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.