I know I usually post on a Wednesday and Saturday but yesterday was International Outer Space day, as such I thought it would be timely to review a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
I have read this book previously but it is one of those books you can read and reread and in some cases it is just as deliberately unintelligible as the first time you read it.
The forward written in my version by Russell T Davies, highlights how much of a phenomena the book, and radio series was at the original time of release. He likened it to Harry Potter. As a member of the Harry Potter Generation was initially shocked to read this. However the book has stood the test of time and while some elements of the story do age the book slightly…£5 for six pints, or the mentioning of cassette players and digital watches, the plot and humour contained within its pages are still relevant today.
The book explores a vast number of things but in my humble opinion the over arching theme of the book is the needing to know the reason that we exist. A variety of absurd actions occur throughout the book and in a number of cases completely inexplicable things occur.
The book explores human’s self importance. Imagining that we are the only species to have achieved space travel in the galaxy is at the least statistically unlikely. It highlights the insignificance of a single life, while also showing that one life can make a massive difference. Humans are shown to be one of the more selfish and self-important species (which considering the Vogans is saying a lot!).
The descriptions that Adams uses often brings a smile to my face at the minute detail he is willing to describe. Conversely in some places Adams doesn’t describe at all he just names some made up species which you have no reference for what they could possibly look like (like the most intelligent shade of blue?!) but simply allows your imagination to take over. The imagery that is produced is very strong.
If you haven’t read this book before, please be aware that this book is in places laugh out loud funny, which can be a little awkward on your lunch in the office.
This book is a great read, if you are looking to dip your toe into the Sci-fi genre, as it is light enough for you to find enjoyment, even if you decide that Sci-fi is not for you.
I will add that the sequels are equally baffling and humourous, so if you enjoy this one there are four more parts to the trilogy for you to try.
I will give this a solid four stars. It was enjoyable, but I was happy to pick up the next book on my list wihtout wanting to read the rest of the series.