The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Series Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Suppose a good friend calmly told you over a round of drinks that the world was about to end? And suppose your friend went on to confess that he wasn’t from around here at all, but rather from a small planet near Betelgeuse? And what if the world really did come to an end, but instead of being blown away, you found yourself hitching a ride on a spaceship with your buddy as a travelling companion?

It happens to Arthur Dent.

An ordinary guy from a small town in England, Arthur is one lucky sonofagun: his alien friend, Ford Prefect, is in fact a roving researcher for the universally bestselling Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy … and expert at seeing the cosmos on 30 Altairian dollars a day. Ford lives by the Guide’s seminal bit of advice: Don’t Panic. Which comes in handy when their first ride–on the very same vessel that demolished Earth to make way for a hyperspacial freeway–ends disastrously (they are booted out of an airlock). with 30 seconds of air in their lungs and the odd of being picked up by another ship 2^276,709 to 1 against, the pair are scooped up by the only ship in the universe powered by the Infinite Improbability Drive.

But this (and the idea that Bogart movies and McDonald’s hamburgers now exist only in his mind) is just the beginning of the weird things Arthur will have to get used to. For, on his travels, he’ll encounter Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-President of the Galaxy; Trillian, a sexy spacecadet he once tried to pick up at a cocktail party, now Zaphod’s girlfriend; Marvin, a chronically depressed robot; and Slartibartfast, the award-winning engineer who built the Earth and travels in a spaceship disguised as a bistro.

Arthur’s wanderings will take him from the restaurant at the end of the Universe (where the main dish of the day introduces itself and the floor show is doomsday), to the planet Krikkit (locked in Slo-Time to punish its inhabitants for trying to end the Universe), to Earth (huh? wait! wasn’t it destroyed?!) to the very offices of The Hitchhiker’s Guide itself as he and his friends quest for the answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything … and search for a really good cup of tea.

My Series Review

In the beginning the Universe was created. This had made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

When I think of books to tickle my funny bone I find it hard to look further than the fantastic trilogy in five parts that is the late Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.

The books in the series are as follows:

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  3. Life, the Universe and Everything
  4. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
  5. Mostly Harmless

I adore these books with all my heart and I could not recommend them more highly. The humour is definitely zany and somewhat off the wall… but it’s also incredibly witty and intelligent. I really think to write good comedy requires the greatest of skill.

Oddly enough though, Hitchhiker’s was not originally a book. It in fact started its life as a BBC radio play back in the 1970s. It has also been adapted for both TV and cinema over the years.

I have never heard the radio play nor have I seen the TV adaptation. Instead, unsurprisingly considering this is a book blog, my introduction to the wonderful world of Hitchhiker’s came as a teenager discovering the books. I bought a hardback of the five books bound together in one chunky edition and devoured them all. And I never laughed so hard as I did at the books. Some of my favourite quotes include:

“The history of every major Galactic Civilisation tends to pass through three distinct and recognisable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases.

For instance, the first phase is characterised 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 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

And this one…

“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”

“Why, what did she tell you?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

And then there’s this one that completely kills me…

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarise: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarise the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

The Restaurant at the End of The Universe

I smile just thinking about these brilliant books.

So if ever life seems to be a bit too much and you want to completely escape then I highly recommend seeking out the companionship of Arthur Dent and company. In Arthur you will discover one of the most ordinary of characters and it is through his eyes and his wide-eyed, bumbling ways that you will journey across the galaxy and discover what the true meaning of life is…

Hint. It’s the ability to laugh at the absurdity of life and to enjoy wherever the journey leads you.

Or it’s the number 42…

And I’ll leave you with this ridiculous tune from the 2005 film adaptation… It’s sung by the dolphins who are actually the smartest creatures on planet Earth according to The Guide…

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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26 thoughts on “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Series Review

    1. Oh Elizabeth it’s just a splendid series. It’s pure comic genius. Even if you just read the first book (which is the best) it’ll just have you giggling at the absurdity of it all. Adams was such an intelligent man, you can see it in the writing. So sad that we lost him so early. He had so much more to give

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so keen to read Hitchhikers 😀 Can you believe my library doesn’t own it?? The tragedy! I’m thinking of just buying it. I love the quotes and the humour is perfect. I fell in love with Terry Pratchett’s humour and then proceeded to buy the whole Discworld. I think this might be a similar case 😛 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg…. No Douglas Adams in your library!!!!!!! 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱 I CANT!!!!!!!!! That is TRAGIC!!!!!!!!! I love these books so much Jen. They’re soooo funny, I personally think funnier than Sir Terry but if you love his humour you’ll definitely appreciate the off the wall humour of these. :))))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHHHHHH!! I have never felt sooo deprived before that while reading this post!😭😭😭😭😭 BECAUSE I HAVENT READ The Hitchhiker’s series yet BUT NOW I WANT TO!!!!!! AND THOSE QUOTESSS!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 DEFINITELY ON MY TBR NOW! ❤️❤️❤️👻👻👻👻👻

    Liked by 1 person

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