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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by…

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

by Douglas Adams (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,59548039 (4.22)1 / 1046
  1. 271
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency / The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (gandalf_grey)
  2. 249
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (ut.tecum.loquerer, coliemta)
    coliemta: One's more literary and the other more science-fiction-y, but they're both bizarre, hilarious and similar in feel. Most people who like one will enjoy the other.
  3. 121
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Good Omens is uneven in writing quality, but the flippant interactions between some of the angels and demons very much reminds me of Douglas Adams.
  4. 110
    The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : Science Fiction :: The Color of Magic : Fantasy
  5. 111
    Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor (Konran)
  6. 100
    Redshirts by John Scalzi (mcenroeucsb)
  7. 112
    The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut (girlunderglass, catfantastic)
    girlunderglass: before The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - more than 20 years before it - there was THIS book about space travel, time travel, and the "ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything". Adams certainly borrowed a lot from Vonnegut.
  8. 106
    The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (Nikkles)
  9. 20
    John Dies at the End by David Wong (fundevogel)
  10. 1210
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although Neverwhere and The Hitchhiker's Guide (THHG) are different genres (the first is urban fantasy, the second comic science-fiction) I felt there was a lot of similarity between the characters of Richard Mayhew (in Neverwhere) and Arthur Dent (in THHG). Both are a kind of everyman with whom the reader can identify and both embody a certain 'Britishness'. And they're both stonkingly good books by British authors.… (more)
  11. 20
    The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens (MyriadBooks)
  12. 10
    Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
  13. 65
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Satire and humor that will split your gut. Read if you want to laugh at humanity.
  14. 22
    The Toyminator by Robert Rankin (ShelfMonkey)
  15. 33
    The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: A campy-SF 50's detective story that I think will appeal to the same sense of humor.
  16. 33
    The Wish List by Eoin Colfer (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Follow the unlikely hero through a tongue-in-cheek, sci-fi adventure
  17. 45
    Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (unlucky)
    unlucky: Both are comedic with insight and satirical in nature, making fun of conventions in their respective genres.
  18. 34
    Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett (mybookshelf)
  19. 01
    Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams (Waldstein)
    Waldstein: Douglas Adams's true masterpiece, albeit one of non-fiction. Far wittier and profounder than The Guide.
  20. 02
    Astrotruckers by Mikael Niemi (andejons)
    andejons: Similarly absurd stories set in space, even if Niemi has more grime.

(see all 26 recommendations)

1970s (2)
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Showing 1-5 of 453 (next | show all)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in The Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy by Douglas Adams. Yes, you read that right: the series is a trilogy in five parts. This is the novel adaptation of the radio series of the same name. The book begins with a rather mundane start: Arthur Dent finds his home about to be demolished to make way for a bypass. Arthur's best friend, Ford Prefect, takes him to the local pub to drown his sorrows and deliver earth shattering news: The planet is about to be destroyed. Vogon's have arrived to demolish the entire planet to make way for a space bypass. Ford and Arthur hitch a ride on the Vogon's ship in the nick of time and so starts one of the quirkiest trips around the galaxy.

This was a group read on another forum and a reread for me. I last read it in 2010. I had definitely forgotten many of the details. The book has aged quite well. It has some very British humour, which I enjoyed immensely. The book is quite quotable:

"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?"

The book also introduces several great concepts, some of which are still used in pop culture today: The answer to everything is 42; the Improbability Drive; Babel Fish; always know where your towel is; humans are only the third most intelligent beings on the planet.

