The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a quirky adventure following a dysfunctional group of weirdos on an improbable journey. It’s a novel written by Douglas Adams, one filled with absurd situations and British humor.
Without any spoilers, here is my review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!
Pin for Later!
A Short Summary
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (THGG) is a short comedy adventure following Arthur Dent and his unlikely encounter with beings from around the universe. The adventure starts on Earth and after a series of events, Arthur finds himself in space thanks to his friend Ford Prefect.
The story continues with a variety of strange encounters, comedic dialogue sequences, and peculiar conclusions on the strangeness of the universe.
Arthur Dent is one of the two earthlings in this story. His perspective is the one we see the most and it’s his observations that we can relate to the most. Arthur is a fish of water, so it makes sense that we follow him to learn what is going on in this story.
Next, Ford Prefect. Ford is not an earthling, but he somehow became friends with Arthur during his fifteen-year stint on Earth. Ford isn’t bamboozled by the oddities of space as he is writing THGG, which is filled with sarcastic, but helpful observations that he has made while exploring space.
After that, we have Trillian, Zaphod, and Marvin. These three round off the group and are the main story drivers, well, Zaphod is. Marvin is a depressed robot providing commentary and Trillian is along for the ride.
The characters are just as strange as the story. Arthur Dent is the most normal, or as the story would have it, the most boring character.
The writing style is comedic, with narration popping in a few unexpected sentences to encourage a laugh. The story itself is broken up by small segments from the THGG within the novel, providing some insight into the happenings of the story through clever observations and sarcastic remarks that are bolstered by the comedic narration.
It is a short novel, and the pacing is slowed by these excerpts, but everything tends to happen quickly enough. The novel is suitable for young adults and up.
My Thoughts on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I don’t often read comedy books. If I need a laugh, the kind of British humor I turn to is Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, and Father Ted, but not comedy literature.
Yet, I have still read comedic books in the past and I have laughed at more than a few lines. THGG has plenty of jokes, I certainly recognize them, but I found their delivery lacking. It was quirky, but not good quirky. Most of the characters came off as dull and they were trying too hard to be interesting, which made them the most boring people to try to read.
The beginning was good. Arthur and Ford struck a nice balance between them, but that’s when the story seemed the most serious. After the introduction of the rest of the crew, the writing takes a steep decline in quality.
THGG is supposed to be a satire filled with these quirky elements to keep you from taking the story seriously. Yet, whether I took the story seriously or not, I felt none of it worked in the end. The story was blah as a fun novel and worse as a serious novel. With jokes that didn’t land and a message spoiled by said jokes, I couldn’t win with this book.
If you are interested in a story with sharp wit, nonsensical babbling, and a dash of cynicism, this one's for you. I don’t doubt that there are readers who will get more out of this book than I did.
And if you have read THGG, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Do you feel the same as me, or do you feel I’m being too harsh, or do you think I am so mentally short the point flew right over my head?
Thank you for checking out this review and as always,
Good day, goodnight and happy reading!