The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (Book & Movie)

With school over, I was eager to finally have time to read for fun, and so the first book I picked up was one suggested and loosely explained to me by DaleyDowningThe Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I had heard the name but knew nothing of the classic story, so I was excited to give it a try.

The book sounded like a sci-fi novel and I was admittedly a little worried to get into that genre, as I know it’s quite vast and I really don’t have a huge interest in it, but this book was really fun and light, which was perfect!

The book tells of the destruction of Earth and its sole survivor, Arthur Dent, who managed to hitch a ride to space with the help of his extraterrestrial writer pal Ford Prefect.

The writing of this book was very interesting. It was quirky and captivating and the narration style was very different, which made it easy to keep reading. The characters were just as quirky as well, though I assume everyone identified the most with Arthur…I sure did! The interesting writing style therefore made the book incredibly quotable; there were so many clever and memorable lines!

What I didn’t like about this book was that it took a lot of chances to unnecessarily explain the very wide universe it was set in, so I often found this distracting from the plot. Sometimes whole chapters would be some random story about some weird alien race on some weird alien planet, and I didn’t care much for it, as it was already made clear just how vast and diverse the galaxy is. I just think that the book had a really cool chance to tell this fascinating story through the perspective of average and relatable human Arthur but instead the story was too concerned with packing readers with information and new names.

Luckily, is was just that kind of blabber that was cut out of the movie, by the same name. While I can’t say I loved the book, I did really enjoy the movie. It was concise, funny, and it, for the most part, followed the book very well. Not to mention the great casting and voicing. Even though the CGI isn’t anything extraordinary, it’s pretty good for 2005, and it works well with the quirkiness of the story. Plus there was a really catchy song at the beginning and end of the movie that I had stuck in my head all day. I’d recommend the movie even if you haven’t read the book and/or have no plans to.

Arthur, Zaphod, Trillian and Ford. Their facial expressions pretty much sum up their characters.

All in all, really cool world. The series isn’t even science-y enough to be sci-fi, and I was very amused for both the book and the movie (though more for the movie). So now I have to decide whether I want to keep reading the series. There’s actually four more books but I’m on the fence. Four more books is a commitment, especially since there’s no more movies and like I mentioned, I didn’t love the first book. That being said, if you’re looking for something light, nerdy and unlike anything you’ve ever read, then give The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy a shot. In fact, as I’m writing this, I think I’ve decided to continue on with the series. The books aren’t too long, and it’s not like I have a bunch of other books to read instead…

Has anyone read this book or the rest of the series? I’d love to hear your thoughts! And I’d also love to know any other similar books you recommend.

That’s all for now! (Or maybe I should change my closing line to “so long, and thanks for all the fish!”)

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15 thoughts on “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (Book & Movie)

  1. Your ending line could also be: “You’ve got to know where your towel is.” 😉

    I personally have a strong fondness for the “ancient” (1980?) BBC miniseries based on books 1 and 2 and the radio show. There were things I did and didn’t like about the movie. The casting was excellent, though, all around. Hmmm…pretty sure 2007 is a bit late – maybe not for the DVD release. But I know I saw the film in the cinema with my ex-husband, and that ended in 2006. (I actually have a funny story about that viewing.)

    Yes, the whole thing with the Guide featuring so heavily was that Douglas Adams had plans to write a LOT more about the actual history of the Guide itself, and in fact it tied in much more to the destruction of Earth, etc. Unfortunately, publishers had different ideas and encouraged other things, and then he passed away before he’d written everything he really wanted to on that front. Books 2 and 3 are okay (I feel), similar to book 1…book 5 had too much heavy editing (sorry, publisher, but didn’t agree with your ideas there at all). Book 4 stands alone to me, and is in a very different vein…and if you’re an Arthur Dent devotee (me! me! over here!), it’s a must read. (If I remember correctly, Mr. Adams really wanted book 4 to be the end. He had several other ideas that he wished to focus on. It’s too bad.)

    • Was literally about to say all of this. I adore the tv series and radio show, avoided the movie like the plague. The saddest thing about this universe was Adam’s life ending as soon as it did, because there was so much still to go. I managed to see the staged readings they toured around the UK with Simon Jones reprising Dent and Susan Sheridan Trillian., which was ace 🙂

      • The movie has its pros and cons. I thought the casting was good. But there were some parts that I really don’t think Douglas would’ve approved of. Simon Jones was so great. I loved him. 🙂

    • You’re right, 2007 is incorrect. The movie came out in 2005 actually. I meant to double check that when writing but forgot….oops…I wonder where 2007 came from…I’ll change that now.
      Well, I can’t say I’m super excited to read the rest but I will do it and I am fairly eager to get back into exploring the very complex world, so thank you!

      • You’re welcome. Being totally honest, I thought book 3 was a bit of a stretch, and I can see why the author was ready to wrap it up. Book 4 is so touching and different, yet ties in to the “hallmark” points of the rest of the story. You can tell he wrote that one from his heart.

    • Okay my local library has it so as soon as I’m done with the Hitchhikers books, I’ll give this a try! The Amazon summary seemed amusing! Thanks!

  2. Interesting and unique perspective!

    I didn’t mind Adams’ many segues at all. In fact, that very willingness to go down crazy, unexpected paths is one of my favorite things about Adams’ writing. He has such a distinctive voice and a vivid imagination, I could read him write about just about anything. I don’t see it as a mistake or a flaw or an example of editorial oversight. The segues are a big part of what make the books so quirky and different.

    I thought that the movie missed the tone and the pacing of the book entirely. It was OK, but I watched it once and I never need to see it again.

    But it’s always interesting to read a different perspective! It’s like how I have a very different impression of the Harry Potter movies than most fans from having watched them without reading the books first.

    • To each their own! I agree that the segues helped make the book very unique, it wasn’t my favourite part!
      Different perspectives are fun when conveyed maturely! What’s your impression of the Harry Potter movies? Because I liked them and found them pretty close to the books (which I of course read first). A fair adaptation in my mind!

    • Seeing the movies before reading the books (with any adaptation) is always an interesting experience.

      I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the Hitchhikers movie. There were scenes where I felt the tone was missed, agreed on that, and the pacing was very different from the original stories. While I too loved Douglas’ lack of boundaries on his work, I felt that some of the editing/publishing methods led to too many distractions from the heart of the story. (Also, if you read bios of DA, you get that idea, too, especially with regards to some of his later published works. His plans and those of the company didn’t always mesh.)

      My favorite adaptation is the “old” miniseries, because it built so much on the radio show, and those actors really knew the characters. Whenever I re-read the books, the BBC actors from 1980 are who I picture in my head. 🙂

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