BN.com Gift Guide

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

( 791 )

Overview

"IRRESISTIBLE!"
—The Boston Globe
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 fifteen 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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (74) from $1.99   
  • New (25) from $4.19   
  • Used (49) from $1.99   
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide Series #1)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

"IRRESISTIBLE!"
—The Boston Globe
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 fifteen 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; 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 between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!
"[A] WHIMSICAL ODYSSEY...Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy."
—Publishers Weekly

The story of a British earthling plucked from his planet, and his subsequent adventures elsewhere in the universe.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Don't panic! Here are words of praise for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

"It's science fiction and it's extremely funny...inspired lunacy that leaves hardly a science fiction cliche alive."

Washington Post

"The feckless protagonist, Arthur Dent, is reminiscent of Vonnegut heroes, and his travels afford a wild satire of present institutions."

Chicago Tribune

"Very simply, the book is one of the funniest SF spoofs ever written, with hyperbolic ideas folding in on themselves."

School Library Journal

"As parody, it's marvelous: It contains just about every science fiction cliche you can think of. As humor, it's, well, hysterical."

Gale Research
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as its sequels,The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; and Mostly Harmless, is "inspired lunacy that leaves hardly a science fictional cliche alive," as Washington Post Book World contributor Lisa Tuttle describes it.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345391803
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Series: Hitchhiker's Guide Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 16,752
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Adams is the author of five books in the Hitchhiker's Trilogy including The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; and Mostly Harmless. He lives in London.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One


 The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the

village. It stood on its own and looked out over a broad

spread of West Country farmland. Not a remarkable house

by any means—it was about thirty years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which more or less exactly failed to please the eye.

The only person for whom the house was in any way special was Arthur Dent, and that was only because it happened to be the one he lived in. He had lived in it for about three years, ever since he had moved out of London because it made him nervous and irritable. He was about thirty as well, tall, dark-haired and never quite at ease with himself. The thing that used to worry him most was the fact that people always used to ask him what he was looking so worried about. He worked in local radio which he always used to tell his friends was a lot more interesting than they probably thought. It was, too—most of his friends worked in advertising.

On Wednesday night it had rained very heavily, the lane was wet and muddy, but the Thursday morning sun was bright and clear as it shone on Arthur Dent’s house for what was to be the last time.

It hadn’t properly registered yet with Arthur that the council wanted to knock it down and build a bypass instead.

*  *  *

At eight o’clock on Thursday morning Arthur didn’t feel very good. He woke up blearily, got up, wandered blearily round his room, opened a window, saw a bulldozer, found his slippers, and stomped off to the bathroom to wash.

Toothpaste on the brush—so. Scrub.

Shaving mirror—pointing at the ceiling. He adjusted it. For a moment it reflected a second bulldozer through the bathroom window. Properly adjusted, it reflected Arthur Dent’s bristles. He shaved them off, washed, dried and stomped off to the kitchen to find something pleasant to put in his mouth.

Kettle, plug, fridge, milk, coffee. Yawn.

The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in search of something to connect with.

The bulldozer outside the kitchen window was quite a big one.

He stared at it.

“Yellow,” he thought, and stomped off back to his bedroom to get dressed.

Passing the bathroom he stopped to drink a large glass of water, and another. He began to suspect that he was hung over. Why was he hung over? Had he been drinking the night be- fore? He supposed that he must have been. He caught a glint in the shaving mirror. “Yellow,” he thought, and stomped on to the bedroom.

He stood and thought. The pub, he thought. Oh dear, the pub. He vaguely remembered being angry, angry about something that seemed important. He’d been telling people about it, telling people about it at great length, he rather suspected: his clearest visual recollection was of glazed looks on other people’s faces. Something about a new bypass he’d just found out about. It had been in the pipeline for months only no one seemed to have known about it. Ridiculous. He took a swig of water. It would sort itself out, he’d decided, no one wanted a bypass, the council didn’t have a leg to stand on. It would sort itself out.

God, what a terrible hangover it had earned him though. He looked at himself in the wardrobe mirror. He stuck out his tongue. “Yellow,” he thought. The word yellow wandered through his mind in search of something to connect with.

