This is going to be a short review.
I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while I was on holidays in Spain, in between of beach strolls, swimming pool fun and a bit of sightseeing, so I didn’t bother much with highlighting my favourite lines or writing down my thoughts on it. Pity, because this book is full of unconventional wisdom. It was also fun to read – probably the funniest book I’ve read this year – and I was often trying not to laugh too loud while my children napped beside me, which made it a perfect holiday read. I am only sad that I read it in Spanish because I had the feeling that the language was very witty and it would have been even more fun in its original English. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad translation and I truly enjoyed it.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was first broadcast as a radio comedy show in 1978 and it didn’t appear in book form until a few years later. It is then questionable whether this is a classic or not, partly because it is such a recent work, and partly because it is not your typical novel. After all, it used to be a radio show and as such it is mostly dialogue-driven. It is, I think, a canonical science fiction work, and for me that was reason enough to include it on my Classics Club list.
Arthur Dent is the last human alive after his friend Ford Prefect takes him for a galactic ride seconds before the Earth is destroyed to make place for a galactic motorway. From then on they’ll hitchhike the galaxy meeting all kind of peoples and having adventures alongside a few other outcasts, including a depressive robot, the president of the galaxy and his girlfriend, a former mathematician who had previously escaped Earth. And that’s the end of the spoilers, which I hope are not too many.
I had watched the film several years ago but I didn’t really remember much about it, so it was really like reading it for the first time (which I was) and without any prior knowledge. And that was great. What I remember about the film, however, was the quirky opening scene and how surprised I was to recognise the setting because I had been there before, several times. I was almost proud to realised that it had been filmed in my home island of Tenerife, at the Loro Parque, a zoo of sorts which features dolphins, seals and killer whales among many other animals (they keep adding more and more animals and plant species and working to preserve the natural habitat of many of those). And their dolphins were the stars of the opening scene of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which you can view here.
I would actually like to watch that film again now. And the next four books in this series, which Douglas Adams described as a trilogy of five books, are now on my tbr list.
Have you read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or seen the film? Any thoughts to share?