Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams

Title: The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre(s): Adult Science Fiction Humor
How To Purchase: Kindle (Amazon)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchiker series.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.

Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky– so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak.

Mostly Harmless
Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?

If I were stranded on a deserted island, and I had the choice of only one book, the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would be it. Never mind that it consists of five books. It comes in one binding, and therefore it’s a book! (Also, I don’t know what sort of sadistic cretin would require me to be stranded on a desert island with only one book, but these things rarely make sense.)

My introduction to HHGTTG was at a library book sale in my hometown in junior high or high school. Something about that goofy-looking green smiley face with its tongue sticking out called to me. It actually didn’t seem like my kind of book–I liked more serious fare–but hey, it was cheap. I’m so glad I picked it up (and I’m still a little peeved that my library got rid of it).

My favorite, by far, is the second book, Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The absurdity of a cow bred to beg the diners to choose which part of its body to eat for dinner is both macabre and hilarious. Lest you be offended, as our hero Arthur Dent was, don’t have the salad: The cow knows a number of lettuce heads that would be upset with your choice. It’s asking you to eat it! Eat the cow!

Though the plot meanders and sometimes outright makes no sense, Douglas Adams wove a brilliantly created world throughout his ridiculousness. His writing is snappy, his character dialog is quick-witted, and his ideas are fabulous. After all, I’m still trying to learn to fly by throwing myself at the ground and missing.

C’mon, you guys–what’s your favorite part of HHGTTG? Is it Marvin? I love a depressed robot. Is it the sentient pot of petunias? That kills me. Is it how Zaphod Beeblebrox is so hip, he has trouble seeing over his pelvis? I laughed hysterically when I read that part.

Douglas Adams was a genius. May he rest in peace.

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