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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 (532 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Panic Jan. 25 2007
Written by Douglas Adams, "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" was first published in 1979 and is the first instalment of his legendary five-part trilogy. (Adams apparently attributed this to a poor grasp of arithmetic). The series started life as a radio show, before becoming a book, a television series, a play and a bath towel. After years of trying, it was finally adapted for the big screen in 2005. Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in 1952 and died in May 2001, while working on the film's screenplay.

Arthur Dent wakes up on a Thursday morning with a raging hangover. Having left London about three years before the book opens, he now lives in England's West Country. That, however, is about to change : the local council has decided to knock down his house to make way for a bypass. Although their plans had officially been place for around nine months, they had somehow 'forgotten' to mention it to Arthur until the previous day - hence, the raging hangover. In a very bad start to the day, his hangover is interrupted by a bulldozer trundling up the garden path.

Things aren't about to get any better, either. Arthur's one-man protest is disturbed by Ford Prefect - a very good friend who drags him off to "The Horse and Groom", with the express intention of drinking several pints of bitter. The pair have been friends for around five or six years. So far as Arthur knows, Ford is an out-of-work actor from Guildford. In fact, he comes from a small planet near Betelgeuse, is a roving reporter from "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" (imagine an interstellar Rough Guide) and has been marooned on Earth for about fifteen years.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Gord Winters
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 1 month 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 2 months 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 11 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 11 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 12 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 12 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 19 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 on Sept. 17 2012 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
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