The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
performed by Stephen Fry
Published 2005 by Random House Audio
5 hours, 51 minutes. Unabridged.
Rating: 2/5

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”) and a galaxy full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

I saw the movie adaptation to this when it first came out, which was a while ago. This was like taking a refresher course for a class or something. I pretty much just sat there thinking, “oh yeah, I remember that.” I’m not totally sure if that’s good or not. This book has been on my TBR for years, even before the movie came out. I had so many friends in high school that loved it. My expectations were pretty high, and I just don’t think it met them. It was something I would have really enjoyed then, but isn’t quite my style now.

I will say that it has your typical British humor, much like Monty Python at times. It’s funny, which I suppose is the point, but not quite the hilarious jaunt through space I was expecting. I think Marvin was my favorite part. There’s nothing like a depressed robot to liven things up. Anyway, it’s a relatively funny and short listen, and Stephen Fry does a good job with the narration. If it sounds like something you might like, go ahead and pick it up. Just don’t hold your breath for something absolutely spectacular.

I think I’ll go ahead and try the next book in the “trilogy.” I’m thinking watching that movie years ago kind of spoiled this one for me a little.

Source: Emmett O’Neal Library. Mountain Brook, AL.
Purchase this book: Random House Audio | Book Depository | IndieBound | Audible

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