The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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“The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
A novel by Douglas Adams

“The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” has a rather complicated history. It started out as a radio show on BBC radio and has after that been published in several different forms. “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” was in its book form originally published in 1979. The book has since then been followed by not less than four books in the same series. The author, Douglas Adams, got the idea for the book as he was out hitchhiking in Europe. He himself had a book called “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Europe”, but this one evening he was so totally tired of the earth, and wished that someone had written a book called “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

The “Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a story beginning on earth, but than continuing through the mysteries of the universe. It is about a hitchhiker (a hitchhiker in this book is someone who is travelling across the universe), Ford Prefect, who has been stuck on earth for 15 years. A short time before the earth is about to explode he finds an escape, and brings his “earthman” friend Arthur Dent with him.

What makes this book so special is not too easy to explain. At first, the book is only strange and weird. Then, it gets even more strange and even more weird. A lot of things in the book are a bit hard and difficult to understand as they often deal with supernatural phenomena. The book also tries to give answers to things much greater than the human brain can understand. After realising that the whole book will be strange and weird and a bit hard to understand, the good parts begin to show. These great paragraphs and sentences seem to pop up from nowhere and after a while you realise that they have been there since the beginning, you have just not noticed them before.

The language is not always correctly written. It is written more in the same way as you actually talk. This makes the many conversations fluent and easy to read as they remind you, maybe not to the content but to the appearance, of real life conversations. The book jumps from one place to another bringing up new amazing characters and stories everywhere it goes. The book never leaves time for thinking or wondering, it just jumps right on to the next adventure. The thinking and wondering you will have to make time for outside the reading of the book.

“Hey this is terrific! He said. “Someone down there is trying to kill us!”
“Terrific”, said Arthur.
“But don’t you see what this means?”
“Yes. We’re going to die.”
“Yes, but apart from that.”
“A p a r t from that?”
“It means we must be on to something!” (page 94)

So how has it come that something like this have been written? While living in the 20th century when so much have been discovered, but even more are to be discovered, it is not difficult to become tired of all of it. To simply become tired of earth and dream about st’omething else instead. Maybe this “else” is something not yet discovered but that does not make it impossible to make it real, at least in a book. The author makes it clear that all thinking individuals, wherever they might come from, search for the same answer, “the answer to life, the universe and everything”.

The author comes up with one weird thing after another and it is impossible to say from where he gets it all. The only thing to do is to lay back and enjoy. The book, ...

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Inactive member [2000-08-30]   The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Mimers Brunn [Online]. [2019-01-18]

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