HHGTTGTitle: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams

Date Finished: 11/12/12

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

Well, this is technically a ‘new read’ but I have actually listened to all 5 radio series countless times; they are hysterically funny and I thought I needed to read the books as well.

Now I have to say (and this is a new feeling for me) I didn’t enjoy the book quite as much as the radio series but it was still great.  I think the main reason was just that obviously I had heard all the jokes before!

The plot in the HHGTTG is actually very clever and is one of the main reasons why I continue to enjoy the story.  The improbability drive and the whole story about Earth and the ultimate question etc is really great and also very entertaining.

The characters are brilliant as well – there seem to be just the right number of people to get to know.  Marvin makes us all laugh and Arthur and his bumbling often keeps us entertained as well.  I don’t particularly like Zaphod, but I was completely shocked when I read the book – I found out he is ‘Zaphod Beeblebrox’ NOT ‘Zaphod Beetlebrox’ like I had always assumed!  I think the characters in the radio series are perfectly cast but the film version (that my book is actually the ‘tie-in’ of) is really not that great.

I love the sciencey-but-made-up kind of attitude of the book – things are presented as though they could be true but of course they’re not, for example the Babel fish etc but you end up believing it all anyway.  This reminds me of series like Harry Potter where you seriously ask yourself ‘maybe it is all true….’

The settings and their descriptions are brilliantly done, I think – Adams doesn’t dwell on anything for too long (this is why the story makes such good radio episodes) and does enough to set the scene so you can picture it and then moves on.  I also love the way he interweaves entries in the Hitchhiker’s Guide as well; they are often very funny.

So yes, overall I love whole series and I am straight on reading The Restaurant at the End of the Universe this evening.  I don’t know whether I will read all 5 books straight after each other – we will see how I’m feeling after book number 2.