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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [Mass Market Paperback]

Douglas Adams
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romp of Cosmic Proportions! May 2 2005
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a book by Douglas Adams. It is arguably one of the funniest books in the galaxy. This is an incredibly imaginative, colorful, and hilarious novel by English author Douglas Adams that will have you turning the pages until you reach the last one, and then leave you wanting more. But don't panic! There are a total of five books in the trilogy.
The story begins with our hero Arthur Dent, who is about to have his house demolished in order that a bypass might be built where it stands. Little does he know that on this, the worst of all Thursdays ever, that doesn't mean much because the Earth is about to be demolished to build a hyperspace bypass through the solar system. Luckily for him, his close friend Ford Prefect turns out to be a field researcher for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a sort of electronic encyclopedia, and is from Betelgeuse.
Ford explains to Arthur that the demise of his planet is imminent, and whisks him away to a spaceship at the last moment. Thus begins the fun, and along the way we'll meet more interesting characters, visit the end of the universe, discover the true origins of mankind, see the earth created (and destroyed), and find out that we are only the third most intelligent species on the planet. We'll also learn more about the guide it self, and why it sells so well: it has the words "Don't Panic" inscribed in large letters on the cover.
Adams writing style is chock full of original and entertaining metaphors and descriptions. We see spaceships that hang in the sky "much in the way that bricks don't", monsters so stupid that they assume if you can't see them, they can't see you; and learn it's unpleasant to be drunk: just ask a glass of water.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget to bring a towel Jan. 3 2003
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:School & Library Binding
No matter how many times I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I've read it quite a few times already, it never fails to thrill me and induce bouts of almost uncontrollably hearty laughter. With this novel, Douglas Adams gave life to a phenomenon that will long outlive his tragically short life, delighting millions of readers for untold years to come. I'm not sure if science fiction had ever seen anything like this before 1979. This is science fiction made to laugh at itself while honoring its rich tradition, but it is much more than that. Adams' peculiarly dead-on humor also draws deeply from the well of sociology, philosophy, and of course science. Whenever Adams encountered a sacred cow of any sort, he milked it dry before moving on. Beneath the surface of utter hilarity, Adams actually used his sarcasm and wit to make some rather poignant statements about this silly thing called life and the manner in which we are going about living it. This is one reason the book is so well-suited for multiple readings-a high level of enjoyment is guaranteed each time around, and there are always new insights to be gained from Adams' underlying, oftentimes subtle, ideas and approach.
Arthur Dent is your normal human being, and so he naturally is more concerned about his house being knocked down than facing the fact that the world is about to end. His friend Ford Prefect, he comes to learn, is actually a researcher from a planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, but before he can even begin to comprehend this fact, he finds himself zipped up into the confines of the Vogon space cruiser that has just destroyed the planet Earth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be ready to meet the mice ;) Jan. 10 2007
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is a thoroughly strange book, that at the same time is oddly charming. It starts in a really weird way, with the demolition of Earth (yes, our planet) in order to build a interestellar highway. Only one man survives the end of our world: an Englishman, Arthur Dent. Arthur is saved from sure death by one of his friends, Ford Prefect, that also happened to be an alien doing some research for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (an electronic book that "tells you everything you need to know about anything", and that specially highlights the need for a towel).

Ford got a lift for them with a Vogon spaceship, where they would soon be subjected to a danger worse than death: Vogon poetry. Anyway, as nothing bad last forever, there were soon ejected into space to suffer certain and painful death, only to be rescued again just in time to begin their adventures.

Both Ford and Arthur are interesting characters, but I found Arthur's whining particularly funny. For example, and in his own words to Ford: "you are talking about a positive mental attitude and you haven't even had your planet demolished today. I woke up this morning and thought I'd have a nice relaxed day, do a bit of reading, brush the dog... It is now just after four in the afternoon and I am already being thrown out of an alien spaceship six light-years from the smoking remains of the Earth!".

There are other characters and things you will find interesting, like an eternally depressed robot (life, "loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it"), Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the Babel fish (capable of translating any language in the galaxy if you put them in your ear). There are also some scenes that appear out of the blue, but that are quite enchanting.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, format seems rushed
A great classic book. It is still great, and it will always be great. However, the kindle format does not serve the book as well as it could - I noticed quite a few technical... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Jeffrey Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTLEY BRILLIANT!
Excellent book! Recommended to any Sci-Fi fan or anyone wanting a funny, intriguing read! Douglas Adams at his best.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Always a good read.
I actually bought this book as a Christmas gift. I've read it before and loved it, and if you are a science fiction reader it should be on your must read list. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Paige
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic sci-fi novel for all ages
This book is on my top 10 list as a must read. Whether you are a sci-fi aficionado or not. This book will appeal to all ages and interests. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scott W.
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
I own Hitchhiker's as a paperback, or I did, until I loaned it to somebody and it was lost. I just wanted to say how funny it was to read the forward by Russell Davies about paper... Read more
Published 10 months ago by fevre
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny book
This is a great book, recommended reading for anyone who has see the movie or television series. Will definitely be moving on to the sequels.
Published 11 months ago by Simon Rivard
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
I have read this book and the subsequent books many times! More than 10! Classic and wonderful! Every time I open it, I find some new twist that I missed last time. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Joan
2.0 out of 5 stars Gargleblaster
Years ago I had "The Hitchhikers Guide........." on tape. (Abridged) I was looking to replace it as it was such a favourite. It was superior in every way to this recording. Read more
Published 24 months ago by J. West
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitchhiker's Guide
This is the Novel version of Hitchhicker's read in full by Stephen Fry. Brilliantly done, very entertaining! If you are looking for the original radio series then this is not it.
Published on Oct. 29 2011 by Mike Ounsworth
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I usually don't fall in love with a book so quickly, but this one stole my heart and captured my attention right from the off. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2011 by Liana
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