convinces him to the local pub for several pints of beer where he explains that he’s not from Earth after all but an alien who is desperately trying to get off Earth because it’s scheduled to be demolished….today.  “It must be a Thursday,  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”.

Arthur and Ford escaping from one frying pan and into another, and into another.  Along the way they meet “Trillian”,  a beautiful fellow Earthling that Arthur once completely failed to hit it off with at a party years earlier and Zaphod Beeblebrox, self-kidnapped, President of the Galaxy who picked Trillian up on a visit to Earth years earlier and who stole the one-of-a-kind space ship the “Heart of Gold”.  They travel the galaxy, time, and still have time for dinner at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (well, that’s a different story).

Completely irreverent, caring little for any of the sacred cows of the  sci-fi genre that will have you rolling with laughter and amazed that the book is so short.

Highly recommended, this is by far the funniest of the series and has the heaviest sprinkling of footnotes of the books as well (but not to distraction).

If you enjoy this, read:

  • Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  • Life, the Universe and Everything
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
  • Mostly Harmless
  • And Another Thing… (written by Eoin Colfer)
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