The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5)
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The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5)

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  177,447 ratings  ·  3,186 reviews
At last in paperback in one complete volume, here are the five classic novels from Douglas Adams's beloved Hitchiker series.

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey...more
Paperback, 876 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Del Rey Books (first published January 17th 1996)
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Ryan Brown I'm going to go ahead and assume that since you can't even spell publish correctly that it doesn't matter who you give your book to.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Keely
The universe is a joke.

Even before I was shown the meaning of life in a dream at 17 (then promptly forgot it because I thought I smelled pancakes), I knew this to be true--and yet, I have always felt a need to search for the truth, that nebulous, ill-treated creature. Adams has always been, to me, to be a welcome companion in that journey.

Between the search for meaning and the recognition that it's all a joke in poor taste lies Douglas Adams, and, luckily for us, he doesn't seem to mind if you...more
Chelsea
Jul 20, 2008 Chelsea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chelsea by: Haley
Just as funny as advertised, but I made the mistake of reading the collection of all five novels, and - what's more - trying to read them all in one go. Once I got about halfway through Life, the Universe, and Everything, it had stopped being funny and had gotten a little confusing. Adams is excellent at humor, not so much at plot.

So, for clarification: 5 stars for the original Hitchhiker's, 4 for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and 3 stars for the others.
Nicholas
Jul 10, 2008 Nicholas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all o' y'all
OK. Where do I start with this one. It's a doozy.

Let's first of all say that I think this is one of the best uses of the English language. It's right up there with, well, anything else. I mean, just read the sentences. He is a lot like Tolkien, in that he makes the words themselves the art. But where Tolkien will take English and make it into a lush, broad canvas, Mr. Adams turns English into a plaything. Let's put my last sentence another way: The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy is the literar...more
Suzy
Nov 27, 2008 Suzy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: patient readers
It's that book you pick up and feel obligated to love, if only to escape grievous fan persecution. Well. Here goes.

Let's start with the humour. Yes, it's everything that humour should be. For a while, you are oh-so-amused and impressed...but then you weary of being so amused. Akin to being kept on the edge of your seat for a good few hours - something's going to get sore. It's just such a strain. I skipped ten or so pages near the middle but I'm sure those ten pages were, like the rest of the b...more
Misha
I first read what was then the Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy in high school. I remember sitting on the bleachers in the gym reading while other people played volleyball or some other indoor sport and being swept away on a rollicking ride across the universe, and even to its end. Much more fun than volleyball. You brought much joy and laughter to my life, Douglas Adams. So long and thanks for all the fish.
Mike
The coolest five-book trilogy ever. Seriously some of the best and original science fiction ever written, and it just happens to be hilarious. Not too many people have the balls to write a trilogy that starts off with the absolute destruction of earth for no other reason than the fact that it was in the path of a hyperspace highway that was soon to become obsolete with the advent of the improbability drive. Speaking of which, the technology in these books is easily more imaginative than anything...more
Lowed
- whew!! kept me singing that old song that goes ♫♪"i just can't get enough!" ♫♪
Jan-Maat
I was thinking about the radio version of this, which I heard scraps of at odd times when from time to time it was repeated. One in particular stuck in my head which was that one of the characters was stuck on a planet in habited by particularly intelligent birds who had evolved out of the human population when their economy collapsed due to an excess of shoe shops. I liked this because it reminded me of Bromley, which as a child to my mind had far too many shoe shops all of which it seemed I wa...more
Joe S
Dec 28, 2007 Joe S rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: really boring Brits who can't get over being really boring, or British
Why does British humor rely so much on the use of indifference? Just something I've noticed.

So the Earth is destroyed. In an indifferent manner, which makes it hi-larious. A bloke is saved and, unmoored in the Universe, is dragged through a series of droll hijinx. One formulaic hijinx after another, which are really just vehicles for terribly self-satisfied one-liners. And then the novel stops at a seemingly arbitrary point -- though I suspect it's actually the point of diminishing returns. At a...more
Liz
It doesn't get any better than this. Best books ever.
Madeline
Douglas Adams is either the craziest, most creative and funniest author I've ever read, or he's just on crack.
Or maybe it's a little of both.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the books that follow it are all completely insane and impossible to summarize, so I'm not even going to try. They're books that can't be taken too seriously, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy the portrait of insanity Adams so expertly paints.
Grace Tjan
This review is for the first two books only.

