“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is one of my favorite books of all time.  The story starts out when a particularly ordinary man named Arthur Dent discovers that his home is about to be demolished to make way for a highway bypass.  Meanwhile, a group of aliens called the Vogons show up to demolish Earth to make way for an interstellar bypass.  Arthur Dent finds out that the world is a lot bigger than he thought it was, and with the help of his friend Ford Prefect, whom he discovers is also an alien, begins to hitchhike across the galaxy to escape.

This book and its sequels are satirical science fiction.  They are well-written and quite funny.  The characters are memorable (Marvin, the paranoid android; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the party-animal president of the galaxy; etc.) I really should have posted this back in May for Nerd Pride Day (also known as Towel Day), but it somehow slipped my mind.

There is also a movie version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide.  If you’ve read the book, don’t waste your time with the movie, as it will disappoint you.  If you haven’t read the book, I’ve been told that the movie is enjoyable.

I haven’t really found much in the way of science fiction that’s been well written and fun, but this is the exception.  I’d love to read more sci-fi if I can find stuff that is good, but I really have no idea where to start.  Any recommendations would be welcome.

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Categories: Fiction, Sci Fi | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on ““The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

  1. I’m so glad to find your review of this book! I’m in two book groups, and I was considering recommending this for one of my groups (which just read Stacy Shiff’s “Cleopatra”), but I was concerned that it would be scoffed at as a recommendation. Do you think it would be a good book group read? Also, my eldest son is quite a Terry Pratchett fan, so you might consider one of Pratchett’s books for another sci-fi/fantasy/humor read.

    • I think it would probably make a fun book club read if you’ve got a group with a sense of humor. It really depends on the people in your group.

  2. Anonymous

    Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott

    Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

    Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon

    Looking backward, 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy

    Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker

    Contact by Carl Sagen

    Schild’s Ladder by Greg Egan

    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

    Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

    The Shape of Things to Come: The Ultimate Revolution by Herbert George Wells

    The Iron Heel by Jack London

    Hyperion Series by Dan Simmons

    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut

    Neuromancer by William Gibson

    Ringworld by Larry Niven

    Dune Series by Frank Herbert

    Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Rob

    Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur Charles Clarke

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

    Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

    2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur Charles Clarke

    Childhood’s End by Arthur Charles Clarke

    Now get going missy..or I will kidnapped Mike.

  3. Thanks for the review. I haven’t read this book yet, but it is on my 1001 list so after reading your review, it may move up on the need to read soon list. As for suggestions I would second Matt and say that Fahrenheit 451 is fantastic. Also kweenkmatt’s suggestion of Lord of the Rings is a great choice. I enjoyed I, Robot by Asimov. It is a collection of short stories, but the short stories build on each other.

  4. Hitchhiker is my all time favorite book. I also enjoyed the movie, but I have the ability to completely forget that books exist when I’m watching movies. I just get pulled into the story. Also, there’s a BBC version, which while amazingly low budget, was much truer to the books.

    As for other Sci-Fi books. I started out as a Fantasy reader and quickly discovered (in my humble opinion) that there were many more well-written Sci-Fi books out there. There are of course all the classics, some of which you may have read:

    Dune by Frank Herbert

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    1984 George Orwell

    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (not one of my personal favorites).

    I absolutely LOVE Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s probably my second favorite book of all time. Also, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is another favorite of mine. Neuromancer by William Gibson, pretty much invented the cyber-punk genre.

    There’s also a few authors I would highly recommend:

    Robert Heinlein
    Phillip K. Dick
    Isaac Asimov (again, not one my personal favorites, but I’m trying not to be too biased here)

    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. I would start with Ender’s Game, because it’s amazing.

    • I’ve read Orwell and Huxley, and enjoyed both of them. However, I think Yevgeniy Zamyatin is highly underrated. He’s a Russian dystopian novelist, and his novel “We” was the inspiration for 1984. Orwell seems remarkably less original when compared with Zamyatin’s work.

      I’m kind of curious about Phillip K. Dick; I saw the movie version of “A Scanner Darkly,” and I tend to think that books are almost always better than movies. Cyber-punk also seems quite intriguing… 😛

      • Snow Crash is also a cyber-punk novel, greatly influenced by Neuromancer, though I enjoyed Snow Crash more.

      • Richard

        Jack London wrote one of the first dystopian novels called, “Iron Heel”.

        I also posted that list of Anonymous name by accident.

  5. Some sci-fi/fantasy staples:

    Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
    The Dresden Series – Jim Butcher
    The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

    And, there are 3 more Hitchhiker’s books that you can read….

    • I’ve read all of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books except the last one, which was unfinished. Haven’t read the LotR books yet, although I’ve read the Hobbit. The Narnia books were excellent, and my friends and I made a drinking game out of the movies (drink every time there is a thinly veiled religious reference). 😛 I’ll have to check out the Dresden series.

  6. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is one of my favorite books of all time” You took my words 🙂 I absolutely love it!

    Jeremy

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