The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Book - 1980 | 1st American ed.
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After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitchhike through space.
Publisher: New York : Harmony Books, 1980, ©1979.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780517542095
0517542099
9780345391803
0345391802
9781400052929
1400052920
9780606123365
0606123369
0802409745
Characteristics: 215 pages ; 20 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Arthur Dent’s problems rapidly escalate when his home is threatened by a bulldozer, and his planet by the Vogon Constructor Fleet. Luckily, his best friend is an alien who just might be able to save them from certain doom. Alternately a hilarious science fiction comedy and cynical social satire. ... Read More »

Read through the five-book trilogy or pick through the various episodic chapters, filled with satire, clever and humorous wordplay, and delightful sci-fi absurdity. For more of Adams' wit and insight applied to a more serious topic, read Last Chance to See, about his experiences meeting and writi... Read More »

List - Male P.O.V.
Beaverton_Teens Oct 27, 2018

Part of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series.

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so am... Read More »

"Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it." Grab your towel and join Arthur, Ford, and Zaphod Beeblebrox as they journey the galaxy discovering the fastest space ship, worst poetry, and most explosive cocktail.


From the critics


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m
MrSpecial
Oct 29, 2019

Nonsensical, whimsical, and full of absurdity. Douglas Adams has a childlike sense of wonder and creativity in the way that he wrote that was like no other.

caleherreman Aug 06, 2019

I'm not sure what to say to you that could prepare you for this cult classic. This is a philosophical science fiction novel of fine distinctions: a lot of the humor depends on double meanings and misunderstandings. The unbelievable coincidences that move the characters together are all explainable by an ingenious probability-warping plot device, and the answer to the ultimate question has been found by the Universe's second-greatest computer. Not that any of that benefits us Earthlings, as our planet is destroyed in a bureaucratic mix-up in the early chapters. Confused? You will be, but you will come out the other side, not with all the answers to life, but having completed a parodic send-up of space operas, a satire of philosophy, and a relentlessly funny story of ends, beginnings, and the negotiations in between.

g
gjfricano
Jul 15, 2019

One of my absolute favorites. Adam's dry humor and wit are timeless making this a read appropriate for all occasions.

c
cannotbeheard
Jul 05, 2019

I loved the absurdities in this book. I listened to the audiobook and it was read by Stephen Fry, excellent choice. I thought the plot was lacking. If it had been filled with only absurdities, I probably would have enjoyed it more but the storyline following Arthur Dent was quite dull.

h
HelenaBeat
May 18, 2019

If you’ve spent anytime simply engaging in Pop Culture, then surely you’d have come across a reference or to to this story in the saga specifically.
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy”, is a quick out of the way story to read that offers the equivalent of comedy as having been days and days of content. All just by being eloquently written!

The story of itself is in no way difficult to interpret; A ragtag group of intergalactic members having no clue as where to. Arthur and Ford being two members of Earth before having just been destroyed, are cast off into space by picking up a ride. Through their adventure of really just not trying to die, they make light of it and essentially make well of it. They meet others who are in search of the answer to The Question, and those people are honestly not the ones to be finding the answer of that. Yet it works, you may be lost in what’s going on but so are the characters. It’s almost as though the book itself is trying to tell you, “Yeah everything is pointless but who cares, we’re having fun and the universe can go off about it”.

All in all, it’s a great read if you want something to be a breeze and pick you up at the same time. The snappy dialogue and inquisitive descriptions will sure to make your day!

t
TucsonKathryn
Mar 25, 2019

Very funny!

c
ChrisMcMil
Mar 19, 2019

This is a unique and classic piece of SF-humour: almost a genre of its own and the source of many well-known quotes. If you like British humour you will love this series of stories (the absurdities are relentless). If you don’t care for it, please ignore this comment.

j
Jzomberg
Feb 23, 2019

This book is awesome.

k
kmobuckeye
Feb 12, 2019

Classic. A must read for any sci-fi fan.

l
LaNomada01
Jan 12, 2019

This is a life handbook. Things I learned that I have carried with me to this day.
1. The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42 and the reason why no answer ever truly makes sense - is because humans can't even really figure out what the question is.
2. Vogons write the worst poetry in the galaxy.
3. There's a great restaurant at the end of the universe.
4. MOST IMPORTANTLY - never go anywhere without a towel. This one has helped me on numerous occasions it is truly a versatile object.

Best Quote about the Towel
“…it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it around your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.”

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Quotes

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h
HelenaBeat
May 18, 2019

“Ford,” he said. “you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.”

Ford carried on counting quietly. This is about the most aggressive thing you can do to a computer, the equivalent of going up to a human being and saying, "Blood...blood...blood...blood..."

"We don't demand solid facts! What we demand is a total absence of solid facts. I demand that I may or may not be Vroomfondel!"

"The mice will see you now."

This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

d
Dstar_4
Jul 04, 2016

Don't Panic!

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

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Age

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a
adleremse42
Aug 11, 2019

adleremse42 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

h
HelenaBeat
May 18, 2019

HelenaBeat thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

b
blue_penguin_3376
May 09, 2019

blue_penguin_3376 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

g
GioF
May 04, 2019

GioF thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99

b
blue_dog_8171
Jan 10, 2019

blue_dog_8171 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

a
AdrianR2003
Oct 05, 2017

AdrianR2003 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 2 and 98

RobertELPL Mar 05, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

x
xzhang17
Aug 23, 2015

xzhang17 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

1
1seak
Aug 16, 2015

1seak thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 14

c
CBR01
Jul 12, 2015

CBR01 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Notices

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b
benzelli
Dec 18, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: You will die from boredom

b
benzelli
Dec 18, 2012

Coarse Language: You will start convulsing and seizing and the fear implanted in your brain from this book will target the part of your brain that contains coarse language. you'll start cursing so badly that while you are speaking you'll swallow your tongue.

Summary

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x
xzhang17
Aug 22, 2015

The book opens with Arthur Dent is trying to keep his house from being demolished by the local council to make room for a highway bypass. Soon his friend Ford Prefect (who is in fact a researcher for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and posing as an out of work actor) arrives on the scene and tries to convince Arthur that Earth will be soon demolished in a similar way. Arthur and Ford stow away on an alien spaceship (the Vogons' in fact) and begin their fantastic journey throughout the galaxy.

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