To Top
[ Books | Comics | Dr Who | Kites | Model Trains | Music | Sooners | People | RVC | Shows | Stamps | USA ]
[ About | Terminology | Legend | Blog | Quotes | Links | Stats | Updates | Settings ]

Book Details

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

71.4% complete
1979
1983
1 time
1 - 35 Chapters
Book Cover
Has a genre Has a synopsis Has a year read Has a rating In my library In a series 
68
© 1979 by Douglas Adams
for Jonny Brock and Clare Gorst
and all other Alringtonians
for tea, sympathy and a sofa
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
May contain spoilers
"We'll take a quick bite at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe."
No comments on file
Synopsis* (may contain spoilers)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wildly entertaining and deeply insightful book by Douglas Adams that delves into the hilarious and thought-provoking adventures of the human Arthur Dent after his accidental escape from destruction in the wake of Earth.

The book sets off on a bizarre note when Arthur Dent wakes up one day to find his home being destroyed by a bulldozer. He quickly realizes that the entire Earth is set to be destroyed as part of a massive galactic construction effort, and he is whisked away to space by an alien named Ford Prefect, a researcher for the eponymous Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Dent's longtime friend.

The pair end up on an adventure that takes them through various galaxies, meeting a range of interesting and eccentric individuals, including a depressed robot named Marvin and the President of the Galaxy himself, Zaphod Beeblebrox. Along the way, they encounter a range of obstacles, such as the absurdly powerful and destructive Vogons, who are charged with protecting the galaxy's bureaucracy.

One of the overarching themes of the book is the absurdity of human existence, and how it is difficult to make sense of the world in which we live. Adams portrays this through humorous anecdotes such as the fact that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is 42, which confounds and irritates the characters to no end.

Adams also cleverly incorporates critiques of bureaucracy, consumerism, and media manipulation into the story. For instance, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - the fictional book within the book - is a fun, multimedia encyclopedia that offers strange nuggets of advice ranging from the helpful (how to survive in airless environments) to the utterly useless (somebody, somewhere, is having some kind of birthday).

Eventually, the book culminates in what is undeniably the most absurd and irreverent climax, where Zaphod Beeblebrox, who has only one head but two brains, and who is, in fact, a two-headed, three-armed alien running for president of the galaxy, is revealed to have stolen a spaceship containing the "Heart of Gold." This spaceship runs inflexible, thereby allowing it to bypass the absurd bureaucracies of civilization and make "impossible" journeys. After much drama and action, the book closes with Arthur and Ford hurtling through hyperspace, yet again uncertain what awaits them at the other end.

Overall, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is truly a unique and entertaining reflection on the absurdity of life. Adams uses such an absurd setting and absurd characters to touch on ideas and challenges that are very real to anyone seeking to navigate the modern world. Even when Life throws its wildest curves, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reminds us that there is always a wry laugh to be had - and things might just turn out okay in the end.

Extract not on file

 

Added: 29-Dec-2002
Last Updated: 22-Mar-2023

Quotes

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.

Publications

 01-Oct-1981
Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Oct-1981
Format:
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
$3.95
Pages*:
215
Read:
Once
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
203
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-671-52721-5
ISBN-13:
978-0-671-52721-1
Printing:
20
Country:
United States
Language:
English
DON'T LEAVE EARTH WITHOUT THE HILARIOUS INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

It's a wildly funny novel about the end of the world and the happy-go-lucky days that follow it...

About the worst Thursday that ever happened, and why the Universe is a lot safer if you bring a towel...

AND BE SURE TO READ
THE RESTURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE
LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING
SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH

Available from Pocket Books
Cover:
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
Notes and Comments:
First American edition published 1980 by Harmony Books
First Pocket Books printing October, 1981
Twentieth printing based on the number "line"

Picked this copy up at the Book Nook after finding the BBC mini-series on OETA.
 01-Sep-1989
Harmony Books
Hardback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Sep-1989
Format:
Hardback
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
201
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-517-54209-9
ISBN-13:
978-0-517-54209-5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams


Don't panic!  You're not timetripping!  It's the tenth anniversary of the publication of Douglas Adams;s zany, best-selling novel, and to celebrate Harmony is reissuing a special edition of this cult classic!

