28 June 2009
Book Review: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Published: 1980 Pages: 216
Genre: Science Fiction
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Ford Prefect has been stuck on Earth for 15 years, but when he realizes that Earth is about to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, he grabs his Earthman friend, Arthur Dent, and the two of them hitch a ride on a Vogon spaceship. That's just the first few pages...
I have read this book many many times, and each time I laugh. Funny is the first word that comes to mind. Clever is the second. Throughout the book there are neat little statements, concepts, and ideas that are both ridiculous and oddly infused with Truth. Philosophers adamantly demanding the destruction of a computer which can provide the ultimate answer; physicists lynching the student who figured out the Infinite Improbability problem; mice and dolphins being a bit more intelligent than commonly assumed; etc.
The part that makes it clever and funny though is not necessarily the plot so much as the writing. Adams employs syntax and turns of phrase that make the writing as clever as the ideas. For example: "...it invariably delivered a liquid that tasted almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea." The first time I read that line, I paused, went back, and read it again. I love it when a writer can make me pause for a clever turn of phrase.
I highly recommend this book to anyone as I truly believe that even those who are not necessarily science fiction fans will still find something to enjoy in Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide. Pretty much all ages can enjoy this book as well. While there are a few sexual innuendos (pretty innocent ones such as "Best Bang since the Big One") and references to drinking and smoking, this is nothing that will surprise most pre-teens.
Jules' Book Reviews