Arthur Dent is having a very bad day. His home in West Country, England is set to be bulldozed to make way for a bypass…which will run right through his home. As he lays in front of the bulldozer his friend, Ford Prefect, shows up and drags him away to the pub.
He explains that Arthur’s house being torn down is the least of his worries as the entire Earth will be destroyed in about 12 minutes. When a group of aliens show up in Earth’s atmosphere they announce that Earth is to be destroyed to make way for an intergalactic hyperspace expressway…or…a bypass.
As the Earth is destroyed Ford hitches a ride on one of the ships bringing Arthur along for the ride giving him a copy of The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy to help him handle the strange new world he has been thrown into.
Afterall, it has great advice written right on the cover in big friendly letters: Don’t Panic.
-Genre: Science-Fiction, Comedy
-Author: Douglas Adams
-Number of Pages:
-Main Characters: Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Zaphd Beeblebrox, Patricia “Trillian” McMillian, Marvin
-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library! If you love audiobooks, you can find it on Audible (with subscription) or on library apps like Libby (to borrow it from your library).
-Page of Reference in RP1: 49
Review (contains spoilers):
So maybe I just need comedy with my science-fiction…because this book is so much fun and so easy to get through. Douglas Adams doesn’t even try to explain the science behind anything. Not really. Its just assumed that it exists.
Because in a world where a book with the words “Don’t Panic” on it in big friendly letters outselling every other book in the UNIVERSE….honestly, anything is possible.
The world is wonderfully diverse and detailed without anything actually being described in excessive detail. Adams has a way of getting the picture of things across in the action and how the characters see the world. We don’t get long winded descriptions of how the world or ships they are on look unless it has some sort of humorous reasoning. What we do get are conversations that brand new whales have before they hit the ground and are no more. Or what the dolphins did before they left earth.
Or the fact that the Earth was created as a computer program to find the question to the answer of the life, the universe, and everything…which is 42.
The characters are snarky and egotistical, irritating and absolutely human. Guide is one of those books where even if you don’t love a character (like Zaphod and his idiotic ego) you still WANT to know what is going to happen to them. That is really hard to do for an author. Its hard to write characters that are neither villain nor hero yet still are interesting and full of depth and that the reader wants to keep hearing about.
Adams achieves this in every single page.
I’m so glad I revisited this story when I was older (more around the age of Arthur and Trillian). I don’t think I found the books as enlightening and hilarious as I do now when I was a teenager. There is just a level of life experience that you need to have to really appreciate these books.
I’m so excited to read the rest of the series again!