Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

When Arthur Dent is whisked off the planet mere seconds before it is destroyed forever, he couldn't help but think this was the strangest thing that would ever happen to him.  Little did he know, it was just the beginning of a journey that would constantly amaze him and turn every concept of life he thought he was sure of upside down.  He is accompanied by his friend, Ford Perfect, an out-of-work actor.  Or at least Arthur always knew Ford as such.  It turns out he has been on Earth for fifteen years as a researcher for the publication A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and isn't even human as we know humans.

Soon Arthur meets other inhabitants of the new, strange world he has been thrust into.  There is the two-headed rapscallion Zaphod Beeblebrox, who by the way, happens to be president of the galaxy.  His girlfriend, Trillian, turns out to be a girl Arthur had met at a party and hoped to pick up before Zaphod had shown up and whisked her away.  There is the ancient man who builds worlds and is especially fond of his fjords.  Then there is Marvin, an advanced robot who is cognizant enough to be constantly depressed and glum.  Together they set out to find the answers to those questions men are apt to spend hours debating, Why are we here?  What is the point of existence?  Why, why, why?

This is one of iconic books of science fiction.  Adams created an entire industry when the characters in this universe occurred to him and he wove them into a novel.  It is light and funny while also tackling the eternal questions philosophers have been debating since the dawn of time.  The characters are endearing and readers will recognize lines that have endured and made their way into everyday conversation.  This book is recommended for readers of science fiction.

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