Tag Archive: HHGTTG


mostly harmlessTitle: Mostly Harmless

Author: Douglas Adams

Date Finished: 21/12/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

This is the final instalment in the ever popular Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and is just as good as all the other books!  I really enjoyed reading this and now it means I can start listening to the radio series again.

The plot in this instalment is definitely hilarious and reasonably complicated but I absolutely love the “sandwich maker” storyline and all the drama involving Trillian/Tricia McMillan and Rupert too was really good.  I have to say that I prefer the ending of the radio series, as it seems to tie everything up together – the book finishes very abruptly and we never find out what happened to Fenchurch etc.

The characters are all at their best – it’s a shame not to see Fenchurch or Zaphod but Random is a great addition to the cast and Arthur and Ford are up to their usual tricks.  Also, I missed Marvin of course!  Again, I thought this book was reasonably different to the radio series, which was quite a good thing and it was also a bit longer than most of the previous books in the series (but still short at only just over 200 pages – I wish they were all a bit longer!).

I am aware that Artemis Fowl writer Eoin Colfer has written a sixth instalment called And Another Thing, which I now intend to read in the future.  I liked the Artemis Fowl books when I was younger so I think I will buy And Another Thing soon and give it a go – I haven’t come across anyone who’s read it so I don’t know what to expect.  What I do know, is that I will be relistening to the radio series of HHGTTG very soon indeed!

Classics Club Readathon #2

ccreadathon2

It is that time of year again where The Classics Club host their annual readathon – this year it is on the 4th of January and I am excited to take part for the second year running.

Last year I focused on ploughing through some of Charlotte Brontë’s Villete which I thoroughly enjoyed.  This year I am not sure where I’ll be up to with my reading by the 4th but I am hoping to try The Warden by Anthony Trollope – a book which has been on my TBR shelf for ages and I know absolutely nothing about!  Hopefully it will be as great an event as last year and lots of you will all be getting involved!

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SLATFATFTitle: So long, and thanks for all the fish

Author: Douglas Adams

Date Finished: 7/12/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

It was only August when I read the third book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, but I couldn’t wait any longer.  The whole series is absolutely brilliant and this book certainly lived up to the first three books too.  I am reading the books after listening to the radio series and I completely recommend both media!

This book actually offered quite a lot of content that was different (or so I remember) from the the quaternary phase radio series, which was surprising but nice.  The main plot was obviously the same, but some of the details were a bit different, which made me want to read on even more.  I do like the way Arthur is back on Earth wondering why it has suddenly not been demolished…we all know something fishy (ha ha) is going on.  The flying and the story about the biscuits are just two highlights that I remember at the moment, but the whole book was great.

We meet Fenchurch in this book, which is nice because it seems about right that Arthur gets a girl who likes him back after trailing hopelessly after Trillian for 3 books.  Fenchurch and all her weirdness are a breath of fresh air too, as she is human and the settings are on Earth for once!  It was also great to return to Marvin and the end and the whole mini-story with the rain god is brilliant too.

As you can probably tell, I am a great fan of the whole HHGTTG series and I am already reading the next (and final) book, Mostly Harmless.  Since I started reading the books about  a year ago, I have banned myself from listening to the radio series, so I am really looking forward to finishing the final book and finally getting back to listening again.  I seriously seriously recommend these books/radio series to absolutely everyone!

LTUAETitle: Life, the Universe and Everything

Author: Douglas Adams

Date Finished: 25/08/13

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 4/5 – rather good

From listening many times to the radio series of HHGTTG, I already knew that this was my least favourite instalment of the five series, however I still gave it a good 4/5!  That just shows how great these books/radio programmes are!  Thoroughly recommended although you should definitely read books 1 + 2 first to fully appreciate the humour and recognise the characters.

The plot in this book is very good and made more sense to me as I read it, rather than listening to it late at night on audiobook.  The ‘Kikkit’ idea is very clever and extremely funny at times too!  I also like the way Adams manages to weave in old characters and at least slightly tries to make it a little bit plausible!  The amazing thing about this book and the whole series in general is the width and depth of Adams’ different ideas!

The characters are up to scratch here, especially Arthur, Ford and Slartibartfast who we follow for most of the book.  Despite this being my least favourite instalment overall, series 3 does include my favourite scene of the whole ‘trilogy’.  It is when Marvin is trapped in a mattress swamp and begins talking to the mattresses who live there.  It is hysterically funny and very well acted out on the radio but also made me laugh out loud when reading too.

As always, Adams’ writing and inimitable style is a pleasure to read and I am sure it won’t be very long before I get to books 4 and 5!  I am really looking forward to Arthur’s sandwich making escapades and meeting Fenchurch again.  I seriously recommend the whole HHGTTG series to absolutely everyone!

