Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Adventure
Stars: **** (5.5/5 – It was that brilliant!)
Summary: Arthur Dent woke up one morning, got up to make coffee, and then realized a demolition crew showed up to destroy his house to make way for a new bypass. While he was busy uselessly defending his house, another demolition crew showed up to clear the way for a galactic freeway with the planet Earth being in the way of their construction. Luckily, Arthur Dent had a friend, unknowingly to him an alien and a hitchhiker, who found a way for both of them off the planet (hitchhiking of course) before it became completely disintegrated. And then the real adventure began…
Review: The only word sufficient enough to describe this book in its entirety is wow. This novel is out of this world, literally. Within this sarcastic, funny, witty, and outrageous tale, Adams weaves social commentary and philosophy spectacularly (the point and meaning if life, how we live it, how ridiculous it is just to live sometimes, etc.). This novel will make you laugh and contemplate life at the same time (a weird combination).
What can be said about this book that hasn’t been said since it was written. Adams’ humor is hard to describe and must be read to be appreciated. The situations are ridiculous and yet they draw the reader in, I was left wanting to know what will happen next to our band of protagonists. After the demolition, Arthur kept trying to understand the enormity of Earth being gone and clung to anything he could in a universe he didn’t understand. Ford Perfect seemed to be back in his element, winging it. They were thrust in the middle of a mystery with Zaphod Beeblebrox, the ex-president of the Galaxy, in the middle. Along with his human girlfriend, Trillian, and a very depressed robot, Marvin, they set out to survive everything the Universe throws at them. I can’t even begin to describe the greatness in the book, the humor and wit, and just how everything seems so random and yet falls together as you read more into creating a plot.
The only criticism I have is that the ending is a bit abrupt but since I had the second book sitting on my nightstand, I didn’t worry but kept reading.
The aliens are alien. In many sci-fi books the aliens are either like human or are about humans in an alien environment, of the ones that try writing from a perspective of an alien who is very different to humans many fail. But here we get aliens as main characters whose behavior and thinking seems so different (alien) to us humans. And yet they are relatable. As one who has struggled to write from alien perspectives before, it is a very, very difficult thing to do and Adams did it brilliantly!