Although my reviews may make it seem like I’m a bit of a one-trick pony (in the completely non-sexual, non-fetish sense), I’ve got other interests! With that in mind, I’m going to review Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
[openbook booknumber=”0330258648″ templatenumber=”2″]This is one of my favourite books of all time – I might… ahem… be a geeky fan girl. Despite having first read this around twenty years ago (and several times since), many of the lines are still in my lexicon today such as the answer to the meaning of life, “Beware of the Leopard”, the bits about penguins and Marvin the Paranoid Android. Several parts of this book made me laugh out loud – over and over.
Even if you haven’t read the book, I bet you’ve heard of translators called Babel Fish. Guess where that came from? There’s a fish in HHGTTG called the Babel fish that, upon insertion into one’s ear, would translate ALL languages. And please note, this book was written 10 years before the invention of the web!
I love this book so much that I own the original BBC televised version on VHS and DVD. I went to see the remake in the theatre… but I couldn’t quite bring myself to buy it. The actors did a great job, but the script missed all the best lines! I’ve also been to a bar that served a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster shot. It didn’t have the same effect it was supposed to in the book – “like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick” – but I was amused.
Anyway, HHGTTG is the first of five books in, and I quote from the cover of the fifth, Mostly Harmless, “the increasingly inaccurately named Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy”. One reason I’m reviewing this book is that I just picked up the sixth part of the trilogy, And Another Thing. Now, Douglas Adams died several years ago (I was quite upset) and part six is not written by him. I’m curious to see what Eoin Colfer does with it, but I need to read the whole series again before I do!
Right, this is supposed to be a review, not an homage to the brilliance of Douglas Adams. What can I say? Douglas Adams created absurd, hilarious situations and quirky characters all the while poking fun at and spoofing the human condition. The blurb (on the back of one of my copies, anyway) says:
On Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just began, and the Galaxy is a very strange and startling place.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s little out there that’s funnier, and because the book deals primarily with aliens and is set in outer space, very little of it seems dated. As much as I like to read, there’s very few books that will make me laugh out loud, let alone while I’m surrounded by strangers on public transit. Yep, that happened. I shut the book. Got myself under control. Opened the book. And laughed out loud again. So, yeah, I love it and think everyone should read it!