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Douglas Adams's Guide to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 5 Jul 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd (5 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563552360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563552369
  • Package Dimensions: 13.7 x 10.7 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,661,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Audio Cassette
Douglas Adams's Guide to The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a BBC radio production sold as an audio book on two cassette tapes. The program was first broadcast in 1998, marking the 20th anniversary of the first radio program in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

The first tape lasts 55 minutes and is narrated by Peter Jones, who narrated the original radio series. It features comments by many of the people involved, telling how the series was created and how it developed. The participants are Douglas Adams, Simon Brett (producer of the very first program), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect), Paddy Kingsland (sound effects and audio mixing), Stephen Moore (Marvin), Geoffrey Perkins (producer of the first two radio series, except for the very first program) and Nick Webb (Pan Books).

These comments are intermixed with some clips from the radio programs, in particular some of our favorite highlights such as the destruction of the earth and Marvin telling everyone how depressed he is.

It's very interesting hearing these people tell their first-hand account of how it all started, and how surprised they all were at the huge success they had created. There is also the exciting story of how the last program in the second series was so plagued by deadline problems that it almost didn't get broadcast, and the mind-boggling conditions they worked under to complete the job in time.

The second tape lasts 50 minutes and consists of Douglas Adams being interviewed by Iain Johnstone. Douglas Adams was an intelligent, knowledgeable and outspoken person with many interesting opinions, and listening to him is very rewarding, even if one is not a Hitchhiker's fan.
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By A Customer on 3 Mar. 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
This book is one of those that change your sense of humour - in a good way. It is in fact a very existential book, although with a "ridiculous" philosophy, and it looks very much into human society. Particularly the funny and ridiculous bits. It's an incredibly funny book of course, even though you're not particuarly interested in its philosophy, often just revolving around witty phrases. It feels terrible to write a short review on this book - the author himself had problems finishing it because the characters and the storyline had become so twisted that he hardly new what direction to take (you'll understand why when you read the book) - therefore I'm inclined to write: Just read it, it intestines won't throttle your brain for it :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have for all die-hard fans 1 Sept. 2007
By Rennie Petersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
Douglas Adams's Guide to The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a BBC radio production sold as an audio book on two cassette tapes. The program was first broadcast in 1998, marking the 20th anniversary of the first radio program in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

The first tape lasts 55 minutes and is narrated by Peter Jones, who narrated the original radio series. It features comments by many of the people involved, telling how the series was created and how it developed. The participants are Douglas Adams, Simon Brett (producer of the very first program), Simon Jones (Arthur Dent), Geoffrey McGivern (Ford Prefect), Paddy Kingsland (sound effects and audio mixing), Stephen Moore (Marvin), Geoffrey Perkins (producer of the first two radio series, except for the very first program) and Nick Webb (Pan Books).

These comments are intermixed with some clips from the radio programs, in particular some of our favorite highlights such as the destruction of the earth and Marvin telling everyone how depressed he is.

It's very interesting hearing these people tell their first-hand account of how it all started, and how surprised they all were at the huge success they had created. There is also the exciting story of how the last program in the second series was so plagued by deadline problems that it almost didn't get broadcast, and the mind-boggling conditions they worked under to complete the job in time.

The second tape lasts 50 minutes and consists of Douglas Adams being interviewed by Iain Johnstone. Douglas Adams was an intelligent, knowledgeable and outspoken person with many interesting opinions, and listening to him is very rewarding, even if one is not a Hitchhiker's fan.

Many topics are touched upon, and the way in which Douglas Adams can jump from one subject to another, while showing how they are connected, is quite exciting.

Just to mention some of the topics: Cambridge University and Footlights, Monty Python, Graham Chapman, Star Wars, Tolstoy's "Resurrection", "Last Chance to See", the Nordic god Thor, is Arthur Dent really Douglas Adams, Simon Jones, light switches, Richard Dawkins, atheism, Procol Harum, Doom Watch, X-Files, Sherlock Holmes, Arthur C. Clarke, Digital Village, John Cleese's influence in selecting "42", the Hubble Constant, and his daughter Polly (born when Douglas Adams was, you guessed it, 42).

In conclusion, if you're a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan then this is a must-have. If you don't know Hitchhiker's, but you're interested in hearing a stimulating, yet humorous, discourse on the human condition, then you will probably like listening to the Douglas Adams interview.

Rennie Petersen
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining insights and a sense of wonder 1 Oct. 2004
By Nick Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
The history of guides to 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy' is almost as convoluted as the original story. Neil Gaiman started the ball rolling with a comprehensive book called 'Don't Panic;' a video followed, using lovingly reconstructed elements from the TV drama 'Guide' to illustrate production techniques. Next came a radio version, which found its way onto tape decades after the resilient comedy saga first reared its head.

Like the 'Don't Panic' video, BBC Radio's 'Guide to the Guide' is lovingly scripted in the style of the series. Debbie Barham's writing is as affectionate as it is amusing. However, without Peter Jones' narration the script would lose its lustre. Jones played the Guide itself, and returns to his silliest role with glee.

A scattered helping of interviews give us just enough information to admire the original production team. Pressurised by the BBC and Douglas Adams' bizarre writing schedule, it is a wonder that the programmes were ever transmitted. Here is proof that out of dread chaos can come creative comedy.

The only downfall is the lack of comment from creator Adams himself. An Interview with the author on a second tape goes some way to redress the balance.

At first, Adams is not as entertaining as his work might promise. As he rambles on about his Cambridge days, the interviewer fidgets, sniggers and at one point mumbles an incoherent question. The origins of Adams' fantastic ideas are often mundane.

Adams would be the first to admit that he's done his bit for the recycling brigade. 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide' has been rehashed in every conceivable manner, and he continues to develop the idea on the internet. The Americans would call it a franchise and applaud him for his enterprise; in this country we expect our artists to be steadfastly original. Adams has probably got the right idea.

In the second half of the interview, Adams gives us intelligent insight into the meaning of life: religion, the world behind a light switch, a child growing up. Through these insights we begin to discover why the writer's been so successful - he's managed to retain his sense of wonder.

As we begin to comprehend how Adams' mind works, he's gone. Although there seem to be a lot of facets that are left unexplored, we are left with the impression that he is gracious, human, and mostly harmless.
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