The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Let me start out by saying that I found this book mind-bendingly hilarious. There are those who will disagree, some who found it silly, pointless, or even unreadable and all I can think of is that they just didn’t get it. (Just check out some of the reviews on Amazon.) Of course as with music, art, and food, not every book will appeal to everyone. This one appealed to me though and I think it ranks as a notable work of speculative fiction. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy forces readers to see the world from a different perspective and it drags them to this new vantage point laughing all the way if they allow it to, if they can suspend their disbelief long enough to let it. It begins with Arthur Dent doing the mundane things all of us do in our mundane world, shaving, brushing his teeth, and then he suddenly realizes that his house is about to be knocked down to build a bypass. Shift perspective. His normal routine is disrupted by a new, bigger picture. He is trying to stop the bulldozers when his friend Ford Prefect shows up. He has something important to say to him and he wants to say it at the local pub. The Earth is going to be destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Shift perspective again. His world has gone from being, well, the whole world to a minor nuisance so much so that the only reference to Earth in the Encyclopedia Galactica is that it is “mostly harmless.” And then as the book progresses it continues to challenge some very fundamental assumptions. Is the universe really as orderly and logical as we assume it to be or do the laws of nature we understand amount to just one of an infinite number of possibilities? What really is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything—and does the question really make any sense? But whatever infinitely improbable circumstance you may find yourself in, the Hitchhiker’s Guide provides one bit of sagely advice—DON’T PANIC!
Posted on May 23, 2011, in 5 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Influences, Science Fiction and tagged science fiction, Speculative fiction, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.