The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Review


I've been aware of the Hitchhiker series from a young age, from both snippets of the TV Series and discussing the show in my middle school English lessons. I'd never had any interest above that in either the series or the book (or the film as I have just discovered) until I saw this Reddit post. It gave me a little chuckle so I thought "Hey, I'm in my summer holidays from work, might as well do something useful" so I got myself a copy of 'The Complete Trilogy of 5' and started on the first book in the series.

The first thing I noticed was how little the book has aged. It doesn't seem dated and its ideas of what futuristic space travel may look like are the same ideas that you would expect from a modern-day space-opera. You don't find yourself laughing at what the author, Douglas Adams, thought the future of the universe may look like as it's very modernly written even though the novel was published in 1979.

“Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This is the first book I have read that gave me a good few chuckles here and there. Douglas Adams portrays typical British humour through the novel in the form of Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox. A third of whom are human with the other 2 being alien life-forms. Dent is whisked away from Earth by his close friend, Ford Prefect, who is aware of a plan to destroy Earth in favour of an inter-galactic bypass. The book follows the pair's hitchhiking through space upon escaping the ashes of where the planet earth once was, using Prefect's trusty copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

I found myself reading this book for a chapter a night due to time constraints but it was the sort of novel that you could easily pick back up and know what was going on, in spite of a few unfavourable lengthy words here and there. It's a cheery take on an over-done plot in film; the destruction of Earth by alien life.

The ending of the book seemed a bit too abrupt for my liking but since the second novel was published the following year I'm not too fussed as it's sequel 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' was published the year after the original novel so I'm sure it was meant to be immediately followed upon in the next instalment. I for one cannot wait to get onto the next book and bring you my thoughts yet again.

There are another four books in the series by Adams for me to read, plus a sixth published posthumously in 2006, so there's plenty more for me to get my teeth into now that I've finished the novel. I plan to slowly but surely work my way through the huge universe that Adams created, which all began from a 1978 BBC Radio 4 comedy show

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to venturing further into the series, perhaps having a go at watching the series, film and maybe even the original radio show.

Have you read this novel? What did you think?

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