Most of the things I have read in the past involve science fiction and fantasy. I grew up on J. R. R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin, all the classics of the genre. I was introduced to the world of the books by my brother, who, still a fan of the genre, kept reading and gifting me books from various writers. This one time, on my birthday, he gave me three small books that were written my no other but Douglas Adams. It was the first three books of the series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Unbeknownst to me, I thought to myself that these short books simply won’t satisfy my thirst as a voracious reader. Oh boy, was I wrong.
The story follows like this: unsuspicious Arthur Dent finds out that the Earth is going to be destroyed in order to build an intergalactic highway in the universe. His long term acquaintance Ford Prefect turns out to be an alien, a hitchhiker who prolonged his stay at our planet and gives the news to his poor human friend and they proceed to travel through the universe together. On the way, they meet (one of my favourite character of all time) the paranoid android Marvin, the infamous Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Trillian, another past inhabitant of the planet Earth. Together, and with a help of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy which is a manual for space travelers with kind words of Don’t Panic! at the cover travel through the vast space.
The whole premise of this book seems like they were written either by a lunatic, or a complete genius. There are very witty passages written by the author of such marvelous series. I am a fan of this particular one, which summarizes my thoughts on how limitless universe is:
“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
Another thing that became iconic was a simple… towel. The most convenient and clever invention that has ever been produced by the mind of a humankind. You can keep yourself warm with a towel, you can dry yourself with it, you can spill some B complex onto it and suck it in the times of need. Truly genial. In fact, two weeks after Adams’ death, people decided to commemorate his work and his legacy by turning the 25th of May into the International Towel Day. Talk about a great impact on the world.
All in all, the book itself could be talked about for ages. It is one of the most humorous, one of the most clever books I have ever read. The author’s command of language and loony sense of humor that can’t take anything seriously was and still is right up my alley. I love it with all of my heart and I cherish the books I got my hands on when I still didn’t know what kind of a gem I just acquired.
Looking back at it, seven or ten years later, it became timeless and utterly irreplaceable in my bookshelf. It’s a quick read and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who just wants to have a good laugh or needs to spend their time with what now could be considered one of the classics of science fiction.
And don’t forget the fact that it answers to the question about life, universe, and everything ^^