I have a confession to make: I am allergic to sci-fi. The kind that has as its hero a humanoid who lives in 23345 AD on a dystopian red planet, where he must fight slimy insectoid aliens whose sole purpose in life is to lay and hatch their filthy eggs on human bodies. The guy is barely human anyway, with half his face swathed in shiny robotic gear with glowing red eyes that look like the battery-powered tip of my 10 year old’s toy laser gun. Or instead...more
Jimmy
Jun 27, 2011 Jimmy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Human, Vogon, Worm, Towel, anything with a consciousness
Recommended to Jimmy by: Who didn't?
What to say about the bible of mankind? This is the best, the greatest, the uber, the wonder, the rainbow, the sun, moon, satellite, planets, stars, universe.... This... is... 42!!!!
I have read these five books of the triology seven or eight times, and will read it at least once a year for the rest of my life!
If you haven't read it yet, stop reading this and run for your life to get your own copy, or borrow it from a friend! Because believe me, your life now won't seem like life at all after you...more
Epicurus
"I give up!"

I exclaimed this very proudly. Just as proudly as Arthur exclaimed, "I will go mad!" At the beginning of the third book.

I enjoyed the first two books and the beginning of the third but decided that I have nothing to gain from reading the rest of this series. I was wrong! If you are going to read Douglas Adams then my advice to you is to read them one book at a time and not in The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide.

I grew tired of Douglas Adams' roundabout jokes that took on an identical s...more
Sunny in Wonderland
Better late than never. After decades of hearing about this series, I finally broke down and read this collection. I laughed so much I thought I'd pass out.

I will definitely keep my towel handy.

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 (★★★★★)
Mostly Harmless (★★★★★)
Ethan Brewer
This could possibly be one of the most epic books of all time, easily passing up the biography of Chuck Norris and the complete works of J.K. Rowling. I have read all 5 books at least 8 times over and can pretty much recite the first chapter of the first book from memory. At night i fall asleep to the gentle sounds of Stephen Fry reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy from my AM/FM 2 disc CD/cassette radio player box.
Though you can start with any of the five books, i wouldn't suggest sta...more
Alan
If this book were a cookie, it would be a macaroon. It is light, fluffy, and a sheer pleasure to read. I love Douglas Adams' use of language. I'm sure there is a story in there somewhere, but what I really enjoyed was his language. He has the most distinct way of saying things. And his similes! I would read this book again just for the similes.

Update: I can't handle not giving this five starts. The first three books are so wonderful that I figure they make up for the last two.
Nick Black
Parts were and at times remain the height of funny, but there's a lot of trash in there (wtf was going on with the last book?). Certainly an old friend, read and reread literally countless times. Back when I ate a lot of acid, I'd curl up with this big hardback as the sun rose and those horrible hours of introspection, self-loathing and promises to improve oneself tried to kick in. Everyone ought read it, but that also means everyone *can* read it, which kind of reduces the allure.
Margarita
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This mammoth of a book was a hell of an undertaking. After being harassed into reading it for 2.5 years, I have to say I am glad I did it, but gladder it's over and I can now read something I truly want to...and something not set somewhere along the space/time continuum.

I found there to be constant peaks and troughs, some chapters or parts were brilliant and others were laborious to get through (I did have some significant and glorious naps while I read this!), and every time I thou...more
Aryn
Often muddled, completely confusing and contradictory and utterly ridiculous, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy offers a singular perspective on well...Life, the Universe and Everything and at least four barrels of laughter along the way.

And perhaps that's the whole point. Life is completely confusing, contradictory and utterly ridiculous. So, why should this trilogy in five parts be any different?

