Friday, January 27, 2012
Book Review: THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Do not read this book unless you are in the mood for silly. If you are not in the mood for silly, you will find it incredibly stupid. On the other hand, if you are in the mood for silly, you will find it refreshingly fun and clever.
I'm not going to go into much detail, because a large part of the fun is about the surprises in the plot, and I don't want to ruin them for you if you haven't read it. At the beginning, I thought, "This is funny. I wonder where the author got this idea." At the middle, I thought, "This is crazy! Where does the author get these plots?" By the end, I thought, "How the heck does the author come up with this stuff? I need to be this creative."
Normally, I am annoyed when the plot of a story is interrupted by anything, but I look forward to every time the Hitchhiker's Guide goes off on a tangent about how to mix a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, or how custom-made luxury planet building began.
Arthur Dent stays remarkably sane after being taken off his planet, learning it has been destroyed, listening to Vogon poetry and discovering the answer to life, the universe, and everything. He is a little bit sarcastic, which I appreciate, and a good choice of character for the story to follow, for he brings a little sanity to the tale (if only a little).
I don't think I'd re-read this book, because I generally enjoy more substance, but it was a lot of fun, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a light sci-fi read.
This post is inspired by the Little Red Reviewer's SciFi Not-a-Challenge for the month of January.