Another (sci-fi) Book Review

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas McAdams

Hilarious. It doesn’t end up making a lot of sense, but it always feels like it’s going to, and that’s what I like. There’s a feeling of purpose and meaning in the writing, an air of authority, if you will. Plus, I’m a huge fan of comedic science fiction, which this is a perfect example of. I like to think of comedic science-fiction as a genre for people who wish they were geeks but don’t have the time or technical inclination to really commit.

Story begins with Englishman Arthur Dent and his (unbeknownst to him) alien friend Ford Prefect. Ford manages to hitch them an interstellar ride off of Earth. The story follows them around as they ship-hop and eventually land on “the most improbable planet in the universe.”

Stephen Fry narrated (it was audiobook), which was great.
Given my self-imposed workout restrictions on audiobooks, this one paid for itself in like three days. The rules are that I’m only allowed to listen to books when I’m engaged in outdoor physical activity. Three days is how many days in a row I went outside for a jog.

My suspicion is that there are more books by Douglas Adams in a kind of series (it’s too late at night for me to care about verifying that) and I want to read them all.

There’s a movie, too. Apparently it’s pretty good. Again, I’m not interested in verifying for you right at this moment.

Thumbs up on this book. And good on the BBC and everyone in the UK for liking it.


10 thoughts on “Another (sci-fi) Book Review”

  1. Consider this the post that lured me into following your blog (anonymously for now). I came over here from DawnTreaders.

    I'd been here once before, and I wondered if you had posted new stuff: you had. Including Hitchhiker's Guide.

    Your prose is fun to read: snarky, is how you describe it another post. Fun, intelligent, and creative. You regularly pen lines like this: “I like to think of comedic science-fiction as a genre for people who wish they were geeks but don't have the time or technical inclination to really commit.”

    Pure gold.

    I'll be back!

  2. Ugh. My husband has the original BBC TV series, he had the book, but I think one of our dogs got it.

    I don't get it – at all. Guess I'm not clever like that.

    I guess some of the jokes have multiple meanings if you know a lot about Brit history.


  3. there are, i think, 2 movie versions, which draw on stuff from several of the books. and before that a BBC series (1980s) which was my first encounter with what became a great love of my life — and that series was developed from a BBC radio series which is, according to some people to whom these things matter, still the best version.
    THere are several successive books:
    Life The Universe and Everything, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. Maybe another one. Like the Dune books, they get progressively less interesting and more cynical.
    So many lines have entered our daily conversation. My favorite is “the mice were FURIOUS.”
    And ” a complete kneebiter”

  4. Enjoyed the Hitchhiker movie – lot of fun. Now I guess I'll have to read the novel. I am reluctant. I keep going to the library, taking out (what should be) interesting books, reading 50 pages, then ignoring them until they are overdue. Is this pathological?

  5. Hey, I do the same thing with audio books–if I want to continue “reading” I have to exercise! In theory this should work, right?

    Thanks for the review–I've always wondered about this book!

  6. Stephen Fry must be just the right person to read this one! I think I must have read it in Swedish – I know I don't own it, so must have borrowed it from the library. I also know I saw a film based on it that I did not think was particularly good. But then my brother lent me the British TV-series on DVD and I liked that much better. Originally the Hitchhiker's Guide was a radio comedy (even before it was a book). The BBC TV-series was based on the radio version and with many of the same actors.

  7. Two things:
    1) I really thought you'd heard about Hitchhiker before now.
    2) Your suspicions are correct: there's an entire series of books (five or six, I believe) as well as a movie. The movie didn't do too well at the box office, so don't expect more anytime soon.

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