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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romp of Cosmic Proportions!
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...
Published on May 2 2005 by Karl Kilian (Denton, TX)

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny but why? Why do people like this book?
I listened to this book on CD; the six CD BBC Radio production. While I certainly found the book amusing, I don't know why people are so excited about it. It seems that Adams pretends to have a plot but really does not want to have one. The tone is too ridiculous to be meaningful and the characters are too flat.
The event that starts the novel is the demolition of...
Published on Dec 24 2001 by Bruce H


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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. Adams pokes fun at god, physics, probability, and life, the universe, and everything (the latter three being the title of a subsequent novel in the series).
If you read one book before the Earth is blown up, make it the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Click to purchase this one! Along with this masterpiece, let me recommend another hilarious romp (I picked up off Amazon) The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, not exactly science fiction but truly entertaining and loads of fun.
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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 "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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. Things become even trickier for him when he discovers the great usefulness of sticking a Babel fish into his ear and then meets the singular President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox and his shipmate Trillian, both of whom Arthur actually met months before at a party. Such impossible coincidences are explained by the fact that Beeblebrox's ship is powered by the new Infinite Improbability Drive. Dent grows more and more confused during his travels on board the Heart of Gold, and the story eventually culminates with an amazing visit to an astronomically improbable world.
Much of the humor here is impossible to describe; this novel must be read to be appreciated. It seems like every single line holds a joke of some kind within it. The characters are also terrific: the unfortunate Arthur Dent, who basically has no idea what is going on; Ford Prefect, Arthur's remarkable friend from Betelgeuse; Zaphod Beeblebrox, with his two heads, three arms, and cavalier attitude; Trillian the lovely Earth girl who basically flies the Heart of Gold; Slartibartfast the planet builder and fjord-make extraordinaire; and my favorite character of all, Marvin the eternally depressed robot. Life-"loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it" is the Paranoid Android's philosophy. One brilliant thing that Adams does is to step away from the action every so often to present interesting facts about the universe as recorded in the Hitchhiker's Guide; here we learn about Vogon poetry, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, Trans Galactic Gargle Blasters, and other fascinating tidbits about life in the crazy universe Adams created. He even gives the reader the ultimate answer to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything in these pages.
This novel is just an amazingly hilarious read that will leave you yearning for more; to our great fortune, Adams indeed left us more in the form of four subsequent books in the Hitchhiker's "trilogy." If you don't like science fiction, it doesn't matter; read this book just for the laughs. The most amazing thing about Adams' humor is the fact that everyone seems to "get" it. Adams broke all the rules in writing a novel quite unlike any that had come before it, and he succeeded in spades. This may well be the funniest novel ever written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, Dec 19 2005
By 
Okay. A review without a synopsis or, in fact, a review. If you're on this page, if you're reading these words, then you've heard of Hitchhiker's and you want me, as a total stranger, to tell you if it's any good or if you should buy it or not.
Just buy it. Don't ask questions. Just buy it. And read it.
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in (1) Sci-Fi, (2) Humour, (3) PG Wodehouse. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, with its sequels, stands in a genre of its own. It has been compared to other iconic British comedy such as Monty Python material, or such tongue-in-cheekers as Dr Who. While these share a history with Hitchhiker's and its author, Hitchhiker's has its own unique contribution to make to contemporary entertainment and contemporary literature.
No need for a synopsis or a gushing review here. You can Google hundreds (if not thousands) of websites, some fan-driven, some professional, that will tell you all you need to know (and much that you probably wish you could avoid). And you can always see the fair-to-middling 2005 Spyglass Pictures movie for the general plot (with significant studio-pleasing alterations). But nothing can compare to the almost real thing: The Book.
Almost real, because the real real thing is the original and unsurpassed BBC radio series (1978-80). You can still buy that one on CD. If you want to experience the majesty of Hitchhiker's in the medium its episodic and staccato plot was originally penned to fit, then get the radio series. Otherwise read the book(s).
Why? Because I said so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Towels, Mice, and Spaceships, Feb. 12 2002
'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy,' by Douglas Adams, is a spontaneous comic adventure. To bring out the humorous characters and events, Douglas Adams uses a lot of satire to attract the reader's attention. A scene that brings out much of the satire is at the beginning of the book. Arthur Ford lies in front of bulldozer to stop the demolition of his house so the city can build a bypass. Arthur, having just found out the day before, is annoyed because the plans were buried from the public. To emphasize the satire, Adams destroys Earth to build an intergalactic bypass whose plans were also buried. This is all going on while the construction workers are trying to find a way to get more money out of their union for working with insane people. Adam uses this satire throughout the entire book to give it an added flavor and to persuade changes on earth with certain situations. As Arthur and Ford start hitchhiking their way around the galaxy to find the ultimate answers to life and the universe, they encounter worlds full of trouble.
The story starts out with Arthur Dent protesting his house from being torn down for a bypass, when his friend Ford Perfect, an alien who has been posing as an out-of-work actor on earth for the past fifteen years, drags Arthur away to tell him the world is going to be destroyed. He warns his disbelieving friend Arthur that the planet is soon to blow up, and rescues both of them seconds before its destruction by hitching a ride from the Vogons. After Ford and Arthur are tortured by hideous poetry, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the president of the galaxy, and Trillia, the only other surviving human being, save them. Together they travel the galaxy to lead to the ultimate answers to life.
I would say this book is Random. Sinister. Funny. 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' covers everything from galactic space monsters to far-off planets no one has ever of. This completely random book has the reader on his toes from the very first page to the last. Totally unpredictable. If you want a joyful, whimsical ride through space, then read 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very smart mice., Feb. 4 2002
The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy is the funniest science fiction brief novel I've ever read. Dialogs are funny, descriptions are comic and the argument is hilarius. Most of all, this is a smart novel where the casuality is masterly managed. Actually, nothing that happens in the novel is casual but just very, very improbable. These very improbable events produce a world where, for example, humans are only part of a ten million years long experiment done by the most intelligent species in the universe: mice, of course.
I'm looking forward to read the other two parts of the "incresingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy".
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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. Unfortunately, it's come to his attention that the world is about to end : the Vogons, on behalf of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council, need to demolish Earth to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Fortunately, Ford has a way out and he plans to bring Arthur with him.

