Friday, April 9, 2010

Bibliophilia: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Arthur Dent wakes up one Thursday morning to find that his house is up for demolition to make way for a new bypass. Moments after his home is razed to the ground, a fleet of space ships descend and inform the planet that it will be destroyed to make way for a "hyperspace express route". Arthur escapes the destruction of the planet with the help of his friend, Ford Prefect, who happens to be an alien researcher, and they hitchhike their way into one of the ships.

And so begins the misadventures of Arthur and Ford into the known universe, meeting bureaucratic aliens with a penchant for murderous poetry, a paranoid android suffering from manic depression, the two-headed president of the galaxy with motives hidden even from himself, and a woman with degrees in maths and astrophysics who left earth to escape a life on welfare. Along the way, they discover the reason for the Earth's creation and the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. But for all the advances in technology finally at his grasp, he still couldn't find a decent cup of tea.

Created originally for a BBC radio show, the Hitchhiker's Guide has grown into a cult following, producing six books, a tv series and a movie. I've heard of the book late 2005 when the movie was released, but was not able to get my clutches on a copy until last year. Thanks to Booksale for my omnibus edition, by the way. I am surprised I haven't heard of this book earlier, considering its humor and irreverence. But then, again, British humor isn't really popular in these shores.

Reading like an adventure book on acid, the Guide pokes fun at religion, philosophy, politics and science. It may not be the most logical book there is, and it is perfectly fine with that, and the reader will be, as well. Honestly, I could not stop laughing while reading the book. And the good thing is: there are five more installments for me to savor.

By the way, you might be wondering what the answer is to the great question of Life...

the Universe...

and Everything.

The answer is...



  1. Have you seen Kubrick's film adaptation? Splendid job.

  2. I haven't read the book yet, but I've seen the film version. I love the film for its quirk and humor. Sam Rockwell is insanely good I want to eat him up, hehe

  3. I have 3 pending books to read. They're all lying next to my bed and I haven't turned a single page on any of them for weeks.

    I wish I was as passionate as you when it comes to books.

  4. @ Victor: No, I haven't yet seen Kubrick's adaptation. Actually, I haven't seen any of the movies or series related to this book.

    @ Andy: As I was saying to Victor (see above), I haven't seen the movie version, although I've heard of it. When news about it spread, I said I'd wait for the film, but the film came and gone without much funfare that I completely missed it in the cinemas. I think it suffered the same fate as Dark City, where it was taken off the cinema mere two days after its first screening for lack of viewers.

    @ Vajarl: Wow, you have 3 pending books.... I have 30, from my last count, 23 of which, I still have to wrap in plastic. Maybe I should blog about it sometime...

  5. Bought the book at Booksale (around 120+) and I must say I was expecting superior sci-fi shit but it WASN'T. It's HILARIOUS! Funny, indeed, especially with that question. God knows it's funny.


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