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

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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  808,440 ratings  ·  14,047 reviews
[Intergalactically inspirational new foreword by Eoin Colfer]

Don't panic! Too late...

Arthur Dent is already having a really bad day, even before Earth gets demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. After that things get much worse.

With just a towel, a small yellow fish and a book, he has to navigate through a very hostile universe in the company of a gang of un
...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published November 9th 2009 by MacMillan Children's Books (first published 1979)
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Callan Holpp
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
James Thoenes You make it sound like reading is a terrible thing.
I think if you read this, you will most likely enjoy it and want to read the others. You won't have…more
You make it sound like reading is a terrible thing.
I think if you read this, you will most likely enjoy it and want to read the others. You won't have to but you'll want to.(less)

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
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Jon
Jun 29, 2007 Jon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Douglas Adams fans
In my experience, readers either love Adams' books or quickly put them down. I, for example, quite literally worship the words Adams puts on the page, and have read the Hitchhiker's Trilogy so many times that I have large tracts of it memorized. But both my wife and father couldn't get past book one: the former because she found it too silly, and the latter because he found the writing to be more about "the author's personality" than plot and character.

Whatever.

The first three books in the Hitc
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Stephen
What does Kim Jong-Il, a thong-wearing mechanic and this missing link furry fellow have to do with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
Photobucket
...you owe it to yourself and your family to find out.

With the plethora of wonderful reviews already written for this book by my fellow GRs, I decided instead to provide some helpful, practical advice on why reading this book might benefit my fellow goodreaders. Therefore, as both life management tool and a safety warning, I have compiled my:

Top 5 Reasons Why
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Tom
Another classic. If you don't like this series, you probably put your babel fish in the wrong hole. You are the reason that human beings are only the third most intelligent species on earth behind mice and dolphins. So long, and thanks for all the fish!
Alejandro
Please, before anything... DON'T PANIC.


This review is harmless, well mostly harmless.

I think that one of the things that one has to keep in mind while reading this book is that it was written in 1979. Having this important factor in perspective, it's quite astonishing the vision of Douglas Adams, the author, presenting a lot of visionary elements, starting with the very "book inside the book", I mean The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, since it's presented as an electronic book. which now it's
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Felicia
What can I say? I wish I had been in the movie, although it was bad and I guess I should be happy about NOT being in it.
Emily May
This is not the best book ever written. It is unlikely to affect you on any deep emotional level and you probably won't spend sleepless nights just thinking about it.

But it's a simple, humourous sci-fi adventure. It won't do something for everybody but I'm a massive fan of Douglas Adams' and his sense of humour. Come on, like it or not, Adams' has some awesomely quotable sayings (not all of these are from this exact book):



"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people
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Mary Elizabeth
May 07, 2008 Mary Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Elizabeth by: Everyone
I was quite afraid I wouldn't take to the book considering how many people close to me -- as well as at parties -- would rage, rage, RAGE at my never having read Hitchhiker's Guide. What would the fallout be? Would I be shanked at the next party I went to if, when asked about my liking of the book, I were to shrug? Oh, the anxiety!

But I'm happy to report I did like it.

A lot, too, once the sperm whale and petunia chapter came up, and then all the more when the old world builder (or award-winnin
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Melina
Jun 02, 2008 Melina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs a good laugh
I read this book about 51,017 times when I was in seventh grade. I wore my copy out. That was a time in my life when I very much would have preferred to belong to some alien species, trapped here through no fault of my own. Also: "The ships hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don't." How can you improve on writing like that?

Q: What's so bad about being drunk?
A: Just ask a glass of water.

ahhh, good times.
Carole
I hated this book. It was required in one of my English Lit. classes in college. The time spent reading this book is time that I will never get back. I think this book may have shortened my life; it was such a waste of time.
Manny
They stumbled out of the Heart of Gold and looked around them. It was very quiet among the tall buildings. The ground was covered with brightly-colored objects that, from a distance, looked a little like paperback novels. Trillian picked one up.

"It's a paperback novel!" she said, surprised. "Long Hard Ride, by Lorelei James." She flipped through it. "Hm, who'd have thought that the late inhabitants of Frogstar Z would have been into women's erotica?"

She picked up some more. "Be With Me, by Maya
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David
Okay, I can understand how somebody might not absolutely love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It does after all combine a few things—such as scifi and screwball comedy, for instance—that not everyone can deal with. In other words, the nerd quotient is high here, and people who aren't wired that way might end up perplexed.

BUT--and this is a big ol' BUT: I don't understand how anybody can HATE this book. In fact, if I weren't such a saintly, even-keel, kittenish kind of guy, I might say tha
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Namratha
It’s true what they say... You pick up The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and either chuck it away when your head starts to whirl OR you totally appreciate the head-whirling sensation, plunge right in and don’t surface till you have reached the Restaurant at the End of The Universe.

