Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

Novel Summary

Set in a relatively modern town, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a quirky science fiction book with a strange cast of characters. The main character, Arthur Dent, is shocked to find out that his best friend, Ford Prefect, is actually an alien who is researching the planet Earth for a guidebook called the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. With the destruction of Earth in order to build a space bypass, there's only one thing for the pair to do: hitch a ride. With murderous poets, planet-building mice, and a cryptic answer to life, the universe, and everything, this book is dripping with satire and comedy. So, pick up your towel and enjoy the ride.

Main character - Ford Prefect

Earth can be a dull place, but no one knows this better than Ford Prefect. After all, when you're a writer for the definitive guide book for seeing the wonders of the universe for only 14 Altarian dollars a day, it's quite boring on a planet defined by two words: Mostly Harmless. Ford is that researcher. He lived on Earth for fifteen years, keeping up the appearance of nothing more than a down on his luck actor, who has the quirky affectations of insulting astrophysicists and drunkenly rambling about green flying saucers, while really being an alien from Betelgeuse. Of the large host of characters, Ford is the cleverest, as well as the quirkiest, and his constant wittiness keeps the writing lively.

Comparison

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is hardly comparable to anything else, but one thing that I find it is similar to is the Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clark. Some traits are shared between characters in the books, a big example being Marvin, the depressed android from Hitchhiker's Guide, and HAL9000. Both books also have futuristic technology, and share the same genre, Science Fiction. However, these are also quite different at the same time. Hitchhiker's guide is much more satirical, and 2001 pales in comparison to Adam's sarcasm and humor. Overall, I find The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a much better read.

About the Author

Douglas Adams was a British author, who wrote radio plays and screenplays. In the year 1978, the first phase of his hit radio series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, was aired for the first time. This series was, in fact, so popular, that Adams made it into the books it is known as today. In these books, his satire, as well as his morals, values, and views on everything, are succinctly shown, and these are some of his best selling works. Other less well known works are:

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul


Last Chance to See (In collaboration with zoologist Mark Carwardine)

Reviews

These are some reviews for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.



"It's science fiction and it's extremely funny...inspired lunacy that leaves hardly a science fiction cliche alive."

Washington Post


"The feckless protagonist, Arthur Dent, is reminiscent of Vonnegut heroes, and his travels afford a wild satire of present institutions."

Chicago Tribune


"Very simply, the book is one of the funniest SF spoofs ever written, with hyperbolic ideas folding in on themselves."

School Library Journal


For more reviews, click here.

Reccomendation

I would certainly recommend this book to others. The twist on a classic genre, the quirks of the characters, and the sheer insanity of the book, paired with Adam's satire, make this a great read. Humorous and witty, this book is different than anything you've ever read.