In between the hangover-inducing-oversleep of the CNY holidays, I also managed to kickstart my ambition to read the full H2G2 series (which is a 5-book-trilogy now) by reading the first one – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. This is the second time I’m reading it, having attempted something similar a few years back which had stopped after The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe (the second one). As the book starts off, human Arthur Dent is rescued by his alien friend Ford Prefect just before Earth is destroyed by Vogons to make way for an interstellar expressway. Ford turns out to be an author for the H2G2 which is like a Lonely Planet for the Galaxy. They hitch a ride on the Heart Of Gold, a spaceship stolen by Ford’s semicousin Zaphod Beeblebrox. Also on the ship are the eternally depressed robot Marvin and Arthur’s love interest Trillian. By the end of the book, the reader discovers the answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe and Everything and also the secret of what Earth was — a computer to figure out the Ultimate Question for which the answer (42) is known!
The book is a short, light and funny zany read. I was really able to appreciate the sci-fi humour better this time around. (Watching the movie recently helped too.) As you read along you will notice loads of terms and quotes which have entered our daily life from this book. It is easy to see that Douglas Adams must’ve just patched on the story as and when he got ideas without building a coherent base. That’s not actually a problem since H2H2 never asks to be taken seriously. If sarcasm is your kind of humour, it’s hard to not like this book.