The more iconic moments are, of course, more towards the beginning. It gets muddled in...more
sologdin
Really liked these as a kid. Upon rereading, I note that:

Volume I and Volume II still hold up to where I had placed them in nostalgia. Happy Ent is right that Bakker's Inchoroi are the Golgafrinchan B Ark--and I'd add that the sperm whale suddenly called into existence by the Infinite Improbability Drive in part I looks like the original source for Bakker's No-God:

This is a complete record of its thought from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.
Ah...! What's happening? it th
...more
Vishy
May 30, 2012 Vishy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

When I was studying in college, the smart guys in my class used to read a particular kind of books. Some of these books were ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by JRR Tolkien (before it became a movie and was read by everyone else), novels by P.G.Wodehouse, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, ‘2001 : A Space Odyssey’ by Arthur C. Clarke, ‘One, Two, Three…Infinity’ by George Gamov, ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand and ‘Zen and the Art of Motocycle Ma...more
Evan Leach
This collection includes all five of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker novels in one volume, along with a short story and a nice introduction by Neil Gaiman. Some brief thoughts about the five books (which I’ve reviewed individually):

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Wildly funny, the first book is a true classic of both comedy and science fiction. One of my all-time favorites that I cannot recommend highly enough. 6 stars!

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: Even more random and chaotic than...more
Eugene
Jan 21, 2009 Eugene rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with heartbeats
Recommended to Eugene by: Serendipity
The reader Suzy down below says it best: "Terribly witty and sickeningly clever"

Basically, the Hitchhiker series is the equivalent of Douglas Adams using some sort of godless magic to conjure pure unconcentrated "Funny" into the form of a hideous, many-spiked, eight ton iron mace, which he then proceeds to viciously and remorselessly beat you with for several hours or until you give him your package of store bought cookies, which he believes are his because you both bought the same brand and ha...more
Cherie
Wow!!!! What the... Did that... But.... Huh????
Dx oh my gosh!!

This book has the CRAZIEST structure ever! And it's just insane how Douglas Adams can create an ending to this that just takes everything and fits it together like a puzzle.

I have to admit I was beginning to get really frustrated with this series because it's everywhere... One moment they are on one planet and then a chapter later they are on another.. Then there are plots that make you wonder what the hell they have to do with anyt...more
Beth
I don't think I've ever gotten all the way through this five-books-plus-a-short-story trilogy, but it still remains fond in memory as part of my British sci-fi TV phase in high school that also included Dr. Who and Blake's 7. (A good looking actor or two, and the scripts, had about equal influence on teenager-me's interest level.)

*

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: it has to have been since I was in high school that I read this one, since I would have recognized the Monty Python nods that pop up...more
Arnaud
The perfect way to forget how long a roundtrip ATL-CDG is

That is all :-)
Please, proceed!
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
In my opinion, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the best in the series. I can only imagine what it must have been like to read a first-edition of the novel when it was originally published back in 1979, or to have listened to the original radio broadcast even earlier. The story was highly original, zany (sometimes even incomprehensibly silly), the characters lovable and bizarre at the same time, and the concept...out-of-this-world original. I mean, the creator of Vogons (and their poetry!...more
Luke
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a really amusing book! What I like most about this book is that it has that illogical logic. The book starts with Arthur, he is an ordinary man in his thirties. He wakes up one morning and sees a bulldozer outside, since he is groggy from just waking up he simply dismisses it from his mind. Eventually he is awake enough to remember why he is so groggy. He got drunk the previous night because he had argued with a construction worker about his house being d...more
SpectralMariner
I just read this again for the first time in a few years, and once again I enjoyed it immensely. In short it is a sci-fi comedy which tells of the adventures of an average English guy called Arthur, who is saved by his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be from another planet, when aliens destroy the earth. I found Arthur Dent, the central character someone very easy to relate to, which I think helped, as he is a constant figure of familiarity through what can be a bizarre and anarchic plot....more
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Favorite Quote From This Book?? 34 198 Jul 22, 2014 06:18AM  
Does anyone think that this series is NOT utterly confusing? 17 99 May 07, 2014 11:33AM  
Just Literature: The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1 4 Apr 15, 2014 04:48AM  
Missing pages 1 11 Jul 08, 2013 04:59AM  
Trying to locate a particular short story 6 70 Mar 01, 2013 12:13PM  
Book and Radio 3 36 Jul 30, 2012 08:37PM  
The Royal Bookwor...: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - General (June 2012) 21 27 Jul 05, 2012 06:59AM  
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4
Douglas Noël Adams was an English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician. He is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Hitchhiker's began on radio, and developed into a "trilogy" of five books (which sold more than fifteen million copies during his lifetime) as well as a television series, a comic book series, a computer game, and a feature film that was comp...more
More about Douglas Adams...
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1) So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)

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“You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen.”
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“It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else's point of view without the proper training.” 270 likes
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