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54 of 58 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 19 days ago by darklittlelady


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book!, 23 Oct 2012
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is my favourite book. It has a lot of funny and interesting characters, and original ideas. The book is very different to the radio show and the film (the film has almost no resemblance to the book or the radio show), but I found that I could understand both the book and the radio show. I didn't read the books or listen to the radio show in chronological order, but I still managed to make sense of them.

Some may not like the original ideas and fast-moving plot. I know others who have been bored by it, not understood it, or enjoyed some bits but not others. I definitely don't like what others see as the best bits of it - while some only like it because of Marvin the Paranoid Android, I prefer Colin (the very happy robot who only appears in the fifth part of the radio show).

I don't recommend it to all science fiction fans, since very little of it is actually science fiction. It does involve space travel, robots, teleporting and things like that but its really good points are the original ideas. You don't have to like either science fiction or surreal humour to enjoy this book.

I also don't recommend it to anyone under the age of 8. It doesn't contain any adult content but does have some plots which are quite hard to understand, particularly in the second and third books.

Who I do recommend it to is people who like a fast-moving plot, enough description to visualise the story but not so much that it becomes boring, and extreme characters who don't always get along together but have distinct personalities. However, if you're looking for something about relationships between the characters, don't be mislead by the previous sentence. The characters spend more time arguing and getting teleported away from each other than they do talking.

If you've already seen the film and would like to get the book, the book is very different but it's the film that has been edited! The radio show and books were written by Douglas Adams, the original author, but the film was not. The film contains bits from all of the books and you won't be able to spot these things unless you've read all of the books. Characters from the film who are absent from the first book do appear later.

By Leela, age 11
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic!, 3 May 2011
By 
E. Roebuck (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Firstly I'll confess to being a huge Douglas Adams fan and to having read all of his books probably more times than is good for me so I'm not going to give chapter & verse on the story because I'm slightly biased! This review is for the audio CD version of the book, read by Stephen Fry.

The Good:

- Stephen Fry is, as ever, a brilliant narrator & a particularly good choice to read this book, giving voice to the characters perfectly. His expressive voice & delivery are a true delight.
- Audio is a brilliant way to get into this book if you are unfamiliar with the H2G2 books.

The Bad:

- The book is abridged slightly which may be fine if you are a casual fan or just exploring Douglas's galaxy but as someone who is very familiar with the text of the original book, I found some of the cuts disappointing.
- The very worst crime this recording makes, in my opinion, is the unforgivable alterations to some quintessentially British terms to make them more acceptable to American audiences (I'm assuming). For example, we get 'hood' instead of bonnet, 'ballpoint' instead of biro and Trillian claims to have a degree in 'math'. This kind of editing is unacceptable in such a classic book. Why publishers think these alterations have to be made is beyond me. Are people totally incapable of looking up a word they don't understand? Personally, I don't get put off buying/listening to American books which contain words such as 'sidewalk', luckily I know what this means but I wouldn't be unable to look it up if I didn't.

This is such a brilliant book, which will hopefully lead you on to read the others in the series, and this recording is enjoyable and perfectly acceptable, providing the alterations I've mentioned above don't bother you!

Thumbs up to Douglas Adams & Stephen Fry, thumbs down to clumsy editing.
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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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bible for life???? Maybe, 18 Jan 2000
Any book which claims that the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is 42 has to be one which requires more than one reading. From Monkeys who like Shakespear to Robots with personality problems, this book covers many aspects of the universe including hyperspace bypasses, concious lifts and your most important possesion, your towel! Book one in a trilogy of five is one of the best books I have ever read... miss it at your peril!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read, 25 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This book is for any age for readers of any type of book (fantasy, sci-fi, comedy). Using his amazing wit and absurd originally, Adams transport the unlikely Arthur Dent across the universe where he meets huge green aliens, dines at the end of the universe, finds out the answer to the question of Life, the Universe and Everything, and journeys to read God's final message to his creation (A trilogy of 5 five parts). Definitely one for the shopping basket!
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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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A towel is the most useful item in the universe!, 11 Nov 2003
wow......i read this after seeing the t.v series, ok, i'm normally not a fan of hurmerous sci-fi, but i loved this!!!
Arthur Dent has to deal with his house being destroyed when suddenly, the earth itself is destroyed by a vogon space ship, luckily, he's saved by a close friend by the name of Ford Prefect, who is actually from a planet called Betelguese.
the quest for the meaning of life, the universe and everything soon ensues and they meet many colourful characters. (my fave being marvin, the paranoid android) it's the ultimate book for anyonw who likes clever witty sci-fi and Terry Pratchett fans.
(although personally, Douglas Adams is way better)
buy,rent or read a copy before they all disappear 'cause it's a classic book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like "Monty Python" but science fiction, 6 July 2004
By 
Joanna Daneman (USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
When the late, lamented Douglas Adams wrote the radio piece "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", it was a major hit. Adams' writing has that ineffable British humor, absurd and self-deprecating, and the concepts though daffy, were highly original. Unlike a book that becomes a film, this book was a radio piece that became a book that became a BBC television show. All wonderful, too. Adams' writing is fast-paced and yet creates a world with only the broadest sketches of detail.
The plot centers around ordinary Arthur Dent, who meets Ford Prefect. Prefect Ford Prefect comes from Alpha Centauri is researching Earth culture to include in an important book, a guide to all the planets in the galaxy for those who understand a method of transporting themselves onto spaceships, thus hitching a ride. Earth's entry in the book is nearly finished, and Arthur is nonplussed to see that Earth, as a destination is listed as "Mostly Harmless." Just at the moment Prefect is explaining all this, the Vogons, large, non-harmless aliens surround Earth, preparing to demolish it for an integalactic throughway ("We posted the notice on Alpha Centauri, your closest neighbor. If you can't be bothered to get involved in local affairs, we can't be responsible", is the jist of the excuse about the sudden appearance of the Vogons to dismantle the Earth.)
From learning about taking a towel along (always--"A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") to the benefits of peanuts, hot tea and the Babelfish, a fish that sticks in your ear and translates all languages, to Vogon poetry and Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie President of the Universe, Adams entertains us with wicked humor and absolutely diverting characters. It's no wonder this book and the subsequent books are now classics in the genre and absolutely like nothing else. Adams died rather young, of a heart attack in 2001, and I, for one, really miss him. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brings back memories....., 11 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having a great time reading this at bedtime with my son, thankfully been able to kick Harry Potter and the Hobbit into touch!
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