Genre: Science Fiction, Humor
Series: Hitchhiker’s Guide of the Galaxy #1 (Out of 5 or 6)
Release Date: October 12, 1979
Publisher: Del Rey Books
If I ever made a list of the weirdest books I’ve read, this would definitely be number one. This book is absolutely bizarre, really funny and so freaking random!
Like seriously, one minute two people are having a normal conversation (as normal as a conversation can get in this weird-ass book) and the next, a teeny-tiny, alien army is being swallowed by an unsuspecting dog, and you’re sitting there thinking, Where the fuck did that even come from?
The synopsis itself is pretty straight-forward. Ford Prefect is an alien who’s been stranded on Earth for fifteen years. He’s a researcher for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Right before the earth is demolished to make a galactic freeway, Ford and his friend, Arthur Dent (a human), hitchhike onto one of the ships destroying the planet. Then they’re on a journey through space.
Okay so, not that simple a synopsis after all. And you know what, just for the sake of making it more complicated, I’m gonna let you in on two of Ford and Arthur’s companions, that they meet later one. One is Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed president of the galaxy who’s equal parts genius and stupid; weirdest character in the book. The other is Marvin, a depressed robot; best character in the book.
Now, that you’ve been properly introduced, I think I should tell you that for half the book, I wasn’t even sure if I loved it or hated it. The reason I found myself kinda hating it is because of how many made-up nouns there were. I love words but I prefer them to make sense. So when I encountered things like this:
Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odors of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.
What was I supposed to make of that?! But then we got brilliant things like a fish that proved that God didn’t exist and the perfection that is Marvin. Seriously, I fucking love Marvin. He’s hilarious, but also makes you kinda sad because he’s sad and you wish someone would help him; but no one’s got the time between all the constant about-to-die situations, and how do you help a depressed robot anyway? Do you rewrite his code, or do you give him a hug or try to make him happy? Can you even change his programming? And if he’s programmed to dislike everything then wouldn’t all your other efforts be useless? What can you do?!
Anyway… this novel is total genius but it might give you a hard time with the made-up words. You get used to those though and then it’s a hell of a ride. I loved this novel and I think everyone should at least try it. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine. But it’s something very unique that you shouldn’t pass over completely.