Saturday, 2 October 2010

Douglas Adams; Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Dear blog, I hate you so much. Twice now, I've tried to write this review, and twice, twice you've just deleted it. Do you think I enjoy writing the same thing over, and over again? Do you think I enjoy trying to remember what I wrote last time, and, despairing of that, trying to come up with something all over again? Do you? Well you're wrong. I hate it, and I'm rather starting to hate you, too.

Arthur Dent's house is about to be destroyed. he's not happy about this. His planet is also about to be destroyed and if he knew about it, he probably wouldn't be happy about that, either. He may cheer up slightly if you told him he and his friend Ford Prefect would survive the demise of his planet - but only slightly, because what he'd really need after all that was a drink of tea. And the only planet which produced tea has just been destroyed. He's going to be even grumpier when you try to explain to him, without his having had any tea, that his entire planet was in fact a giant computer which was destroyed moments before completing the program it was designed for, and that Ford Prefect isn't even human.

It seems rather blasphemous to me that I've only just, this summer gone, read The Hitch-Hiker "trilogy", but my excuse (and I'm sticking to it) is that I grew up listening to tape recordings, and later, CDs of the radio show. I still remembered parts of them vividly, so I never really felt the need to read the books. And because of that, despite having never read them, it did feel like re-reading a much loved book from childhood.

Adam's is funny, witty and incredibly clever. The book is fast-paced and it's almost impossible (unless you've read/heard it before) to guess where it's going. The plot is incredibly whimsical, and it sometimes feels that it's just a device used to allow Adam's to get in various funny observations and witty remarks. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that if you don't like Adam's sense of humour, you'd probably find the whole book incredibly stupid and incomprehensible.

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