TRATEOTUTitle: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Author: Douglas Adams

Date Finished: 19/12/12

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

Again, just like the first book in this “trilogy of five”, The Hithchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this was technically a new read but not really a new story, as I have listened to (and loved) the radio series countless times.  This book did not disappoint either.

It was quite a strange experience reading this book, more so than book 1, because the story was pretty different to the radio series.  Essentially the main plots are the same, but I felt there was a lot more “fleshing-out” in the book compared to the radio series.  This is definitely not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong!

The plot in this book is quite hard to follow and still after having just read it and listened to the radio series before, I am not 100% sure of what happens when and why etc.  For this genre of book though, it honestly doesn’t matter if you don’t understand everything!  And of course, this is also the beauty of re-reading – it gives me a good excuse to put these books on the re-read list very soon.

In terms of characters, this book doesn’t extend too much on who we’ve already met in the first book.  New characters include the elusive and obsessed Zarniwoop (always fun to say) and Roosta.  My particular favourite person in this book is the old man who ‘rules the universe’.  His attitude towards life reminds me slightly of quantum theory (starting to study in school) and never fails to make me laugh – “How can you tell that anything’s out there?  The door is closed!”.

I like the idea of ‘The Restaurant at the End of the Universe’ very much and I think I slightly prefer this book to the first book because it doesn’t have so much introducing – it is quite plot driven.  However, I am not too impressed by the puzzlement I feel sometimes during reading it!  You wouldn’t believe that it is only 200 pages long – I think this is why they make such good radio series; they are jam-packed with action.

I have decided to take a short break from the HHGTTG now – I think I will read books 3 and 4 (and maybe 5 if I feel like it) in a couple of months (ish), as I want to wait long enough for me to enjoy them lots but not so long that I’ve forgotten what happened in books 1+2!  Obviously, I am not going to be listening to the radio series during this time either – I currently listen to Bleak Expectations and Old Harry’s Game and I TOTALLY recommend Bleak Expectations – it is the funniest thing I have ever listened to!

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.

Yes, I realise that it is already the 9th of December (how did this happen?!) but I have only just now had time to wrap up for November!  Of course, I am very busy at the moment and will only get busier, but nevertheless, I read 3 books in November.

Here’s what I read in November 2012:

E = mc² – David Bodanis

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

The Visible World – Mark Slouka

This is good as I aim to read at least three books every month.  This is the same name number as I read in October.  It is a bit of a mix with a science book, an absolute favourite and a let down!  However, my target of at least one classic every month was not fulfilled in November.

Challenge Progress in November 2012:

The Classics Club :  8/60 books read  (None this month)

The Victorian Challenge 2012:  4/6 books read  (None this month)

The Literary Classics Reading Challenge: 6/15 (None this month)

Still need to read Middlemarch and Villette for The Victorian Challenge but I think Villette alone will be enough of a challenge!

Currently In Progress:

Currently in progress is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams, which technically I haven’t read before, but I have listened to all of the radio series countless times so it is kind of a re-read I guess. I also have lots of science magazines on the go.

December Plans:

Books: The next three books on my TBR shelf are Middlemarch still, Villette by Charlotte Brontë and The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz.  I have already mentioned I am leaving Middlemarch until I can focus on it, but I do hope to get to Villette.  I did want to read Pride and Prejudice this Christmas as well…this may become an early January read.

Challenges:  If I do get round to Villette, it would both count towards all 3 challenges.  Pride and Prejudice would count towards two (not Victorian) and I hope to read at least one of these two books.

I am actually reading every day, but when you are busy it is hard to read more than a few pages – you don’t have time for more!  I am really hoping that I can do my usual balancing of revision and reading in the Christmas holidays this year, as I have exams (again) in January.

The Visible World – Mark Slouka

The Visible WorldTitle: The Visible World

Author: Mark Slouka

Date Finished: 30/11/12

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : No

Overall: 2/5 – rather bad

Hello everyone, sorry I haven’t posted in ages!  Life has been crazily busy with concerts, schoolwork and lots more.  I have some good news – I passed my driving theory and am insured to practice in my mum’s car now, so that’s exciting.  I hope you are all well and keen to hear about what I have been reading!

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book – it was all silly and dull!  It jumps around between a young man’s visit to his parents’ native Prague, after living in the USA all his life, this boy’s childhood and his mother’s long-ago love affair.  I thought it sounded like a pretty good story but nothing captured me whatsoever.

The plot was really dull and just didn’t interest me.  This is unusual for me, especially since I’ve started book blogging – I seem to enjoy everything I read!  But yeah, not this.  I don’t know if maybe I just couldn’t really get into the book because I was so busy and then didn’t enjoy it because I didn’t know what was going on?

The characters were also pretty boring and I really didn’t like the boy’s mother (I can’t remember their names!) at all.  Definitely no awards won here for characterisation.

