"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


I have a very smug feeling right now that something very magical and extraordinary has just happened to me. All of the sudden I am on the "inside" and I didn't even know I was on the outside before. It is as if I have finally been initiated into an exclusive club that was so elusive that I didn't even want to join until now and that is because I'm in. To what do I credit this bit of good luck and instant popularity? Why, the answer is simple. I have just finished reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I have arrived. I know the answer to life's big question. The only small cloud over my wonderful parade is wondering why no one has impressed on me the need to read this book before now. Is membership in the Hitchhiker's club so exclusive that no one dare recommend the book to individuals unprepared for the journey? Did I have to pass some unwritten test to determine if I was worthy? Well, whatever the reason, I've read it now and I shall tell everyone to read it, the sooner the better.  So what is so special about this book, you ask.  Let me tell you a few things that I discovered.
  • First of all, the book is funny, very funny, Monty Python funny. I found myself bursting out in laughter seemingly randomly. I would try to explain the funny bits to family members who would stare at me blankly. Apparently it is a type of humor that is cumulative.
  • Just when I'd think I was figuring out the plot, everything would shift.  Nope, I didn't guess that would happen next.
  • I read from the 25th anniversary edition and listened to the audiobook, both being excellent choices. The 25th anniversary edition had 65 pages of Part 1: before the book which included all kinds of information about Douglas Adams, how he got started writing the book, photographs and other diagrams of the book and the movie that followed, and quotes from famous people associated with the book.  Because of this introduction I was infatuated with the book before I started it.  Then I started listening to the audiobook read by Stephen Fry.  If ever there was a perfect voice actor for a role it was Stephen Fry for this role.  He is a humorous reader and his many voices made me laugh even when what was being said wasn't that funny. 
  • I have the distinct feeling that I missed a lot of the jokes and I am fully prepared to reread the book, read the sequels, and/or watch the movie or all three.  In fact, I want my own copy of the book.
Have I convinced you?  Is it time for you to pick up this book and finally read it for yourself?  I highly encourage you to do it.  If you have read the book, let me know your thoughts, too!

7 comments:

  1. I, too, enjoyed this book greatly when I read it and felt like I finally understood some of the preposterous "inside" jokes that I had heard for years.

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  2. What good timing, Anne! My husband and I were just telling our 16-year old son last night that he MUST read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy! We said, "Forget the movie - you HAVE to read the book." He loves Monty Python, he has a great sense of humor, and he loves to read science fiction. Also, as you alluded to here, there are so many inside jokes! In fact, that's how it came up...he was asking us some question about his homework, and we both said, "The answer is 42." It's like never having seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which is quoted ad nauseum in our house!)

    Another, more recent, cultural icon is Napoleon Dynamite. My kids watched it for the first time a few weeks ago while they were home sick, and they couldn't believe how many of the quotes they'd heard before.

    Well, I'm so glad you enjoyed it and are now in the club!

    Sue

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  3. Yeah, the movie was SUCH a disappointment. I've never read the book, but I know it must be a much MUCH better than what I saw on the screen.
    (Except for the opening credits which are quite wonderful. Watch the credits then turn it off.)

    I'm thinking maybe it's about time for me to take a crack at this.

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  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! It's one of my favorites and my friend's wedding actually had several references to Hitchhiker's Guide. So I guess it is a bit like a club... :)

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  5. Wow! I just got this book as a gift from a friend who kept referencing towel day...guess I'll know what it is when I read. lol

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  6. I think this is a book that everyone just assumes everyone else has read.

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  7. I am going to read it soon. I got the whole series on goodreads bookswap - I can't wait to read it.

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