Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Novel Review)

 To start off the New Year’s book reviews, I thought I would give a review of a very amusing book. Written by Douglas Adams, this 1979 novel is called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

What is this story about? When I told someone about having read this first book in the so called “Hitchhiker’s Trilogy”, I explained I couldn’t really tell what it was about exactly, which is why it took me a little bit to write this review. Basically, it is an EXTREMELY peculiar tale about Arthur Dent (a human from the newly destroyed Earth), Ford Prefect (an alien who had been stuck on Earth for 15 years), Zaphod Beeblebrox (the President of the Universe), Trillian (another human) and Marvin (a depressed robot). It contains the meaning of life and bad poetry.

Writing Style
Douglas Adams has a zany writing style unlike anything I have ever read and most likely I will ever read. Its meaning and message leave me with questions and honestly I don’t know if I really want the answers. In reading this, I did realize that it is not necessarily the answer you get that is important, but the questions you ask. Are you asking the right questions? Douglas Adams explores the unknown by presenting us with one of the strangest stories ever told and that is why his writing could be considered a classic. It is an easy read (it actually took less than a day to read), so it is a piece of cake to read; whether you completely understand it is another story…

The Meaning of Life, Universe and Everything!
I really don’t want to spoil anything (though anything I say won’t prepare you for Douglas’ language and universe…even though I watched the movie I did not expect the whacky story which appeared here). The meaning of life is a big subject when talking about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Most people would say the answer is, “42!” because that answer (provided in this book) is now part of pop culture. However, that is not necessarily the meaning of life. In fact (spoiler???) it is not even the question. Douglas not only boggles the mind with two headed, three armed politicians, but he questions humanity’s purpose as a whole. Are we just some science experiment to discover to the ultimate truth? Or is there something more? Douglas provides, but it leaves more questions than answers (in fact there are two questions and one answer…)

I really don’t know what to say about this book. This is a wonderful read and I recommend it. Even if you have watched the movie or see one of the many other adaptations, you can not match Douglas Adams. I am really interested and when I finish the book I am reading now (stay tuned on that btw), I will try to tackle the sequels, because this is just a pure fun novel. I don’t usually laugh out loud when reading a book, but this is a definitely one I can laugh with its strange characters and plot. Check it out!

Quote/Picture of Author
--The Cover of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (which appeared in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 1979)

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