Dearest fellow ape-descended life forms,
I wish I could claim that my long absence was spent exploring the Galaxy to bring you back the really cool aforementioned Guide… I really do… Sadly, nothing even remotely exciting happened in the past few months (well except maybe for a certain event related to L. – but I don’t think she’d forgive me if I mentionned it here).
Yet don’t despair, oh intrepid reader, for the Great Douglas Adams and his bountiful imagination have provided us with ample material for excitment (I can see those of you who have already read this book nodding enthusiastically!). I am of course referring to his world famous 5 book trilogy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2).
Writing this post in under 50 pages was a serious challenge for me. To give you an idea, when re-reading H2G2 a couple of months ago, I decided to fold the corner of each page on which I found a funny quote I wanted to use later – by the end, I realised I had marked almost every other page of the book.
So, in an effort to be synthetic, I asked an expert in keeping-it-short (namely, Ailonn) how he would describe this book, and he replied: « In one word: Improbable. » Never could have put it better. Before I lose you completely though, let’s start at the beginning:
On an ordinary Thursday, around lunch time, Englishman Arthur Dent sees his house bulldozed down, finds out his best friend (Ford Prefect) is an alien, and barely survives the demolition of the Earth by hitching a ride on a Vogon ship. There starts the most improbable adventure of his life.
After being thrown out into deep space by the Vogons, Ford and Arthur are suddenly saved by another spaceship, just in the nick of time. Here they are now, passengers of the Heart of Gold, a brand new starship prototype propelled by the Infinite Improbability Drive. This is how they find themselves traveling in company of the President of the Imperial Galactic Government, a couple of mice, an Earthwoman called Trillian and a manically depressed robot called Marvin.
|Life? Don’t talk to me about life!|
Guided by the well informed Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which is well on its way to supplanting the Encyclopaedia Galactica), they wander on a strange quest for quasi-mythical planet Magrathea – no one really knows why, but at least Eddie-the-computer is cheery about it.
On the way, they find out the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything (42), they visit a life size catalog for custom made planets, 2 very agressive missiles are turned into a bowl of Petunias and a very surprised looking sperm whale, and we learn the recipe to a great Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (please drink responsibly).
I want you so much to read this novel, but just grab the book and read the first page or two, and you’ll be convinced of Douglas Adams’s hilarious genius far better than by my poor prose. There’s no need to be a sci-fi lover to appreciate his work, but it is easier if you are not put off by some absurd sense of humour.
H2G2 is a great read for everyone (except maybe if you are hyper sensitive to the fate of sperm whales, then you might find some scenes too shocking). It is also the key to understanding all those private jokes people have been making for years around you, answering 42 to every question and asking you at the weirdest times if you remembered to take your towel.
So if you could never get the hang of Thursdays either and are looking for a great read, grab your towel, some peanuts, a copy of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I can promise you some serious fun!
Your devoted carbon-based bipedal life form descended from an ape
(but not from Genghis Khan)