The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
One Thursday lunchtime Earth is unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this is already more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun.
Reviewed on 23rd September 2009
This is probably only the third time I have read this modern classic, but somehow I still know the plot of the first book by heart. There are all the usual things to say of Adams' work. It's insightful, thought provoking, worryingly realistic and amazingly witty.
The characters are very simple, and yet in H2G2 this seems incredibly natural, where in any other book it would probably be boring and childlike. Some places don't rub well, Zaphod and Ford are possibly a little too similar, and Trillian is distressingly under-used as the only female character.
Adams' style doesn't tend to include a great deal of description of locations, which is almost a relief after all the Wheel of Time epics I've been reading recently, and I like to think this is a side-effect of the story's origins in radio. The radio experience has also rubbed off really well on the dialogue, which I can hear the characters speaking in my head. This lends a great deal to the comedy, especially the interplay between Eddie the computer, the talking doors, and of course Marvin.
My two criticisms are related. Firstly that there seems to be something missing from the plot - thinking back over the plot I keep feeling there's something I must have missed to pad out the middle. The second is that the ending is incredibly abrupt and resolves absolutely nothing - although I suppose that could be part of the beauty.
Overall I've enjoyed reading it again and am looking forward to going back over the whole series in preparation for the release of book 6 next month.