Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   Hitchhiker's Guide

to the Galaxy Trilogy

by Douglas Adams

In my opinion, all five books of the Hitchhiker's Guide Trilogy (No, that isn't a misprint - there are five books in the trilogy) are required reading for anyone who wants to write comedy for a living, or anyone who wants to read a good book, for that matter.

Douglas Adams is brilliant and has mastered the comedic art because he understands it. The art of comedy is to turn the expected upside down and then twist it once more for good measure. But true comedy must be measured by the occasional serious moments, and Adams also does this with an artisan's fine touch. The sad moments and the moments where the characters pause to catch their breath is a testimony to Adams' art.

Don't worry if you're confused in some parts of the novel, or you can't remember where the characters were five minutes before. Adams has set up a small cast of characters, including Arthur Dent, the last living Earth-man, and others of alien origin, such as Marvin the depressed robot, Ford Prefect, (the Hans Solo-type of the novel whom we all wish we could be), carefree and self-assured, and Zaphod Beeblebrox, thief, jerk, and former President of the Universe. These characters are thrown into various, odd situations over which they have no control. There is a plot to each book, but it is secondary. The real joy of the novel is to sit back and absorb it all. Some of the best parts are the asides from the author, sometimes hidden in "entries" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which are proliferated throughout the text. Adams gives all sorts of odd facts about the Universe and its history in the novels, facts which really have no reason to be there, except to provide a lot of laughter.

There are also some interesting philosophical thoughts regarding probability and the essence of time, some humorous, some very realistic. Some of these ideas, if considered after putting the novel down, give the reader a sense of perspective, and probably would elicit at least a "Whoa." For instance, Zaphod Beeblebrox's full name is Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth. When asked why, his only response was "There was an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine."


Anyway, the five books of the trilogy are titled "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." Pick them up if you're willing to give the bizarre a try. If you enjoy Monty Python-esque humor, and don't enjoy "serious" science fiction, or simply want a change from the seriousness of "Star Trek" and "Star Wars," give it a shot. You have nothing to lose but $4.50, and a universe to gain. .

Review by P. C.,Buxton, ME

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