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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (original 1979; edition 1981)

by Douglas Adams (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,28449736 (4.21)1 / 1087
Member:ChelseaRSmith
Title:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Authors:Douglas Adams (Author)
Info:Pocket (1981), 215 pages
Collections:Your library, Science Fiction
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Author) (1979)

Recently added bylipsticklibby, private library, junebug0694, Paul_and_Jane, anagabymtz08, mainemason, minfo, atarachia, kthork
Legacy LibrariesJuice Leskinen
  1. 272
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency / The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (gandalf_grey)
  2. 2410
    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. 132
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch 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. 111
    Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers by Grant Naylor (Konran)
  5. 111
    The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy : Science Fiction :: The Color of Magic : Fantasy
  6. 101
    Redshirts by John Scalzi (mcenroeucsb)
  7. 113
    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. 1411
    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)
  9. 97
    The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (Nikkles)
  10. 21
    John Dies at the End by David Wong (fundevogel)
  11. 11
    The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens (MyriadBooks)
  12. 00
    Alles außer irdisch by Horst Evers (Camaho)
  13. 66
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (wvlibrarydude)
    wvlibrarydude: Satire and humor that will split your gut. Read if you want to laugh at humanity.
  14. 01
    Doorways in the sand by Roger Zelazny (WildMaggie)
  15. 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.
  16. 01
    Beforelife: A Likely Story by Randal Graham (ShelfMonkey)
  17. 35
    Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett (mybookshelf)
  18. 13
    The Toyminator by Robert Rankin (ShelfMonkey)
  19. 24
    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.
  20. 24
    The Wish List by Eoin Colfer (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Follow the unlikely hero through a tongue-in-cheek, sci-fi adventure

(see all 28 recommendations)

1970s (2)
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English (470)  Italian (5)  French (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Slovak (2)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (497)
Showing 1-5 of 470 (next | show all)
Finished a re-listen today. Still love it! ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

Firstly I should admit that this was not the first time that I've read this book. Unfortunately I'm old enough to have joined the clamour for it when it was first released in 1979.( It was the Harry Potter of it's day amongst male teenagers, a must read).

I won't say too much about the plot other than saying that the lead character Arthur Dent is rescued seconds before the earth is destroyed to make way for a cosmic super-highway by his friend Ford Perfect, a cosmic alien hitchhiker who had been living on Earth for the past 15 years disguised as a human. Earth had not as yet visited any other planets so did not even know that there was Alien life out there. This then is the story of Arthur Dent's initial adventures in space and time although in truth all Arthur wants to find is a decent cup of tea.

Personally I think the credulous Arthur is a great character but Douglas Adams also goes to great lengths to describe how the technology of his world works in a totally bonkers fashion. Adams was truly a master of the absurd. I mean anyone who can dream up a character called 'Slartibartfast' has to be a bit special IMHO.

Coupled with this touch of the bizarre the book contains some quite insightful reflections into the human condition and sticks two fingers up to our Political system as he lampoons mankind’s endless foibles and failings. Adams has created a surreal universe and to top it all off he has solved the ' Meaning of Life and all that' and apparently it is 42. Perhaps the book is showing it's age now in a digital world but it is still a very good read. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Jun 19, 2017 |
"I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied. Look at me: I design coastlines. I got an award for Norway. Where’s the sense in that? None that I’ve been able to make out. I’ve been doing fjords all my life. For a fleeting moment they become fashionable and I get a major award.” -- Slartibartfast

"[T]here comes a point I’m afraid where you begin to suspect that if there’s any real truth, it’s that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise.” -- Frankie.

The above two quotes go a long way towards summarizing what I take away from this book every time that I read it. Yes, it's another re-read of another title that I picked up when the ebook version's price was right, and it has lost nothing of its impact on me over time. Just a fun, wacky and thought-provoking bit of skiffy craziness from the late Douglas Adams, who was taken from us far too soon. There's really not much to say at this point, other than to point out that I have no intention of making this the last time that I will have read this book. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
The second time to read this book. I found it a bit more hilarious than the first time I read it but the best part are the first few pages then it loses some of its momentum. Over all, a fun read, audio was well done and I own it so probably will read it again someday. I thought of the talking, annoying robots and computer voices and thought of Hal from 2001 a Space Odyssey and I also thought of those annoying voices of GPS in our vehicles and Siri and Alexa, etc. I think that was forward thinking on the author's part. Rating 2.875. ( )
  Kristelh | May 23, 2017 |
Absolutely brilliant. ( )
  pchr8 | May 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 470 (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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People/Characters
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Important events
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Don't Panic
Dedication
for
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.
Quotations
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.
Blurbers
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Book description
Haiku summary
Arthur's drab lifestyle/The answer is forty two/ What is the question?
(hreilly)
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 21 descriptions

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