By now the story is legendary.  Arthur Dent, mild-mannered, out-to-lunch earthling, is plucked from his planet by his friend Ford Prefect just seconds before it was demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass.  Ford, posing as an out-of-work actor, is a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Together the gruesome twosome journey through time, space and best-sellerdom.

For Hitchhiker fanatics (you know who you are!) who've read the books, seen the television program, and listened to the radio show, as well as newcomers to Douglas Adams's unique universe - remember - don't panic, don't forget to bring a towel, and don't forget to celebrate The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's tenth anniversary by wearing your bathrobe.

DOUGLAS ADAMS is the author of five books in the Hitchhiker's Trilogy including 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.  He lives in London.

Jacket painting by Peter Cross
Jacket typography by Ken Sansone
Anniversary label illustration by Dave Joly


Don't panic!  Here are words of praise for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

"It's science fiction and it's extremely funny... inspired lunacy that leaves hardly a science fiction cliché alive."
Washington Post

"The feckless protagonist, Arthur Dent, is reminiscent of Vonnegut heroes, and his travels afford a wild satire of present institutions."
Chicago Tribune

"Very simply, the book is one of the funniest SF spoofs ever written, with hyperbolic ideas folding in on themselves."
School Library Journal

"As parody, it's marvelous:  It contains just about every science fiction cliché you can think of.  As humor, it's, well, hysterical."
Philadelphia Inquirer
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
10th anniversary edition.

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Nov-1995
Ballantine Books
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Nov-1995
Pages*:
216
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
206
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-39180-2
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-39180-3
Country:
United States
Language:
English
"IRRESISTIBLE!"  - The Boston Globe

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 (formerly Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to puck 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.

Where are these pens?  Why are we born?  Why do we die?  Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches?  For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars.  And don't forget to bring a towel!

"[A] WHIMSICAL ODYSSEY... Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy."  - Publishers Weekly
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Jun-1997
Ballantine Books
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jun-1997
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
207
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-41891-3
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-41891-3
Country:
United States
Language:
English
"EXTREMELY FUNNY... INSPIRED LUNACY... [AND] OVER MUCH TOO SOON."  - The Washington Post Book World

"[A] WHIMSICAL ODYSSEY... Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy."  - Publishers Weekly

"IRRESISTIBLE!"  - The Boston Globe

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 (formerly Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to puck 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.

Where are these pens?  Why are we born?  Why do we die?  Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches?  For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars.  And don't forget to bring a towel!
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
 01-Jan-1999
Millenium Books
Has a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1999
Internal ID:
202
Publisher:
ISBN:
Unknown
ISBN-13:
978-0-739-41012-7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
THE HITCH HICKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

One Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass.  For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with.  Sadly, however, the weekend has only just began, and the Galaxy is a very strange and startling place.

VOLUME ONE IN THE TRILOGY OF FOUR
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:

Related

Author(s)

 Douglas Adams
Birth: 11 Mar 1952 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Death: 11 May 2001 Santa Barbara, California, USA

Notes:
Douglas Noel Adams was born in Cambridge on March 11, 1952.  He went to school at Brentwood School, Essex and St John's College, Cambridge.  In 1974 he gained an MA in English Literature.

He started writing at Cambridge.  Some of his earlier writings were featured on the radio.  He went on from radio to become the script editor of Doctor Who where he wrote a couple of stories for the Tom Baker incarnation of the Doctor (4th Doctor).  He wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which was comissioned and aired as a radio series in March 1978.  Since then it has been transformed into a series of best-selling novels, a television series, records, cassettes and CDs, a computer game and several stage adaptations.

In 1991 he married Jane Elizabeth Belson and leaves a daughter, Polly Jane Rocket.  Douglas Adams died suddenly of a heart attack on May 11, 2001

Awards

No awards found
*
  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.






See my goodreads icon goodreads page. I almost never do reviews, but I use this site to catalogue books.
See my librarything icon librarything page. I use this site to catalogue books and it has more details on books than goodreads does.


Presented: 15-Jul-2024 03:00:06

Website design and original content
© 1996-2024 Type40 Web Design.
Contact: webmgr@type40.com
Server: type40.com
Page: bksDetails.aspx
Section: Books

This website uses cookies for use in navigating this site only. No personal information is gathered or shared with anyone. If you don't agree, then don't use this site.