Fifteen seconds later he was out of the house and lying in front of a big yellow bulldozer that was advancing up his garden path.

Mr. L. Prosser was, as they say, only human. In other words he was a carbon-based bipedal life form descended from an ape. More specifically he was forty, fat and shabby and worked for the local council. Curiously enough, though he didn’t know it, he was also a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his genes that he had no discernible Mongoloid characteristics, and the only vestiges left in Mr. L. Prosser of his mighty ancestry were a pronounced stoutness about the tum and a predilection for little fur hats.

He was by no means a great warrior; in fact he was a nervous, worried man. Today he was particularly nervous and worried because something had gone seriously wrong with his job, which was to see that Arthur Dent’s house got cleared out of the way before the day was out.

“Come off it, Mr. Dent,” he said, “you can’t win, you know. You can’t lie in front of the bulldozer indefinitely.” He tried to make his eyes blaze fiercely but they just wouldn’t do it.

Arthur lay in the mud and squelched at him.

“I’m game,” he said, “we’ll see who rusts first.”

“I’m afraid you’re going to have to accept it,” said Mr. Prosser, gripping his fur hat and rolling it round the top of his head; “this bypass has got to be built and it’s going to be built!”

“First I’ve heard of it,” said Arthur, “why’s it got to be built?”

Mr. Prosser shook his finger at him for a bit, then stopped and put it away again.

“What do you mean, why’s it got to be built?” he said. “It’s a bypass. You’ve got to build bypasses.”

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.

Mr. Prosser wanted to be at point D. Point D wasn’t anywhere in particular, it was just any convenient point a very long way from points A, B and C. He would have a nice little cottage at point D, with axes over the door, and spend a pleasant amount of time at point E, which would be the nearest pub to point D. His wife of course wanted climbing roses, but he wanted axes. He didn’t know why—he just liked axes. He flushed hotly under the derisive grins of the bulldozer drivers.

He shifted his weight from foot to foot, but it was equally uncomfortable on each. Obviously somebody had been appallingly incompetent and he hoped to God it wasn’t him.

Mr. Prosser said, “You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time, you know.”

“Appropriate time?” hooted Arthur. “Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he’d come to clean the windows and he said no, he’d come to demolish the house. He didn’t tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me.”

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well, as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display . . .”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’”

A cloud passed overhead. It cast a shadow over Arthur Dent as he lay propped up on his elbow in the cold mud. It cast a shadow over Arthur Dent’s house. Mr. Prosser frowned at it.

“It’s not as if it’s a particularly nice house,” he said.

“I’m sorry, but I happen to like it.”

“You’ll like the bypass.”

“Oh, shut up,” said Arthur Dent. “Shut up and go away, and take your bloody bypass with you. You haven’t got a leg to stand on and you know it.”

Mr. Prosser’s mouth opened and closed a couple of times while his mind was for a moment filled with inexplicable but terribly attractive visions of Arthur Dent’s house being consumed with fire and Arthur himself running screaming from the blazing ruin with at least three hefty spears protruding from his back. Mr. Prosser was often bothered with visions like these and they made him feel very nervous. He stuttered for a moment and then pulled himself together.

“Mr. Dent,” he said.

“Hello? Yes?” said Arthur.

“Some factual information for you. Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?”

“How much?” said Arthur.

“None at all,” said Mr. Prosser, and stormed nervously off wondering why his brain was filled with a thousand hairy horsemen all shouting at him.

By a curious coincidence, “None at all” is exactly how much suspicion the ape-descendant Arthur Dent had that one of his closest friends was not descended from an ape, but was in fact from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not from Guildford as he usually claimed.

Arthur Dent had never, ever suspected this.

This friend of his had first arrived on the planet Earth some fifteen Earth years previously, and he had worked hard to blend himself into Earth society—with, it must be said, some success. For instance, he had spent those fifteen years pretending to be an out-of-work actor, which was plausible enough.

He had made one careless blunder though, because he had skimped a bit on his preparatory research. The information he had gathered had led him to choose the name “Ford Prefect” as being nicely inconspicuous.

