Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my wife and I were trudging through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. We finished it last week and I am still struggling with my thoughts on it.

While it was an entertaining book and quite humorous at times, I have a feeling of having wasted a couple of hours of my life reading it. The number of books I have read more than once are very few. This will not make it onto that list.

The story is about Earth being destroyed to make a new intergalactic highway. Actually, that is just the spectacular thing that gets the story going. It does play a minor role in the events to follow. The last surviving Earth-man, Arthur Dent, is taken on an adventure by an alien, Ford Prefect, in which they hitchhike on a couple of ships (one intentionally and the other by a strange twist of improbability) and learn something about life, the universe and everything.

One of the caveats I was given by a friend is that I “had to overlook the whole evolutionary theory talk” that was in the book. I am strongly against the theory of evolution but was not at all offended by what was proposed in the book. I actually found humor in the way the author talked about evolution and thought it was actually a fair mockery of the whole thing. I am not sure what Douglas Adams’ thoughts were on evolution, but I am not sure he was a supporter.

Frustratingly typical of fiction books, it has its share of vulgarity. Since my wife and I were reading out loud to one another (and neither of us uses that kind of language) we had to do some creative speaking to keep the flow of the book going without uttering certain words. As this was written by a British author, there were some words which were unfamiliar to me. My wife is much more well read than I and therefore she kindly informed me each time I cursed in the Queen’s English.

If you told me you read the book, I think we could appreciate a good laugh at some of the events and passages, but I definitely would not recommend it as a “must read.” Well written? I guess. Humorous? Mostly. A good story? No, not really. Kinda lame.

I think my opinion counts for something (otherwise I would not have written anything here), but you also have to take into account that this is being written by someone who reads very little fiction.

4 thoughts on “Review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

  1. I enjoyed the book for what it was, which is a random story that sets up some good British humor. I’m a fan of the dry wit, and enjoyed the one liners. It’s a must read for geek subculture, but not for the general public, I’d think.

  2. …and enjoyed the one liners. It’s a must read for geek subculture…

    I agree about the good one liners. Some of them I have already started trying to put into my everyday conversations.

    I had heard that it was a “must read” for the geek. I definitely think I fall into that category. But, I must be missing something from my geek genes: the love of fiction, especially sci-fi. I don’t watch many movies either.

  3. I am a Sci-fi nut and still I have neither read the book nor watched it on T.V. I have heard some previews and thought I might try to watch some. But if you think it is humorous, then I will try to find a copy here or maybe wait until I visit you at a later date, then I will try to read it then.

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