The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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In the fall of 1979, in the end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy on a little blue-green planet, a man named Douglas Adams published a book. This book was called The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and it’s a mixture of comedy, science fiction, satire, and philosophy. This has caused it to become one of the most popular cult books in history.


A little about the author

Douglas Adams was born March 11, 1952 in Cambridge, England. He attended the Brentwood School in Essay and graduated from St. John's College, Cambridge in 1974. He has worked as a hospital porter, barn builder, chicken-shed cleaner, bodyguard, radio producer, and script editor. He has also written, performed in, and directed many revues in London and Cambridge. He also worked together with Monty Python's Graham Chapman and wrote some things for Monty Python. While working at the BBC, he produced and wrote scripts for the radio and television series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Adams' works include the HHGTTG "Trilogy", which actually contains five books: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, and Mostly Harmless; Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul; The Meaning of Life and The Deeper Meaning of Life; and Last Chance to See. Besides television and radio, the success of the series has led to different editions of the novels, including The Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and an interactive fiction computer game.

Adams' style of writing mixes humor, absurdism, silliness, black comedy, and satire.
He uses all objects in his book to make them even more crazy. There are plenty of speaking objects in his books, creatures with crazy names (for example Slartibartfast).

The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

The basic plot of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is that Arthur Dent wakes up to find his house is about to be knocked down by a bulldozer. His friend, Ford Prefect, takes him to a pub and explains that the world is about to end. Just before a Vogon constructor fleet destroys the Earth, they hitchhike themselves of the earth. During their travels through the galaxy, they encounter many adventures.

The big plot of the story is about “The Great Question, The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” A very intelligent race has built a computer called “Deep Thought”. The computer is set to answer the question above. When the program is started the computer tells the race that it will find the answer to the question, but that it will take 7500000 years! When it finally comes to the answer it simply tells them “42”. He also gives the race the advice to build another computer to come up with the question. This program will take 10000000 years to run. This computer is by it inhabitants named Earth. Five minutes before the program is to be finished a Vogon construction fleet destroys earth to make way for a freeway. The planet Magrathea which is know for building planets gets the mission, from the race who originally wanted the earth built, to built a second earth. This race I’m talking about are actually mice. They stayed on the earth to do experiments on the people who lived on it.

Arthur eventually ends up on Magrathea, and there he also gets this whole thing explained to him. With this the first book of the “trilogy” of five ends. As I hope you have noticed from my review this is a book well worth reading, especially if you like English humor when it is at its best.

A part that just has to be mentioned

There is a sort of fish called Babel Fishes. These fishes, when put in your ears, gives you the ability to understand all languages.

Some people think that fish is the final proof of the nonexistence of God because it is so improbable that something so useful could have evolved by chance. Here follows a part from HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing. (chap 6)



Characters

The main character of the story is Arthur Dent. He is a common Englishman who wakes up one morning to find his house and the Earth about to be demolished to make room for freeways. He is one of the last survivors of the planet earth. Arthur is a very nice person who is so astonished by everything that happens to him that he wears a pajama through the whole story. But all things considered he is a very brave man, who after a while of thinking, and with help of a good cup of tea, can get used to even the strangest things.

Ford Prefect is also a survivor from earth. When the earth was destroyed he probably thought more about what he should write in his report about the earth that that it was just being destroyed. He comes from a small planet in the area of Betelgeuse. Ford was a friend of Arthur’s who had given him out to be an actor for fifteen years while he was stuck on Earth. He originally came to Earth to do an update for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an electronic book that has lots of useful information in it. Ford is a real cool guy who thinks he always has the situation under control. When he sometimes discovers that he isn’t in control, he denies it. Ford is a hitchhiker who loves parties and happenings, another strange thing about him is that he seems to like catastrophes.

Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the strangest persons that a human mind can come up with. Zaphod has three arms and two heads. His extra arm and head were just added to help him getting better in ski-boxing. Zaphod is the president of the galaxy, but it can be a little hard to believe that because he just stole a new built starship when we encounter him in the book. Zaphod is a very smart guy, who tends to forget his brain. He seems very comfortable with himself, but he actually is surprised every time someone likes an idea of his. He lives for the thought that there will be an adventure coming up any second.

It might be good to mention Tricia McMillan here also. She is another survivor from earth. She was picked up by Zaphod some time before the earth go destroyed. If I would describe Arthur as a ordinary English man, then I would describe Tricia as a not so ordinary English woman. She is taking the destruction of earth much better than Arthur. This may depend on that she has ... Ladda upp arbete

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Inactive member [2000-08-15]   The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se:8097/article?id=131 [2017-02-27]

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