He was not conspicuously tall, his features were striking but not conspicuously handsome. His hair was wiry and gingerish and brushed backward from the temples. His skin seemed to be pulled backward from the nose. There was something very slightly odd about him, but it was difficult to say what it was. Perhaps it was that his eyes didn’t seem to blink often enough and when you talked to him for any length of time your eyes began involuntarily to water on his behalf. Perhaps it was that he smiled slightly too broadly and gave people the unnerving impression that he was about to go for their neck.

He struck most of the friends he had made on Earth as an eccentric, but a harmless one—an unruly boozer with some oddish habits. For instance, he would often gate-crash university parties, get badly drunk and start making fun of any astrophysicists he could find till he got thrown out.

Sometimes he would get seized with oddly distracted moods and stare into the sky as if hypnotized until someone asked him what he was doing. Then he would start guiltily for a moment, relax and grin.

“Oh, just looking for flying saucers,” he would joke, and everyone would laugh and ask him what sort of flying saucers he was looking for.

“Green ones!” he would reply with a wicked grin, laugh wildly for a moment and then suddenly lunge for the nearest bar and buy an enormous round of drinks.

Evenings like this usually ended badly. Ford would get out of his skull on whisky, huddle in a corner with some girl and explain to her in slurred phrases that honestly the color of the flying saucers didn’t matter that much really.

Thereafter, staggering semiparalytic down the night streets, he would often ask passing policemen if they knew the way to Betelgeuse. The policemen would usually say something like, “Don’t you think it’s about time you went off home, sir?”

“I’m trying to, baby, I’m trying to,” is what Ford invariably replied on these occasions.

In fact what he was really looking for when he stared distractedly into the sky was any kind of flying saucer at all. The reason he said green was that green was the traditional space livery of the Betelgeuse trading scouts.

Ford Prefect was desperate that any flying saucer at all would arrive soon because fifteen years was a long time to get stranded anywhere, particularly somewhere as mind-bogglingly dull as the Earth.

Ford wished that a flying saucer would arrive soon because he knew how to flag flying saucers down and get lifts from them. He knew how to see the Marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairian dollars a day.

In fact, Ford Prefect was a roving researcher for that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Human beings are great adapters, and by lunchtime life in the environs of Arthur’s house had settled into a steady routine. It was Arthur’s accepted role to lie squelching in the mud mak- ing occasional demands to see his lawyer, his mother or a good book; it was Mr. Prosser’s accepted role to tackle Arthur with the occasional new ploy such as the For the Public Good talk, or the March of Progress talk, the They Knocked My House Down Once You Know, Never Looked Back talk and various other cajoleries and threats; and it was the bulldozer drivers’ accepted role to sit around drinking coffee and experimenting with union regulations to see how they could turn the situation to their financial advantage.

The Earth moved slowly in its diurnal course.

The sun was beginning to dry out the mud that Arthur lay in.

A shadow moved across him again.

“Hello, Arthur,” said the shadow.

Arthur looked up and squinting into the sun was startled to see Ford Prefect standing above him.

“Ford! Hello, how are you?”

“Fine,” said Ford, “look, are you busy?”

“Am I busy?” exclaimed Arthur. “Well, I’ve just got all these bulldozers and things to lie in front of because they’ll knock my house down if I don’t, but other than that . . . well, no, not especially, why?”

They don’t have sarcasm on Betelgeuse, and Ford Prefect often failed to notice it unless he was concentrating. He said, “Good, is there anywhere we can talk?”

“What?” said Arthur Dent.

For a few seconds Ford seemed to ignore him, and stared fixedly into the sky like a rabbit trying to get run over by a car. Then suddenly he squatted down beside Arthur.

“We’ve got to talk,” he said urgently.

“Fine,” said Arthur, “talk.”

“And drink,” said Ford. “It’s vitally important that we talk and drink. Now. We’ll go to the pub in the village.”

He looked into the sky again, nervous, expectant.

“Look, don’t you understand?” shouted Arthur. He pointed at Prosser. “That man wants to knock my house down!”

