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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only guide to the galaxy you'll ever need to read
There is just one reason why The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was voted into the BBC's Top One Hundred Books list, and that is because it is simply brilliant. It is a work of science fiction, but the humour contained within the story is not only incredibly witty, but also unusual within its chosen genre. Be prepared to susend your disbelief however, as the series of...
Published on 3 Dec 2003 by Victoria Craven

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3.0 out of 5 stars Weird Science Fiction Classic
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a 1979 science fiction novel by English author Douglas Adams. I own a paperback edition published in 2009 by Pan Books. It comes with various stickers to customize the cover.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is mainly set on spaceships and strange planets. I like how Douglas Adams describes the different...
Published 5 months ago by darklittlelady


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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only guide to the galaxy you'll ever need to read, 3 Dec 2003
There is just one reason why The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was voted into the BBC's Top One Hundred Books list, and that is because it is simply brilliant. It is a work of science fiction, but the humour contained within the story is not only incredibly witty, but also unusual within its chosen genre. Be prepared to susend your disbelief however, as the series of adventures and coincidences encountered by the characters is nothing short of extrordinary.
The story follows a rather eccentric Englishman by the name of Arthur Dent, as one Thursday morning the Earth is demolished by a group of poetry-loving Vogons who want rid of the planet in order to make way for a Hyper-Spatial Express Route. This sets the scene for Arthur and his extra-terrestial friend, Ford, to journey through space and, amongst other things, come accross the two-headed, three-armed President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox, his one-time girlfriend Trillian, and a paranoid android by the name of Marvin. There are many aspects of the book that contribute towards its status as a cult classic, but I believe primary among these is the way in which Douglas Adams manages to bring accross the personalities of the characters. "Arthur said coldly, 'We've met, haven't we Zaphod Beeblebrox - or should I say... Phil?'" Not only are they resonsible for some of the most amusing lines I have ever had the pleasure of reading, but upon finishing the book I felt a longing to become one of the crew upon the Heart of Gold ship the characters inhabit. Arthur is a particular favourite of mine, and the way in which he looks upon the current events of his life with such fascination is a great source of amusement. "'You know,' said Arthur, 'it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogan 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.'" Another part of the writing I found hugely impressive was the way in which Adams managed to create a whole range of fascinating gadgets, including the ships irritatingly cheery Eddie, who is much-loathed by the other characters.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is only the first in a series of five novels which I am informed started life as a set of radio plays in nineteen seventy-eight (followed by the book, a year later). I would whole-heartedly recommend that any reader has enjoyed the book to set about reading the rest. I have to date read the books three times, and have each time been utterly seduced by the warmth, wit and humour. It truly deserves to be referred to as a classic.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful books, but a word of caution, 16 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhikers Guide 1) (Kindle Edition)
I read these books many years ago. I watched the BBC TV series, and unfortunately also watched the movie released a couple of years ago.

The books are fabulous and always bring a smile to my face when I read them, or someone quotes them to me (something my boss seems to like doing a lot ;))

The word of caution relates to the product description currently showing at the top of this page.

"A one-volume edition of the four HITCH HIKER novels"

As of the time of writing this is not the case. Purchasing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy [Kindle Edition] will get you exactly that. You will not get The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, nor will you get either of the other two books that make up this quadrilogy.

