Monday, August 10, 2009

Oh no, not again.

Current book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Pages read: 1-216 (end)

This book is honestly difficult to assess, due to the fact that I've read it a gazillion* times. It's the story of Arthur Dent, an unassuming Englishman saved by his best friend, Ford Prefect, (a native, it turns out, of Betelgeuse) from the destruction of the Earth. Ford is a researcher for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a snarky encyclopedia of all the knowledge in the universe, and manages to hitch a ride on the ship of the hostile bureaucrats who destroyed the Earth in the first place. Ford and Arthur are promptly kicked off this ship, but miraculously picked up by Zaphod Beeblebrox, the president of the galaxy, and his girlfriend, Trillian, an acquaintance of Arthur's. They're miraculously picked up because Zaphod's stolen a ship powered by improbability, which is Adams's clever way of making his deus ex machina a sharp little joke instead of a weak plot point. The four of them end up visiting the planet of the designers of Earth, who, it turns out, were commissioned to make the planet as a giant computer to determine the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, to which the answer, it has been previously determined, is 42. The mice of Earth, commissioners of said computer, are quite upset at its destruction, but decide they can get the answer from Arthur's brain, though it will require surgical removal. Due to this threat, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian make a thrilling escape.

It ends rather abruptly, actually, which I had either forgotten or never knew, since I always read the trilogy in a collected edition. I'm also not doing it justice, since you can't repeat the humorous diction and internal dialogue jokes with any success. The jokes, I must admit, get a little stale with repetition, but when you're 12 and reading it for the first time, it's pretty much the greatest thing ever. Best 100 novels? I don't know. One of the funniest 100 novels? Most likely.

* A technical term meaning "so many I can no longer remember the exact number, but I'm pretty sure it's upwards of ten."

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha, we were just talking about this series today when we went to see dolphins at the Gulfarium. I read these books when I was really young and I think it kind of messed me up, actually. Kind of like hard drugs.



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