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Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the galaxy is a very strange and startling place.

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea. Prologue

As much as I love Classics, I have a soft spot for the science fiction and fantasy genre. In my mind, the world is filled with aliens and wizards. Thus, I am still waiting patiently for my acceptance letter to Hogwarts. In fact, I am positive that one of the owls lost it! They say that great minds think alike. If only Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett wrote a book together, uniting both science fiction and fantasy fanatics. One can only dream now…

“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Chapter 8

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of the best, if not the best, science fiction novel. From beginning to end I cried with laughter. Adams introduces the readers to ingeniously made, quirky characters; from the notorious Zaphod Beetlebox to the manically depressed robot, Marvin. You end up loving each and every individual character, even the bizarre. Although if I had to pick a favourite, it would undoubtedly be Marvin. Who doesn’t like a paranoid android? Indeed, he suffers from severe depression, but that’s what I love about him; his dry humour makes me laugh. I would give anything to hug him for just one day.

“Life,” Marvin dolefully, “loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it.” Chapter 20

Once you have finished reading the book, I suggest you then go and watch the 2005 movie: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The characters you have created in your head from reading the novel, have now fully developed. In this case, your characters will have a more realistic touch. For example, when I read the novel, I hear voices from Mr. Stephan Fry as the narrator and Mr. Severus Snape (aka Alan Rickman) as Marvin. It’s amazing what the imagination can truly achieve. Naturally, you could follow these steps back to front; but there’s no fun in that.

If you’re in need of a cheering up, then I strongly suggest you read this. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a profoundly witty novel filled with eccentric, fun-loving characters. What could possible go wrong (other than the world being blown up)? I leave you now with one last meaningful answer to a worthy question:

“The Answer to the Great Question, of Life, the Universe and Everything”

Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm. Chapter 27



  1. I liked this book a whole lot too. I have it on my bookshelf for a week or two then another friend borrows it. I didn’t hear either the radio or TV broadcasts and now I feel like I missed something, though in most cases, I find that radio series and TV series aren’t as good as the books they were based on are.

  2. Oh, such happy memories! Somewhere in my life I have the tape of the original radio broadcast. The original paperback drifts through the family. I can still see Arthur Dent in his dressing gown and on it goes from there. Douglas Adams was such a genius.

  3. I’m not much of a science fiction fan (I prefer pure fantasy) but the humor of this book kept me glued in! I definitely need to read it again, since it’s been such a long time…

    • I agree. I’m more of a fantasy person myself as well. But if there’s a good plot and humour i’ll read it! I need to re-read the rest of the series as well. I keep forgetting the plot.

  4. In high school, I was hounded by some of my nerd friends to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide, but I didn’t think I would like it. (I read mostly classic literature then) If I wouldn’t have gotten in-school suspension, I never would have read it. But there I was, shut in a room, and that book happened to be on the shelf… One of the most enjoyable punishments of my life!

    • Haha! I first read the book when I was on holiday with my parents. I did absolutely nothing during that holiday but read the entire series. My parents were not amused 😉

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