Sorry…I’m not one to pass up a good movie reference.
My name is Hannah and I’m excited to say that I’m the newest contributor to this site. Exactly who am I? Well, I’m the kind of person who pronounces words wrong because I’ve only ever seen them in novels. I’m a writer and reader who always has far too
many books few bookshelves. I love words, but generally only the written kind, since people who talk too much keep me from my reading. Once I accidentally dropped a favorite book of mine in a pool and almost had a fit.
That being said, I am the perfect – or at least the most entertaining – person to write book reviews here. I’ll be doing a novel review every other Sunday, so stick around.
To start myself off on the right foot, I decided that my first post should be about one of the most momentous sci-fi comedies of all time: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. So don’t panic, grab your towel, and hitch along for the ride.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is by far the most ridiculous book I have ever read, as well as one of the most hilarious and brilliant sci-fi’s known to mankind.
The storyline? It goes something like this:
Arthur Dent is just an ordinary earthling who is having a very, very bad Thursday. He knew there was something wrong when he woke up in the morning with an awful hangover and several yellow bulldozers lumbering about in his front yard. As it turns out, the city wants to build a bypass, which is helpful to every except for Arthur, since his house happens to be standing exactly where the bypass needs to go.
And, being a rather dull earthling, this concerns Arthur very much. But Ford Prefect knows how silly it is to be worried about such mundane matters, since he has been informed that an alien race, the Vogons, wish to build a bypass themselves. Unfortunately, earth is rather in the way of their project, so the only logical course of action is to blow it up.
Of course nobody believes Ford Prefect when he tries to tell them this. But, being a researcher for the newest edition of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Ford always knows where his towel is. In other words, Ford has his act together and is not about to be obliterated by Vogon’s. Armed with his towel, some peanuts, and a Babel fish, Ford grabs his friend Arthur and hitches a ride on the Vogon’s ship, thus beginning one of the most interesting and improbable journeys of his life.
Together, Ford and Arthur travel the galaxy, running into such people as Zaphod Beeblebrox, the ex-hippie president with more than a few screws loose, Trillian, the girl who is unlucky enough to be Zaphod’s girlfriend, and Marvin, the robot with a brain the size of a planet who suffers from depression.
And let’s not forget the mice who have found the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Unfortunately, nobody knows the actual question, which makes the answer rather useless.
DON’T PANIC. Those are the words written across The Guide’s cover, and Arthur’s going to need to learn how to implement this advice in order to survive his crazy flight through the galaxy.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Okay, so maybe it is kind of goofy, but it can also be strangely thought-provoking at certain points, as well as insanely brilliant and hysterical.
For instance, what kind of an author is awesome enough to write something as funny but painfully accurate as this:
“[Earth] has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
And then turn around and write something as snide as this:
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
Douglas Adams, that’s who. I’ve never read anything quite like this book. There is no real character-arc, but the characters are amazing. The plot is very ridiculous, but the plot is also very brilliant. As far as comedy goes, it is stupidly entertaining.
It’s much like The Princess Bride, only with spaceships and no love story. So, really, not much like Princess Bride at all, but it has the same off-beat, zany kind of style.
In short, this is not a book to be ignored. If you haven’t already, grab your towel and go out and buy yourself a copy. Or just stay sitting down and order it from Amazon. Call in sick, spend all day reading it, and then come back and tell me what you thought.
Hannah Heath – bookworm and aspiring author