While these books are most definitely worth their individual prices, this page is currently mis-advertising what is actually on offer. Amazon are aware of this (I emailed them to make sure of it, and am told they are now looking into it) and I'm sure in time the page will either be updated with the correct info or the quadrilogy version advertised will eventually be on sale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world as it is is divided into two groups of people;, 5 July 2003
The people who have read "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and those who are going to read it.
Arthur is having a horrible Thursday. And it get's worse! His friend Ford tells him the Earth is about to seize to exist! Ford takes Arthur out in space before the earth is destroyed by destructive aliens and there is the start of a crazy adventure that awaits them!
Ford turns out to be an alien too. But luckily for Arthur the both of them join up with another earthling Trillian and Fords cousin Zaphod, the ruler of the universe. They start off on a crazy trip around the world so that Ford can complete the dictionary "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
How can someone not want to follow along on their adventure? I was laughing my head off reading this book and it made me realize how silly the world really is!
Douglas Adams was a gymfreak. He even died on a gym bycicle (thosr you sit on in a gym and you don't go anywhere, you just tramp in order to get fitter) but still this man was a genious!
Don't be fooled by the absolutely stupid couvers of the book! Get over yourself and READ IT!
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So why is 42 the answer to the universe?, 10 Dec 2003
By 
Darren Simons (Middlesex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is the first in the series of hitchhiker guides which tell the story of Arthur Dent’s and the life altering events that cause him to become a hitchhiker around the universe. Arthur’s day has started badly when he’s told to vacate his house as it’s about to be knocked down to make way for a bypass being built. As it happens his day’s going to get worse as Earth also gets demolished to make way for an intergalactic bypass.
Rather than this being the end to what would be a very short book, Arthur manages to escape Earth at the last minute thanks to his friend Ford Prefect who much to Arthur’s disguise has in fact been writing reviews for the ultimate hitchhiker’s guide to the universe – and you thought Bill Bryson wrote about some odd places you’d never like to visit. Together they travel around the known universe meeting odd characters such as the two headed Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin the rather miserable robot.
This was the first Douglas Adams story I read (and certainly the first I’d recommend as the others follow this one) and I cannot recommend it enough – the style of writing is quite unique and the level of Adams’s imagination is quite startling. In the science fiction world of what might happen in the future, there is something strangely logical about much of what Adams has imagined, and the utterly preposterous stuff is so well thought out to make it entertaining.
All in all, a highly enjoyable read – I cannot recommend this enough. As for the number 42, well, yes, this is the book which is where the idea of it being the answer to the universe came from. Read the book and you’ll know what I mean. If you’re thinking of buying this book, also check out the ultimate hitchhiker’s guide which contains all the main books from the hitchhiker series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Figments of a deranged imagination, 7 Mar 2000
What can I say that already hasn't been said? I grew up with the radio series and the book is just as off-the-wall. Douglas Adams has a gift for warped logic that it is hard not to adopt in everyday life. For instance, if you take his argument proving that everyone you meet is just a figment of your deranged imagination you might just find it easier to cope with door-to-door salespeople! To my mind, there is also a lot of subversive comment about the way we live which makes it less science fiction and more of a polemic. After all, Arthur Dent appears to be Mr Average and pretty well at the mercy of the bureaucrats who run the universe not just his local council. Anyway, this is all getting far too deep and meaningful. My guess is that Douglas Adams never wrote this with the intention of being taken at all seriously and that he must look on all commentary on it as a figment of his own deranged imagination. All I can conclude with is this: if you read this book and fail to adopt 42 as your lucky number, you must be an accountant!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Old and New Fans of This Classic!, 30 May 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had the good fortune to be invited to Maine to see the fabulous tree house that is the subject of The Treehouse Chronicles. I decided this would be a good chance to listen to a recording of an old favorite that I've never heard in audio form before. Browsing through the library, it was an easy decision to pick this new recording of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Within minutes, I could tell that I'd made a winning choice as I listened to Stephen Fry brilliantly share his voice to add texture to this intriguing story. Between the accents and the humorous references to irony, I was enthralled. I found myself wishing that the recording was a longer one.

When you read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, it can come across a little simplistically in places. Those spots work much smoother in this audio version.

In fact, if you haven't read the book, I recommend that you listen to this recording instead. I think you'll enjoy and appreciate the book more in its more dramatic version here.

If you don't know the story, Arthur Dent finds himself awakening with a hangover determined to save his home. Only problem is, while the demolition crew looms, he's also about to lose his other home, the Earth. Aided by his alien friend, Ford Prefect, Arthur is soon off hitchhiking his way through the galaxy in a most improbable set of circumstances that will amuse and delight you. You'll meet Zaphod Beeblebrox, one of the most memorable aliens in anyone's fiction. Along the way, you'll learn more speculation about wearing digital watches and finding lost ballpoint pens than you ever expected to know.