Ford glanced at him, puzzled.

“Well, he can do it while you’re away, can’t he?” he asked.

“But I don’t want him to!”

“Ah.”

“Look, what’s the matter with you, Ford?” said Arthur.

“Nothing. Nothing’s the matter. Listen to me—I’ve got to tell you the most important thing you’ve ever heard. I’ve got to tell you now, and I’ve got to tell you in the saloon bar of the Horse and Groom.”

“But why?”

“Because you’re going to need a very stiff drink.”

Ford stared at Arthur, and Arthur was astonished to find his will beginning to weaken. He didn’t realize that this was because of an old drinking game that Ford learned to play in the hyperspace ports that served the madranite mining belts in the star system of Orion Beta.

The game was not unlike the Earth game called Indian wrestling, and was played like this:

Two contestants would sit either side of a table, with a glass in front of each of them.

Between them would be placed a bottle of Janx Spirit (as immortalized in that ancient Orion mining song, “Oh, don’t give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit/No, don’t you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit/For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die/Won’t you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit”).

Each of the two contestants would then concentrate their will on the bottle and attempt to tip it and pour spirit into the glass of his opponent, who would then have to drink it.

The bottle would then be refilled. The game would be played again. And again.

Once you started to lose you would probably keep losing, because one of the effects of Janx Spirit is to depress telepsychic power.

As soon as a predetermined quantity had been consumed, the final loser would have to perform a forfeit, which was usually obscenely biological.

Ford Prefect usually played to lose.

*  *  *

Ford stared at Arthur, who began to think that perhaps he did want to go to the Horse and Groom after all.

“But what about my house . . .?” he asked plaintively.

Ford looked across to Mr. Prosser, and suddenly a wicked thought struck him.

“He wants to knock your house down?”

“Yes, he wants to build . . .”

“And he can’t because you’re lying in front of his bulldozer?”

“Yes, and . . .”

“I’m sure we can come to some arrangement,” said Ford. “Excuse me!” he shouted.

Mr. Prosser (who was arguing with a spokesman for the bulldozer drivers about whether or not Arthur Dent constituted a mental health hazard, and how much they should get paid if he did) looked around. He was surprised and slightly alarmed to see that Arthur had company.

“Yes? Hello?” he called. “Has Mr. Dent come to his senses yet?”

“Can we for the moment,” called Ford, “assume that he hasn’t?”

“Well?” sighed Mr. Prosser.

“And can we also assume,” said Ford, “that he’s going to be staying here all day?”

“So?”

“So all your men are going to be standing around all day doing nothing?”

“Could be, could be . . .”

“Well, if you’re resigned to doing that anyway, you don’t actually need him to lie here all the time do you?”

“What?”

“You don’t,” said Ford patiently, “actually need him here.”

Mr. Prosser thought about this.

“Well, no, not as such . . .” he said, “not exactly need . . .”

Prosser was worried. He thought that one of them wasn’t making a lot of sense.

Ford said, “So if you would just like to take it as read that he’s actually here, then he and I could slip off down to the pub for half an hour. How does that sound?”

Mr. Prosser thought it sounded perfectly potty.

“That sounds perfectly reasonable . . .” he said in a reassuring tone of voice, wondering who he was trying to reassure.

“And if you want to pop off for a quick one yourself later on,” said Ford, “we can always cover for you in return.”

“Thank you very much,” said Mr. Prosser, who no longer knew how to play this at all, “thank you very much, yes, that’s very kind . . ” He frowned, then smiled, then tried to do both at once, failed, grasped hold of his fur hat and rolled it fitfully round the top of his head. He could only assume that he had just won.

“So,” continued Ford Prefect, “if you would just like to come over here and lie down . . .”

“What?” said Mr. Prosser.

“Ah, I’m sorry,” said Ford, “perhaps I hadn’t made myself fully clear. Somebody’s got to lie in front of the bulldozers, haven’t they? Or there won’t be anything to stop them driving into Mr. Dent’s house, will there?”

“What?” said Mr. Prosser again.

