Wednesday, October 7, 2009
When I was in college, some boy gave this book to me in exchange for my extra copy of Fight Club. I put it on a shelf and never thought about it until now. But lately I've been reading and scoping out a lot of science fiction so it was only a matter of time before this one came along. Neil Gaiman does the introduction to this volume of all six hitchhiker's stories.
These books are bizarre. Sometimes I can figure out if the writing is funny because it is lazy or because it is genius. People can fly, mice are not all they appear to be, there is a restaurant where you can watch the end of the universe, all sorts of crazy things are going on here. The ending of the whole thing didn't quite do it for me, but other than that I had a good time reading these stories.
Arthur Dent is your average British citizen who goes on adventures in space with his friend Ford Prefect after Vogons destroy the Earth to but in a new galatic freeway. They join up with Trillian, a woman from Earth, Zaphod, a guy with two heads who is president of the galaxy and gets into all kinds of trouble, and Marvin, a very depressed robot. Zaphod reminds me a lot of Zap Branigan from Futurama, which I'm sure is supposed to be the other way around.
Ford works for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a travel book for tourists on the cheap. Throughout the series we get experts from the Guide on different peoples and planets. Ford and Arthur travel through time, go a little crazy, and attended the longest-lasting party which happens to fly around in the sky.
While I find these stories really amusing, I don't know that I'm as crazy about them as most people who talk about them are, especially that guy from college. I love humor, but I wanted more depth. Still worth a read.