AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (THHGTTG, #1), by Douglas Adams

Released: May 2, 2002 (New Millenium Audio)
Source: Borrowed

Genre: Humorous Sci-Fi, Classic

Audiobook Notes:
Narrator: Douglas Adams
Length: 5 hours

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (#1) Audible | Goodreads
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (#2)
Life, The Universe and Everything (#3)
So Long, and Thanks for the Fish (#4)
Mostly Harmless (#5)

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last 15 years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”) and a galaxy full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

Why I Read Listened To This Book

I have had this in paperback FOREVER, but just never got around to reading it. I knew it would be funny, but I just couldn’t get past the first few pages. It’s a classic, at least in the sci-fi world, so I had to give it a whirl.

My Thoughts

So when I was growing up, I had a brother (well, I still have a brother …) who was really into science fiction things. He loves computers, games, Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., etc. — and he loved reading. I was never really a reader when I was growing up. Sure, I had my favourite series books, but I wasn’t one to just camp out in a pile of blankets and spend the whole day with my nose in a book (if only I could fast-forward 20 years …).

My brother, on the other hand, read plenty of books. Science Fiction books. His bookshelf really wasn’t one that I found myself wanting to borrow books from. Until he moved. Then, I got my borrowing act on and borrowed a few nerdy things from him — including his copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Of course, that being said, the book stayed on my shelf for YEARS. I tried reading it once in a while, but just never got past the first page. When I came across the audiobooks for the series (a.k.a. the “trilogy” in “five” parts), I thought I’d give them a whirl. I was driving, so I figured I’d be stuck for a while listening to it, so maybe, just maybe I’d get into it.

Let’s just say I’m quite happy to have listened to this audiobook because it was AWESOME.

There are certain books that I expect to be British. That is, when I read them, I have a British accent going in my head. Don’t mock me. It’s my thing. When I started listening to Douglas Adams narrate THHGTTG, I thought, “YES! This is exactly how I wanted it to be read!” Being the writer of the book, Adams knew exactly where to put emphasis, where to put pauses, and where to start yelling uncontrollably. Listening to the audiobook was an experience and a half.

The book was quite enjoyable. When I think of “science fiction” I always think it’s going to be hard to read — but it really isn’t. I guess you could get some books that are a little too technical, or a little too out there, but this book was just really enjoyable. The characters were fascinating and funny, especially the main character, Arthur Dent. The whole introduction of him getting up every day to lay in front of a bulldozer that’s going to destroy his house was quite funny — especially because the reader has no idea what he’s prepping himself for as he’s bustling around his home.

Of course, then someone comes along — Ford Prefect (i.e. An alien who took human form and wanted a name that blended in with the rest. Obviously, taking the name of a popular British car was the way to go.) — who takes Arthur for a beer (in quite the hilarious scene with the guy who wants to tear his house down) because something is happening. In fact, the world is about to end.

From there, Adams takes his readers on a roller coaster ride full of absolute hilarity that when you finish listening to the book, there’s no way you can consider NOT reading the rest in the series. In fact, I’m more than thrilled to have the rest of the series to listen to. Science fiction lover or not, this is a book not to be missed — it’s quirky, fun, and hilarious. If you can’t get the Douglas Adams version, Stephen Fry narrates another version and I’m sure it is just as fantastic.

Well, since I listened to the audiobook version, I would say if you need something to keep you alert and laughing, give this one a listen! It was hilarious from start to finish and very smartly written. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, or looking to read some classic sci-fi that’s not so serious. this one is great.

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


13 thoughts on “AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (THHGTTG, #1), by Douglas Adams

  1. I read this book too young. I think it went over my head, which is a shame! I recently finished another of his books, The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul, and it was great! Unexpectedly light hearted and funny. I may need to revisit this series!

  2. Hmmm, I’m definitely intrigued to listen to this on audio seeing as how this is another one of those *classic* books that I’ve yet to read, *sigh* (story of my life it seems!). And I’m always looking for good audio book recommendations!

    • It’s the story of mine, too! I need a few extra months in a year just to get required reading out of the way. 🙂

      I LOVE audiobooks! I’ve listened to a few different kinds and have an account with Audible — it’s awesome!

    • It was a lot of fun! And the audio was great. I have all 5 on audio, all narrated by the author — I can’t wait to get to the next one. Their pretty short, too — only about 5 hours each.

  3. I love those books! They are hilarious and (very, very rarely) thought provoking (as in I still think about the master of the universe years after I read about him. Same with that rock band that is best heard from many miles away in a concrete bunker)

  4. Awesome review..and i totally get your Brit voice characters often have accents in my head..LOL So glad you enjoyed this.

  5. I’ve adored Hitchhikers for so many years I don’t even know where to start. I started with BBC series on VHS, read the books, then saw the movie (which was so dissapointing I wanted to cry. Except the special effects were cool, and it *did* have Bill Nighy, so bonus points in its favour).

    SO glad you enjoyed it and the audiobook was fun! You know, I went back to it a few years ago, and in comparison to what I’d been reading found the prose quite… I don’t know… convoluted? I GET it being hard to get into. It ws a little struggle finding the rhythm of the words 🙂

  6. Pingback: Clock Rewinders (2) | Reading In Winter

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