“It’s very simple,” said Ford, “my client, Mr. Dent, says that he will stop lying here in the mud on the sole condition that you come and take over from him.”

“What are you talking about?” said Arthur, but Ford nudged him with his shoe to be quiet.

“You want me,” said Prosser, spelling out this new thought to himself, “to come and lie there . . .”

“Yes.”

“In front of the bulldozer?”

“Yes.”

“Instead of Mr. Dent.”

“Yes.”

“In the mud.”

“In, as you say, the mud.”

As soon as Mr. Prosser realized that he was substantially the loser after all, it was as if a weight lifted itself off his shoulders: this was more like the world as he knew it. He sighed.

“In return for which you will take Mr. Dent with you down to the pub?”

“That’s it,” said Ford, “that’s it exactly.”

Mr. Prosser took a few nervous steps forward and stopped.

“Promise?” he said.

“Promise,” said Ford. He turned to Arthur.

“Come on,” he said to him, “get up and let the man lie down.”

Arthur stood up, feeling as if he was in a dream.

Ford beckoned to Prosser, who sadly, awkwardly, sat down in the mud. He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. The mud folded itself round his bottom and his arms and oozed into his shoes.

Ford looked at him severely.

“And no sneaky knocking Mr. Dent’s house down while he’s away, all right?” he said.

“The mere thought,” growled Mr. Prosser, “hadn’t even begun to speculate,” he continued, settling himself back, “about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.”

He saw the bulldozer drivers’ union representative approaching and let his head sink back and closed his eyes. He was trying to marshal his arguments for proving that he did not now constitute a mental health hazard himself. He was far from certain about this—his mind seemed to be full of noise, horses, smoke and the stench of blood. This always happened when he felt miserable or put upon, and he had never been able to explain it to himself. In a high dimension of which we know nothing, the mighty Khan bellowed with rage, but Mr. Prosser only trembled slightly and whimpered. He began to feel little pricks of water behind his eyelids. Bureaucratic cock-ups, angry men lying in mud, indecipherable strangers handing out inexplicable humiliation and an unidentified army of horsemen laughing at him in his head—what a day.

What a day. Ford Prefect knew that it didn’t matter a pair of dingo’s kidneys whether Arthur’s house got knocked down or not now.

Arthur remained very worried.

“But can we trust him?” he said.

“Myself I’d trust him to the end of the Earth,” said Ford.

“Oh yes,” said Arthur, “and how far’s that?”

“About twelve minutes away,” said Ford, “come on, I need a drink.”

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 791 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(520)

4 Star

(160)

3 Star

(63)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(24)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 797 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    I know, I know.. I should have read this book before then. I have a vague memory of attempting to read it about 10 years ago - but that was when books only interested me if they had a half-dressed hunk on the cover and promised a few hours of romantic dreams.

    Clearly, this book didn't do that - so on the shelf it went. Now, in reading through the 1001 books to read I saw the name again and thought, hm.. perhaps I should give it a try. I'm glad I did.

    While much of the book feels like it's still over my head (and it took me longer to read then I thought it would, seeing as I had to keep going back over things I didn't understand), I got more than my fair share of giggles out of it.

    I don't think there's really anyone out there who doesn't know what this book is about - so let me tell you what my impressions of it were before, and after reading it.

    Before I started reading this book I thought I knew the story. I understood 42 was somewhere in the book, and my impressions of the story came from an old PC game I picked up several years ago (I gave up on that game very quickly too). I knew there was a ship computer that talked, and that there was a depressed robot. And mostly I knew it was the story of a man named Arthur Dent. What I didn't know was how it all fit together.

    Now I've read the book. I've laughed at the ship computer, finally understand that XKCD comic about the Kindle, loved loved loved Marvin the depressed robot and felt much of the same confusion that Arthur Dent must have felt. And I still don't quite know how it all fits together.

    And that's why I like the book so much. Because I'm going to have to read it, and read it again - and although I think I still probably won't get it, I think I'll enjoy reading it every time, just like I enjoyed reading it this time. And really, if you can't enjoy reading a book... what's the point?

