Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Review - The Hitch-Hikers guide to the galaxy

The Hitch-Hikers guide to the galaxy - Douglas Adams


Regular viewers of this blog will know that whilst I enjoy the likes of Terry Pratchett it is only in limited doses and I have to be in the mood for the genre.

Despite being hugely popular, I was never that interested in giving this book a try but my brother in law went on about it so much this at I relented to shut him up more than anything.

The blurb:

When Earth is destroyed to make way for a Hyperspatial express route, Arthur Dent discovers that space is big, as he is taken on a hair-raising tour of the Galaxy and its very strange inhabitants, by his friend Ford Perfect.

This book can be summed up using two words: short and daft. I say that with a lot of affection though. It is never too daft and the length is perfect. Anything longer and the plot would have become a little too silly (if that is possible).

The book focuses on Adam. A man that does not lead a particularly editing life but is content nonetheless. That is until a) he learns that his house is to be demolished and b) the earth is about to be destroyed.

It may sound tedious but Arthur's realistic outlook and ability to question the absurdity of each situation is brilliant provides an affable charm that is endearing.

What follows is a series of increasingly outlandish events that become more and more ludicrous. The one constant? They are also damn funny.

Douglas Adams takes familiar issues that many a serious sci-fi novel has tackled and flips them on their head. Cynical hero not that interested in anything? Check. Megalomaniac who is slightly confused? Check. Sulky and paranoid android? Check.

There is little point in taking about the plot as although there is one, the novel is really a series of events that Arthur is thrown into and somehow must survive.

The ending does establish an opening for a sequel but there is no real resolution (nor is there one required). As much as I enjoyed this novel for what it was, I do not feel any need to read the sequel in a hurry. Besides now I already know the answer to the ultimate question in the universe!

Overall, the Hitchhiker guide to the galaxy is silly, lacking in any depth but also extremely charming and very funny.

My rating: 8.5