Bravo, Stephen Fry and Douglas Adams!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget to bring a towel, 13 Dec 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
No matter how many times I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I’ve read it quite a few times already, it never fails to thrill me and induce bouts of almost uncontrollably hearty laughter. With this novel, Douglas Adams gave life to a phenomenon that will long outlive his tragically short life, delighting millions of readers for untold years to come. I’m not sure if science fiction had ever seen anything like this before 1979. This is science fiction made to laugh at itself while honoring its rich tradition, but it is much more than that. Adams’ peculiarly dead-on humor also draws deeply from the well of sociology, philosophy, and of course science. Whenever Adams encountered a sacred cow of any sort, he milked it dry before moving on. Beneath the surface of utter hilarity, Adams actually used his sarcasm and wit to make some rather poignant statements about this silly thing called life and the manner in which we are going about living it. This is one reason the book is so well-suited for multiple readings—a high level of enjoyment is guaranteed each time around, and there are always new insights to be gained from Adams’ underlying, oftentimes subtle, ideas and approach.
Arthur Dent is your normal human being, and so he naturally is more concerned about his house being knocked down than facing the fact that the world is about to end. His friend Ford Prefect, he comes to learn, is actually a researcher from a planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, but before he can even begin to comprehend this fact, he finds himself zipped up into the confines of the Vogon space cruiser that has just destroyed the planet Earth. Things become even trickier for him when he discovers the great usefulness of sticking a Babel fish into his ear and then meets the singular President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox and his shipmate Trillian, both of whom Arthur actually met months before at a party. Such impossible coincidences are explained by the fact that Beeblebrox’s ship is powered by the new Infinite Improbability Drive. Dent grows more and more confused during his travels on board the Heart of Gold, and the story eventually culminates with an amazing visit to an astronomically improbable world.
Much of the humor here is impossible to describe; this novel must be read to be appreciated. It seems like every single line holds a joke of some kind within it. The characters are also terrific: the unfortunate Arthur Dent, who basically has no idea what is going on; Ford Prefect, Arthur’s remarkable friend from Betelgeuse; Zaphod Beeblebrox, with his two heads, three arms, and cavalier attitude; Trillian the lovely Earth girl who basically flies the Heart of Gold; Slartibartfast the planet builder and fjord-make extraordinaire; and my favorite character of all, Marvin the eternally depressed robot. Life—“loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it” is the Paranoid Android’s philosophy. One brilliant thing that Adams does is to step away from the action every so often to present interesting facts about the universe as recorded in the Hitchhiker’s Guide; here we learn about Vogon poetry, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, Trans Galactic Gargle Blasters, and other fascinating tidbits about life in the crazy universe Adams created. He even gives the reader the ultimate answer to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything in these pages.
This novel is just an amazingly hilarious read that will leave you yearning for more; to our great fortune, Adams indeed left us more in the form of four subsequent books in the Hitchhiker’s “trilogy.” If you don’t like science fiction, it doesn’t matter; read this book just for the laughs. The most amazing thing about Adams’ humor is the fact that everyone seems to “get” it. Adams broke all the rules in writing a novel quite unlike any that had come before it, and he succeeded in spades. This may well be the funniest novel ever written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great listening, makes the miles fly, 11 April 2001
By A Customer
I'm a fan of Hitch Hiker's, and have read all the books over and over. So whats the point of having it on Audio? Well its great to hear the author read it, adding his own speech emphasis, after all he wrote it! Also if you do a lot of driving having this cassette in makes the miles fly by. One star deducted - its not on CD !!! All in all a great Listen! - buy it now !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 15 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhikers Guide 1) (Kindle Edition)
I thought I had grown out of this and tried it purely because I chanced upon it. Sure enough, it's desparately suburban, public school boy, juvenile and hopeless with anything womanly. It's also brilliant.

Unlike so many humorous books this has aged well. Humour tends to age terribly. Who honestly finds Monty Python's TV series funny? Have you ever laughed at a Shakespeare comedy? And as for the Goons, Peter Sellers, etc etc... oh dear oh dear, just embarrassing now. But this trilogy is the Fawlty Towers, or Marx Brothers, of literature, like a fine wine, maturing beautifully.

The quality of the writing, the awe-inspiring imagination, the cosmic wit... all standing the test of time magnificently. I recommend a revisit. Took me back to being a boy, to being a happy boy, which is amazing since I wasn't really a happy boy....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!, 3 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Mind boggling just about says it for this book! This is the first Douglas Adams book I've read but it won't be the last! Take on the most improbable adventure with Athur Dent as he escapes the destruction of the Earth as it is in the way of the construction of a hyper space freeway. By hitching a lift with his alien friend Ford prefect, Athur is flung through a witty and often absurd adventure through space even to meet the two headed Zeeble Brox, ex president of the Galaxy on a ship with the new improbibility drive. If you like an intriguingly cofusing yet witty and full of adventure type of book ,read it!
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