It's a fun, irreverent scifi classic. One day I need to download and listen to the original radio broadcast. ( )
1 vote Narilka | Oct 18, 2016 |
Let me start out by saying that I found this book mind-bendingly hilarious. There are those who will disagree, some who found it silly, pointless, or even unreadable and all I can think of is that they just didn’t get it. (Just check out some of the reviews on Amazon.) Of course as with music, art, and food, not every book will appeal to everyone. This one appealed to me though and this is why I think it ranks as a notable work of speculative fiction. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy forces readers to see the world from a different perspective and it drags them to this new vantage point laughing all the way if they allow it to, if they can suspend their disbelief long enough to let it. It begins with Arthur Dent doing the mundane things all of us do in our mundane world, shaving, brushing his teeth, and then he suddenly realizes that his house is about to be knocked down to build a bypass. Shift perspective. His normal routine is disrupted by a new, bigger picture. He is trying to stop the bulldozers when his friend Ford Prefect shows up. He has something important to say to him and he wants to say it at the local pub. The Earth is going to be destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Shift perspective again. His world has gone from being, well, the whole world to a minor nuisance so much so that the only reference to Earth in the Encyclopedia Galactica is that it is “mostly harmless.” And then as the book progresses it continues to challenge some very fundamental assumptions. Is the universe really as orderly and logical as we assume it to be or are do the laws of nature we understand amount to just one of an infinite number of possibilities? What really is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything—and does the question really make any sense? But whatever infinitely improbable circumstance you may find yourself in, the Hitchhiker’s Guide provides one bit of sagely advice—DON’T PANIC!
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
42. Bring a towel. ( )
  EllAreBee | Sep 19, 2016 |
Still love this book. I hope that I will always be able to appreciate its absurdity. ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
Using a world that is as charming as it is bizarre and with a wide array of characters to match Douglas Adams manages to bring us a commentary of faith, our society and humanity itself that varies in subtlety but goes deeper than the book's silly presentation would suggest. The delivery with which the story and the dialogue is presented is about as fine and dry as British humour gets, you'll find yourself laughing quite a bit if you're a fan of things such as Monty Python and other odd takes on British comedy. It's perhaps not a book that you'll find yourself reading for hours on end, the quirky humour is better experienced in short bursts and after about an hour of non-stop nonsense (the best kind of nonsense) you might find yourself mentally dulled. It's a book that everyone should at least attempt to read, there are very few things like it, it's enthralling, exciting and the commentary cuts quite deep. ( )
  Regulan | Sep 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 453 (next | show all)
Humorous science fiction novels have notoriously limited audiences; they tend to be full of ''in'' jokes understandable only to those who read everything from Jules Verne to Harlan Ellison. The ''Hitchhiker's Guide'' is a delightful exception, being written for anyone who can understand the thrill that might come to a crew of interstellar explorers who discover a mysterious planet, dead for five million years, and then hear on their ''sub etha'' radio a ghostly voice, hollow, reedy, insubstantial: ''Greetings to you. ... This is a recorded announcement, as I'm afraid we're all out at the moment. ...''

» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, DouglasAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, Douglas NoëlNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burton, JonathanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cross, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Irineu da Costa, CarlosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, TerryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Markkula, PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molnár, IstvánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwarz, BenjaminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serra, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tidholm, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
潤, 風見Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
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Original publication date
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Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Don't Panic
Johnny Brock and Clare Gorst
and all other Arlingtonians
for tea, sympathy, and a sofa
First words
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 amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
Don't Panic
If there's anything more important than my ego around here, I want it caught and shot now.
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.
For thousands of years, the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across—which happened to be the Earth—where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.
Life! Don't talk to me about life.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
[Book 1 Only] "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is the title of the first in a series of novels (as well as the first in a series of radio dramas). The five works in the series are generally referred to as "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" or "The Hitchhiker Trilogy", as is the series of radio dramas. Though there are unabridged audio recordings of these works, the radio dramas are considerably different from the printed works. Eoin Colfer, of "Artemis Fowl" fame, contracted in 2008 to write the next volume of the "Trilogy." Do not combine it with the graphic novel adaptation.
Publisher's editors
Information from the Hungarian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Arthur's drab lifestyle/The answer is forty two/ What is the question?
Wet, McKenna muttered

A curse up to God;

The clouds laughed.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345391802, Mass Market Paperback)

Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You'll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue. The Hitchhiker's Guide is rich in comedic detail and thought-provoking situations and stands up to multiple reads. Required reading for science fiction fans, this book (and its follow-ups) is also sure to please fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and British sitcoms.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:52 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitch-hike through space.

» see all 26 descriptions

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