I am going to finish this review now, as I don’t really have much more to say!  I don’t want to put any of you off reading this, as I may have just completely misunderstood the story and subsequently not liked anything – I even skim-read the last 50 pages or so! (Very very rare).  Hopefully my next book (The Hithchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) will be back to normal in terms of enjoyment!

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books on your Summer TBR list‘ and even though I’m very busy (3 exams tomorrow), seeing as I haven’t posted in a while, I thought I would have a go at this topic.

I LOVE summer reading!  It is (for me) the best time of year to read lots of books – I usually get through a fair amount when I go on holiday, but also when I’m off school at home in the summer too.

Here are (some) of the books I am really looking forward to reading this summer (not in order):

    1. The Timetraveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger:  I haven’t read this kind of book in a while, so it will be nice to have some easier reading (compared with the classics) and my sister really enjoyed the film (I refused to watch until after the book) and said it was a great story, so that’s encouraging.
    2. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee:  Yes, I know it is on practically every TTT post I write, but it is (probably) my favourite book ever, so why should I not be really excited about re-reading it?  Again!
    3. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest – Stieg Larsson:  I am re-reading the Millennium Trilogy this year (I have already read TGWTDT and TGWPWF) and hugely enjoyed both of them again, so I can’t wait for the epic final instalment to this unique series.
    4. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons:  I talked about this on my TTT for The Classics Club post as well, and as I said then, it is meant to be very funny and light-hearted so will be very nice to settle down with in the garden in the sun (well maybe the sun).
    5. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown:  Even though Brown’s books are ridiculously unrealistic, they do make your heart pound.  I read Angels and Demons last August so it seems right to read The Da Vinci Code this summer.
    6. Middlemarch – George Eliot:  Another Classics Club read and a scary one.  I am looking forward to the challenge, because so many people sing Eliot’s praises, I really want to give her a try, even if Middlemarch is scarily long!
    7. Fantastique Maitre Renard – Roald Dahl:  Well, even though I am currently in the middle of German and Latin exams (I finished my French exams a few weeks ago) I am still looking forward to reading my next French children’s book!
    8. Mockingjay – Suzzane Collins:  The Hunger Games Trilogy has had me completely hooked; you can read my thoughs on book 1 here and book 2 here.  I just know that I will power through this volume too and to be quite honest, I cannot wait!
    9. Villette – Charlotte Brontë:  we are getting a long way down my TBR shelf now, but you never know – I might have a very voracious summer!  I loved Jane Eyre and am seriously craving some more Brontë right now!
    10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams: I ADORE this series and the radio episodes are perfection (I have all 5 series on CD – thanks Dad!) and I thought it is only fair if I read the books soon as well.

Are any of these books on your summer TBR lists too?

Every week, The Broke and The Bookish poses a category for book bloggers to post their ‘Top Ten’ in that week’s category.

This week the category is ‘Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With’, meaning your top ten books you would skip school or work for.  There are many days when I think I’d rather stay at home and read my book than go to school, but I’ve picked 10 for the moment.

1. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling.  The Harry Potter books are those ones which you can just sit down and read for hours without noticing how the time flies, perfect for a devouring a book in a day.

2. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë.  The reason I picked Jane Eyre is simply because I can just imagine curling up with this book on a cold Wintry day and reading for hours.

3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams.  If you are feeling down or stressed or upset, then there is nothing better than diving into the hilarious and witty HHGTTG, which is one of the most feel-good series I have ever come across.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson.  This series is enthralling and the first book is the most gripping of the three.  I couldn’t put it down both times I read it, so it’s a good one for a couple of hours on non-stop reading on a day off.

5. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins.  I haven’t read these books yet (I am starting tonight actually, as Wuthering Heights is a bit heavy and my sister is nagging me non-stop) but from what I hear, many people find them ‘unputdownable, which suggests they would be good for a day off too.

6. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens.  The reason I picked David Copperfield, is because it is one of those classics that you really have to get into, and what better way to get into a more laborious book, than when you’ve got hours to spare during the day?

7. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare.  I am talking about all of Shakespeare’s plays here (I only picked Romeo and Juliet as I am reading that one next) when I say that they are quite short which means they are great for playing hooky with because you would probably be able to finish one in a day, which is always really rewarding.

8. The Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith.  Another feel-good series that can pick you up and transport you to somewhere completely different (Botswana in this case) and make you forget about the pressures and stresses in your daily life.

9. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.  As many of you know, this is one of my all time favourite books (so maybe I am biased) but I do think it has severe readability and is one of those books that is a real pleasure to read.

10. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens.  I remember reading this Dickens last Christmas and really enjoying it, but I think that was because I could spend a couple of hours every day reading it, so I highly recommend playing hooky with this one.

Yes, I am starting The Hunger Games tonight, as I am nearly halfway through Wuthering Heights and finding it quite hard going and I fancy a bit of easier reading.  I will let you know what I think of both books in due course.