Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Del Rey Books
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 Hitchhiker’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 a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: 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 ballpoint pens he bought over the years
I am overwhelmingly in the minority by rating this book three instead of five stars. There were some amusing lines that made me smile, but overall the story just didn’t do it for me.
I loved Arthur as a main character. He’s easy to connect with and makes experiencing the crazy events accessible. The other characters are fun as well, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as Arthur.
Maybe I missed the point of this novel entirely, but I found it boring at some times and useless at others. I enjoyed the idea of a book within a book, but found the actual excerpts unamusing and a bore to read.
The best thing about this novel is that it stands the test of time. It doesn’t feel out-dated because of things like Adams’ prediction of the use of touch screen devices.
Overall, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was an okay read that made me smile. I enjoyed a few ideas in the story, but it wasn’t enough to make me thoroughly enjoy it or want to continue with the series.