    29 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Too expensive

    There's a cheaper version: The Ultimate Hitchiker's Guide
    12 .00 for the entire series vs. 8.00 for the first one only.

    22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 17, 2009

    Don't Panic!

    If total randomness is not your thing, steer clear of this book. Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" starts with the Earth being destroyed to make way for a hyper spatial expressway. The main character, Arthur Dent, and his friend, Ford Prefect, escape annihilation by hitchhiking their way on board one of the Vogon ships that were in the process demolishing the Earth. After being found and thrown into space, they are rescued by the Heart of Gold, a state-of-the-art ship stolen by the president of the galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox. When Arthur and Ford meet their hitchhiking hosts, they discover it to be Zaphod and Trillian. Arthur had previously met Trillian at a party on Earth, just before Zaphod swooped in and took her off into space. The four travelers find their way to Magrathea, a legendary planet known for manufacturing custom planets. When they get to Magrathea, Zaphod, Trillian, and Ford are captured and detained by Magratheans. Arthur is greeted by an old man, Slartibartfast. He educates Arthur on the history of Magrathea and the computer designed to answer the question to life. This computer was known as Deep-Thought and produced the answer of forty-two. The question, to which this answer belongs, is not known by Deep-Thought. Luckily, Deep-Thought provides the plans for a super computer that will produce this question. The Earth is the key, but if you want to know more, you will just have to read the book. While I found this book to be confusing at times, it was also extremely entertaining. Until you finish the book, it comes across as being completely random. But after finishing the book, everything sort of comes together. The randomness is what makes this book what it is; without it, it would just be a boring story about four people. I definitely recommend reading this book, but if possible, read the book before watching the movie. While entertaining, the movie is not nearly as good as the book. It is a more enjoyable read if done before watching the movie.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2012

    good book, very interesting, not everyones cup of tea, a lil ran

    good book, very interesting, not everyones cup of tea, a lil random, but overall pretty good book, i can see myself finishing the series

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    It may be old and I may be young but...

    I loved the while series. It is preposterous, ridiculous, British and just so...unreal. If you want to just not have to think too seriously about anything and just want to escape for awhile...take a chance on this and find yourself somewhere else. I'm only 25 and the first time I read it was ten years ago but it's a quick laugh worth a quick read.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2011

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh my gosh this book is hilarious. This book will make u lol rotf.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Hilarious!

    Don't Panic..... and just read this book! Fantastic, funny, and will stay with you. Also make sure you read the other books in the series as well. A warning to those that saw the movie, although the movie script was written by Adams, the book is not the same. Both are hilarious tho.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2000

    Fanshmabulous!

    Hitchhiker's Guide is the funniest thing I have ever read. Well, Woody Allen's 3 books were hilarious too, but Hitchhiker's is definitely the funniest NOVEL I've ever read. Hitchhiker and Restaurant at the End of the Universe are both 10s, and I would have loved to actually see them combined to make one bigger, fanshmabulous book. Life, the Universe and Everything (the 3rd) is not quite as good as the first 2, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is worse than # 3, and Mostly Harmless is the worst of all. I recommend at least the first three books, however. But make sure, if you read Hitchhiker, to at least read Restaurant. This pretty well wraps up Arthur Dent's adventures in time and space and probably could have ended the series right there without missing too much. Yes, Hitchhiker and Restaurant would make an excellent book. Maybe if I get some tape...

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    I am going to reveal the ending!

    Ha Ha tricked ya. Actually revealling the ending would be really mean, especially people like me who hate endings "I hate endings" -The Doctor

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Funny and clever all the way!

    Loved the book! Is a mix of nerdy cleverness and a little intrigue on every chapter.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2013

    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, will take

    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, will take you on a wild adventure that will keep you jumping around from planet to planet. Its length is pretty considering, the cover didn't really draw me in, and the author has done many other books in his past and since writing this one.




    For starters the book isn’t a huge book so if you don't really like reading but are required to read for per say an English class then this might be the book for you. But if you prefer long books then I don't know if you'd care to read this book too much.




