Gone Hitchhiking for March
(A Not-So Book Review of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy)
Pardon me Gentle Readers, I still feel a little bit woozy today, it must’ve been the Infinite Improbability Drive… or the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters I downed this morning. Argh, I dunno! Anyway, reason seems to be out-to-lunch, and hell it’s not even Thursday yet!
But you know what, I’ve just been in the most satisfying expedition EVER!
Not your usual road trip by any chance since it involves a lot of thumbing a ride through hyperspace, coasting the vast reaches of the Universe and an occasional encounter with one or two Vogons.
Sorry I’m not entirely being lucid, am I? How shall we begin? Erm…
This is a not-so book review of a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — not an Earth book, never been published on Earth, and until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or even heard of by any Earthman. Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable book.
This is the story of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, an original radio series in 1978 that went on to spawn a novel, still more radio episodes, albums, a television series, four more novels (the author called the books “a trilogy in five parts”), a stage play, comics and a computer game through the years that the author can’t keep track of how the original story went it always end up crooked and the author misquoted, but whose cult following involve millions of life form it would put to shame Humma Kavula’s Coming of the Great White Handkerchief religious group.
This is the story of Arthur Dent, who seconds before Earth is completely demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, is saved by his friend, Ford Prefect, who has been pretending as an out-of-work actor for the last fifteen years but is really a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Together they begin a space odyssey through the galaxy aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In their travels they meet:
- Zaphod Beeblebrox – the two-headed three-armed ex-hippie and mental President of the Galaxy.
- Trillian – Zaphod’s girlfriend, formerly Tricia McMillan, whom Arthur once tried to pick up at a cocktail party.
- Marvin – a paranoid android, a brilliant but chronically depressed robot.
- Veet Voojagig – former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all ballpoint pens he brought over the years and who I think is an insignificant git in the whole scheme of things.
Have you ever felt secure reading a book? I mean, have you encountered that very book that the sole act of reading it alone makes you feel relatively safe? Well, I did. And that’s what this short book will do to you — well, if you ever have the right mind to pick it up and the right kind of mind to understand what British humor is. Seriously, I wish Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace or James Joyce’s Ulysses have the words DON’T PANIC printed on their covers so that it’ll not make me ill at ease while browsing its pages. I would really like to have a shot with those kind of books. You know, there’s nothing much sweeter than a book reminding you that “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”, so after reading this I never went out without my towel at hand.
In a swift span of six days no book or author has been this endearing and close to my heart. Why? No other thing has ever made me crack up and ponder deep the existential conundrums of this planet simultaneously. It’s a work that let me wallow in absurdity and absolute sensible nonsense all in the spirit of good, clean F-U-N. Sure thing, you may have had asked yourself burning questions such as “Why are we born?”, “Why do we die?”, “What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?”, “What’s with the number 42?”, “Where are we going to have lunch?”, and “Why do we spend so much time in between fiddling with computers and diurnally responding to inconsequential comments on our Facebook account which, really is a question that hasn’t anything to do with this book?”
And as a nebulous, ape-descended Earthlings, has the thought ever occurred to you that the universe is just a big joke waiting to be unraveled and that the world, the whole planet, has gone to the…
I’m feeling a little peckish right now. This definitely might be because of that Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters. I should have had water instead… or tea.
Anyway, someone told me that there’s this smashing place called Restaurant at the End of Universe and I heard they have the best
***End of transcript***
[P.S. The following entry was found among the entrails of a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traall.]
[P.S.S. In case you might want to know.]
[P.S.S.S. I hope that you haven’t ate your lunch or dinner yet after you read this.]
[P.S.S.S.S. Disregard the previous caveat in case you don’t have a fair idea what’s a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traall.]
[P.S.S.S.S.S. And for that I pity you!]