The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Summary
  1. Arthur Dent goes on a journey through space after his good friend Ford turns out to be an alien and rescues him from the destruction of Earth in order to make an intergalactic highway. Ford, Arthur and a slew of other memorable characters travel through space with the help of an encyclopedia-type device – the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Key Takeaways
  1. Easy to see why this became a classic and developed something of a cult following.
What I got out of it
  1. A fun read and unfortunately the movie is nowhere nearly as good as the book

  • Arthur Dent is constantly worried and works for a radio station. Angry because a bypass needs to be built right where his house is
  • L. Prosser was a nervous man tasked with destroying Dent’s house
  • Ford Prefect was an alien who had lived on earth for 15 minutes and was good friends with Arthur
  • Ford drags Arthur away from his home to a pub where he tells him the earth is about to be destroyed because it is in the path of an intergalactic highway which needs to be built
  • A towel is one of the most massively useful items a hitchhiker can have on him
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox is president of the Imperial Galaxy – job of the president was not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. Zaphod was amazing at drawing attention and loved entering with effect – perfect for the job
  • Ford is in charge of updating the Hitchhiker’s Guide
  • Get thrown off ship they hitchhiked onto and get thrown into space but luckily get rescued by another ship, that of Zaphod
  • They find a legendary and supposedly made up planet called Magrathea
  • Marvin the depressed robot is a funny character
  • Arthur, while exploring Magrathea, bumped into an old man who was merely sleeping until the economic recession was over and people needed the planet’s services again – creating custom-made planets. One of them being Earth, commissioned by mice
  • The supercomputer Deep-Thought had to think for 7.5 million years but finally came up with the answer to life, the universe and everything – 42
    • Deep Thought recommends building an even better supercomputer that can ask what the ultimate question is so that 42 makes sense. This supercomputer is Earth but just 5 minutes before its 10 million year calculation was completed, the Vogons destroyed it to create the hypergalactic highway
  • The mice try to extract a question from Arthur but are unable to and the book ends with Zaphod, Arthur, Ford and Trillian escaping

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