    The cover on this book isn't really the most appealing book cover it just has a hand with its thumb sticking out and some black lettering that says The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and below that says Douglas Adams, now when you hear me tell you this you're probably thinking man this book sounds lamer than all heck, but let me be the person to tell you that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover which is exactly what I did.




    The author of this book is the late Douglas Adams he has written many books in his lifetime this book has a few other books with it in a series of Science Fiction packed novels. He has wrote more than 30 books in his lifetime and also wrote the well known Dirk Gently Novel Series.




    So to cap it all off this book is a pretty decent book, I myself didn't like it all that much but I’m not really a science fiction kind of guy so I don't want me not liking it to be that big of a decision into you wanting or not wanting you to read it. If you're the type of person who likes Science Fiction then theres a chance that you will really like this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2012

    This book was hilarious!

    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was absolutely hilarious. Douglas Adams has a very dry, snarky sense of humor, and I found myself giggling a little at the absurdity of some of the happenings. This book follows an unwilling Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect around the galaxy as they explore lots of things and places. The book can get a little technically confusing at times, but it really isn't very much and it's usually possible to think the science through. All in all, I thought this was a very good book and I can't wait to read the second one! If you're looking for a light, humorous, fast-paced book, then The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy could be for you.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Modern classic

    Modern classic

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    42

    ALWAYS CARRY YOUR TOWELS FOLKS!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Z

    Jzhsh

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    READ THIS COMMENT

    I do not hav the nook version for thus but i have the actual book and i have two word for it...LOVE IT!!!! It is one of the best books ever. Btw...IF U SAW THIS COMMENT AND DID NOT BUY THE BOOK I WILL HUNT U DOWN AND RIP OUT UR SPINE AND THEN UR ADAMS APPLE WITH MY BARE HANDS AND THEN U WILL DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Funny and Clever

    This book was very funny, with lots of sarcasm and irony. It was a very creative story, and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading the rest of the "trilogy"!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Hilarious!

    Doiglas Adams was a genius!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 10, 2010

    Great Book!

    Maggie Homer 9/8/10
    Book Review

    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    By Douglas Adams

    Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It takes place in the present time and the main character's names are Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. This sci fi novel takes hilarity and imagination to a whole new level. Arthur is a normal middle aged man with a friend, Ford Prefect, who claims to be an alien from outer space. Little does Arthur know, it's true. Arthur and Ford embark on a ridiculous journey through space that takes them from a Vogon space fleet to meet a three armed, two headed alien who happens to be president of the galaxy, and Ford's cousin. I would recommend it for all audiences, especially those who like a good laugh in their reading.
    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a fantastic book. It was described as "Extremely funny, Inspired lunacy. and over much too soon." Personally, I loved this book. The sheer ridiculousness of the plot itself is emphasized by the author's descriptions of everything in space. According to Douglas Adams, the universe is filled with all sorts of species. There are Vogons, humanoids, octopodic physucturalists, and hooloovoos, among many other things. A hooloovoo is a "super intelligent shade of blue". The imagination it must have taken to create this book is incredible.
    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy takes its title from a commonly used device in the story. The device is like a book except it has a screen that shows an index. The index has everything you would ever need to know about the universe. The most important quote in the guide is "A towel is the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have." A towel can be utilized as a blanket, a pillow, a bag, a coat, and to clean things up to state just a few of its myriad uses. The Hitchhiker's Guide is featured throughout the book and they use it often during their travels.
    One of the aspects I love about this book is that there is absolutely no moral. There is no life lesson at the end. One of the reasons for this is probably the fact that the book is so completely unrelateable to. The story is written purely for the reader's entertainment. At the end of the book, they can't exactly tell you to 'never ride in a Vogon Spaceship' or perhaps 'when traveling in outer space, always bring your towel and some peanuts' because the fact is, you will probably never have the chance to ride in a Vogon spaceship, or travel in outerspace.
    This book is one of the best I've ever read. The creativity and wit of the writing make it hard to put down. I finished the book quickly, and i finished it laughing. I think that anyone with a sense of humor would truly enjoy this novel.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Fun trip!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though I find it a bit difficult to describe. I guess the best advice I have is to just jump in and go along on the ride! Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 797 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)