Thursday, January 10, 2013
Audiobook Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
The premise of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first of a "trilogy in five parts," is actually quite simple: Earth is destroyed, and Ford Prefect (an alien previously stuck on Earth for lack of a ride on which to hitch-hike) and Arthur Dent (a normal human, just like you and me) are the only two survivors. Eventually, they find their way to the lone, abandoned planet of Magrathea, previously known for its planet-building exploits--except that it is not so lonesome and abandoned after all. The resulting storyline is comical in its twists and turns and most unlikely of coincidences (conveniently explained away by the existence of a devise meant to make the most improbable solutions probable after all), as Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, a depressed robot, the two-headed President of the Galaxy, and a bunch of mice try to figure out the meaning of life.
What is so strikingly glorious about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, besides the fact that the first book is narrated on audio by none other than Stephen Fry himself, is the humor and the wit and the philosophy contained in what is otherwise a series of bizarre coincidences and strange plot turns. Adams can make one laugh out loud and think for long periods of time, all with the same sentence, and I'd argue there's not many an author that can do that (just as there are not many narrators who could have so well highlighted this humor as Fry does).
I'll definitely be back in to pick up the rest of the trilogy/series/whatever it is best called, and will continue to scold myself for having waited so long to finally start. Also, 42.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | Douglas Adams, nar. Stephen Fry | Random House Audio | 2005 (originally published 1979) | Audiobook | 5 hr 51 min | Buy from an independent near you