The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Hitchhiker’s Guide # 1
Publisher: Del Rey

Number of pages: 216

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

* * *

When I was new with my current job, one of my colleagues told me about his favorite book, one that, according to him, made him laugh like a crazy loon by himself. I didn’t really take note of it, since our reading genres were very different, and even when he lent me a copy of the book, I still didn’t give much thought about it. When I first met my new friends at the book club, I saw one of them carry this big black book that looks like a dictionary…or a Bible, even. Just like that, I found myself encountering that same book again.

Of course, I still didn’t read it, because I just wasn’t interested. But ever since we started a 100 Favorite Books list in our book club, and ever since we all decided to discuss books face to face, I had run out of excuses. After years and years of not paying attention to the book, I finally picked up a copy and read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

How do I describe what this book without spoiling things, or without thinking everything I am writing is absolutely ridiculous is a bit of a problem, so I will just not write about that. Instead, I’ll write about what this book has: the end of the world. Oh, but not the Mayan kind with natural disasters. There’s also a poor guy who just happened to be at one place at a certain time who may not be so poor now because he practically becomes the last human being everywhere. And then there were aliens. Spaceships, too. And finally, the Ultimate Question. Or, not.

My friend was right, though — this book was very funny. I found myself giggling every now and then to this book, often times while I was on my commute to work or some other place. I’ve always been wary about sci-fi stuff because I feel like my brain cannot comprehend much of it (except maybe it is has something to do with computers, even if they’re medical computers), but I found The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quite readable even if it was absolutely absurd at some point. Maybe that’s really the point.

It’s funny, yes, but I didn’t really find it absolutely hilarious. It’s good, but I don’t really have the urge to get the next ones and read it immediately (although they did say it gets better there). I enjoyed it, but perhaps not quite as much as my friends enjoyed it.

However, I did enjoy discussing this book with my book club over breakfast. With questions about favorite characters, what we’ll do in case the world ends and if we’ll allow ourselves to have a babel fish (of course – very useful for travel!). Having a group of friends to discuss a book about in detail makes me like the book a little bit more, possibly because I tend to associate the memories with the book.

Goodreads Filipino Group -  Face to Face Book Discussion # 3 (Photo c/o Kwesi)

Goodreads Filipino Group – Face to Face Book Discussion # 3 (Photo c/o Kwesi)

And because it had to be commented: what kind of answer is 42, anyway?

Rating: [rating=3]

Other reviews:
Dark Chest of Wonders
reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac
Book Rhapsody

Required Reading: March

Well hello there, favorite month!

Okay, January was some sort of a reading high and I blame it on the newness of the year. February was a different story — I don’t exactly know what happened, but I was a slower reader. Sometimes I could go for a day not flipping a book open. Books I normally finish within three to four days, I finish in a week. Maybe I was just too busy, but it felt weird to be reading a book for so long that isn’t even that thick.

But I have another theory. I think I may have gotten soft. Remember, my Required Reading theme for February was zombies, and I thought I would just be able to jump right into the undead shambling goodness…but no. Believe it or not, the zombie books I finished left me…grossed out. The only zombie book I was partially grossed out with was Married with Zombies, and that was an apocalypse book. I thought I had a stomach made of steel from all the zombie books I’ve read…but I was wrong, apparently. Which led to my being a slow reader last month, I guess.


  • The Enemy by Charlie Higson (3/5)
  • The Little Prince by Antonine de Saint-Exupery (4/5)
  • The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell (5/5)

I read a total of 9 books this month, which isn’t really that bad. But I totally missed out on Warm Bodies (I would have read it if I could, but reviews talked of gross parts so I thought I’d pass for now) and Game of Thrones. I really hope to find time to squeeze GoT soon!

As for the TBR reducing challenge…gasp, my TBR still at 128. Ack. Most of them were galleys, anyway, and I only bought 3 books for February, two of them pre-orders while one is a secondhand book. Can I try to reduce my TBR to 125 next month? I hope so!

Required Reading: March

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