After surviving the demolition and some Vogon poetry, the pair are picked up by Zaphod Beeblebrox - the two-headed, three-armed, renegade President of the Imperial Galactic Government and an old friend of Ford's. Beeblebrox has managed to 'acquire' a very stylish spaceship called 'The Heart of Gold' - a ship with a very improbable fuel source. The ship's crew is completed by Trillian, a human female, and Marvin, a paranoid android.

This is an exceptionally enjoyable, extremely funny and very easily read book - Terry Pratchett fans, in particular, should enjoy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget to bring a towel, June 17 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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. Things become even trickier for him when he discovers the great usefulness of sticking a Babel fish into his ear and then meets the singular President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox and his shipmate Trillian, both of whom Arthur actually met months before at a party. Such impossible coincidences are explained by the fact that Beeblebrox's ship is powered by the new Infinite Improbability Drive. Dent grows more and more confused during his travels on board the Heart of Gold, and the story eventually culminates with an amazing visit to an astronomically improbable world.

Much of the humor here is impossible to describe; this novel must be read to be appreciated. It seems like every single line holds a joke of some kind within it. The characters are also terrific: the unfortunate Arthur Dent, who basically has no idea what is going on; Ford Prefect, Arthur's remarkable friend from Betelgeuse; Zaphod Beeblebrox, with his two heads, three arms, and cavalier attitude; Trillian the lovely Earth girl who basically flies the Heart of Gold; Slartibartfast the planet builder and fjord-make extraordinaire; and my favorite character of all, Marvin the eternally depressed robot. Life-"loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it" is the Paranoid Android's philosophy. One brilliant thing that Adams does is to step away from the action every so often to present interesting facts about the universe as recorded in the Hitchhiker's Guide; here we learn about Vogon poetry, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, Trans Galactic Gargle Blasters, and other fascinating tidbits about life in the crazy universe Adams created. He even gives the reader the ultimate answer to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything in these pages.

This novel is just an amazingly hilarious read that will leave you yearning for more; to our great fortune, Adams indeed left us more in the form of four subsequent books in the Hitchhiker's "trilogy." If you don't like science fiction, it doesn't matter; read this book just for the laughs. The most amazing thing about Adams' humor is the fact that everyone seems to "get" it. Adams broke all the rules in writing a novel quite unlike any that had come before it, and he succeeded in spades. This may well be the funniest novel ever written.
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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. Adams pokes fun at god, physics, probability, and life, the universe, and everything (the latter three being the title of a subsequent novel in the series).
If you read one book before the Earth is blown up, make it the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Click to purchase this one! Along with this masterpiece, let me recommend another hilarious romp (I picked up off Amazon) The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, not exactly science fiction but truly entertaining and loads of fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Andy Says, April 7 2004
By 
Senior High (Billings ,MT USA) - See all my reviews
The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy is a hilariously comic novel about many scientific aspects of the universe and creation. Many objects that seem insignificant turn up later, revealing their significance in the big scheme of things. The story, although funny, isn't necessarily an easy read. It reveals many details relating to other points carrying on throughout the novel and the whole series of novels. Douglas Adams take his readers through his points of view about the universe, which often leaves the reader saying, "What the crap?" However one can't help laughing at how ridiculous the situation is. The book is definitely difficult to put down.
All who like science fiction will love Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. One does need to keep an open mind while reading the novel because Adams makes fun of most aspects of the creation of the universe that are popular to most people. If in general you have no idea what you believe and you do get offended is your own damn problem. After all, it's just science fiction. It's not like he means it! In closing, "life, we apologize for the inconvenience."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Harmless, April 1 2004
By 
Aly (over there) - See all my reviews
Everybody's in search of something. For some it's meaning, for others it's a place in the universe, and for the rest of us, it's a digital watch. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy really illustrates that unsure feeling that we all have. Arthur Dent was lost enough on Earth, but after it's demolished, he in desperate need of finding a speck of understanding throughout the rest of the Galaxy. Good luck without your towel there, buddy boy.
I really dug this book. It didn't take you straight from point A to point B, as some novels do. It had twisty unpredictable swerves that gave you a glimpse of points X, Q and H, along the way, even though Q and H had nothing to do with anything. They were there for appreciation. For example, a nuclear bomb makes a quick transformation to a sperm whale before any damage is done. The reader is fully exposed to the Sperm whales thoughts and inner ramblings... all thirty seconds of them. It's beautifully absurd, and I loved it.
I fully enjoyed the nonsense and the silliness of the book. Little details, especially. An incredibly depressed robot, the hailing of digital watches, eager to please doors; all these things didn't necessarily prove incredibly important on the character's quest, but amusing, nonetheless. Without the silliness, this may have been another book about post-Earth days and the last thing we need is just another book about post-Earth days. Have no fear, this is not just another book.
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The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Paperback - Sept. 1 2009)
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