Book Review

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams | Book Review

“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

As I’m writing this it’s 2:20 in the morning. I’ve just finished reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and I’m primarily thinking one thing:

I’m confused. 

I enjoyed it, but confusion is definitely the primary emotion.

Since finishing I’ve found that this is a series and not a standalone, which helps somewhat. 

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy follows a man named Arthur Dent. When he woke up one Thursday morning he thought he’d have a nice and relaxed day. Do a bit of reading, brush the dog. Instead he wakes to find a bulldozer outside his house, ready to demolish it. Not that it matters much as the Earth itself is about to be vaporised for the very same reason. To build a bypass.

What is the probability or improbability of this? I’m not sure, but I am sure this book could tell you. I haven’t read the terms “Probability”, “Velocity” or “X to the power of” so much since my GCSE’s.

My Thoughts

In a way, the space setting plus the humour reminded me of The Martian, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I do feel the scientific aspects in The Martian were more accessible and less long-winded. 

In other ways, this book reminded me of American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. Just as I thought I was getting to grips with the story it would go of on a tangent or take me somewhere else, to another area of the story, or someone else’s mind, and I was lost again.

Usually I have no trouble keeping up with different perspectives, but it felt like I was jolted from one thing to the next with no real structure.

I hate to say it because I know how beloved this book is, but I found it difficult to follow at times.

Unless that was the point? But what was the point? Do you find out at the end of the series?

Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some laugh out loud moments. There were some great one-liners and the book seems quite whimsical.

I’ve had this with a few things I’ve read. The parts which I liked, I really enjoyed, and the parts which I didn’t I really didn’t.

At times it felt like a challenge from 2007. “How much LOL rAnDoM stuff can we fit into one book?” Hamlet loving monkeys, aliens who read poetry, a whale and a petunia – although that made more sense than a lot of the other things written. 

I feel like it didn’t really explain anything and no-one seemed to care about anything. 

Unfortunately trying to write down my thoughts has not helped clear the fog in this case.

So I leave you where we began. I enjoyed it for the most part, but mostly I’m left confused by the whole thing. 

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