It is with great delight and spots before my eyes that I can proclaim that I belong to the latter breed. You need a wee bit of whimsy, a lot of quirky and a love for all things whacky (all three which I possess in
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K.D. Absolutely
Mar 18, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tata J (I saw in the 501 Book that you want to read this!)
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; Top 100 British Novels
Shelves: 501, 1001-core, sci-fi, tfg-100
Read for the Second Time on March 18, 2012

Rating: 3 stars! (After 3 years, I still liked it!)


Six hundred books... 3 years... in between. Me not being really a sci-fi fan. But, yes...I still liked this book!

Resistance is useless! says the outer space alien who first apprehended Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. I might as well not resist. My group here in Goodreads, Filipinos, love this book as they voted it as one of their 100 Favorite Books.

I appreciate the creativity and imagination of Douglas Ad
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Henry Avila
Arthur Dent, is having a bad day, his home is being demolished. A new highway bypass is needed, progress you know, it's for his own good, so goodbye house. On the bright side(by the way), it does not matter. Earth too, will no longer be . The powers of the galaxy, have decided this little, insignificant, dull planet, at the edge of the Milky Way, must go! A byperspatial express route, is being built. Earth is in the path, no big deal, to the rest of the galaxy, just a few souls, will disappear . ...more
Andrew
I read about 150 of 215 pages of this book, and couldn't even bring myself to finish it. I didn't find it funny, and decided to start another book I actually enjoyed reading than to plow through the end of it.
Cecily
Hitchhiker's, volume 1.

Earth is destroyed to make way for a bypass. Fortunately for Arthur Dent, his friend Ford Prefect turns out to be an alien and manages to escape, with Arthur.

The plot is not bad, but it's the writing that is fantastic:

Vogon ships "hung in the sky in exactly the way bricks don't".

The Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the colour blue.

The old man who said nothing was true but was later found to be lying.

"After a second or so, nothing continued to happen".

"This mus
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j
I came to Douglas Adams in the way a lot of guys do, probably: I was introduced to it by someone far nerdier than I. Some of us become nerds when people we come in contact with share their obsessions; others are born nerds, and somehow organically discover Monty Python & the Holy Grail or, say, the original BBC miniseries version of this book. And then they make you watch it, twice, and spoil all the jokes by quoting them alongside it.

If I remember right, this happened to me freshman year o
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Nov 03, 2012 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi fans with a twisted sense of humour
Wonderfully absurd. Rather than a review this is a sampling of the humour you can expect. You decide:)

Concise: “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't”
Deep: “They discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.”
Timeless:“And so the problem remained; lots of people were mean, and most were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.”
Relevant:“This planet has - or
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Punk
SF. I've been putting off reading this for a very long time as I was scared of it not being wonderful. It's such a big part of geek culture; what if I thought it was dumb?! But it wasn't. It was wonderful. It's like Monty Python and Kurt Vonnegut melted together and spread on toast -- crisp and tangy and a little bit ridiculous. Plus it turns out that a lot of what I like about Terry Pratchett is the same stuff that Adams does so well. If only someone had told me! Geeks, if you suffer from the s ...more
Stephanie
I absolutely HATED this book. I usually read books before seeing the movie when it's released in theaters, and so I read this book. If there was a point in all his rambling disguised as prose, I missed it. Don't waste your time reading this book. And if possible, the movie was worse.
jzhunagev
Mar 28, 2011 jzhunagev rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To those bored enough with the usual books they read
Recommended to jzhunagev by: the 'Voice" and Ranee
Gone Hitchhiking for March
(A Not-So Book Review of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy)


Pardon me Gentle Readers, I still feel a little bit woozy today, it must've been the Infinite Improbabilty Drive… or the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters I downed this morning. Argh, I dunno. Anyway, reason seems to be out-to-lunch, and hell it’s not even Thursday yet!

But you know what, I’ve just been in the most satisfying expedition EVER!

Not your usual road trip by any chance since it involves a
...more
Lorenzo Berardi
Dear Isaac, Ray and Philip K,
don't you think you're taking your job a bit too much seriously? Please, relax for a while.

Listen, I've got this book called "The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy" to suggest you. Though I'm not sure you will appreciate it I think you should have a look at it.

You will discover a new planet called sense of humour.

Universally yours,
Lorenzo
Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui
MIND BLOWN. BRILLIANT CONCEPT. THE AUTHOR IS A GENIUS AND CREATES A LEGACY OF HIS OWN.

My initial reaction after some pages of the book was like someone was speaking french to me. Literally because in the start it's difficult to get used to the scientifically used terms in the language but once I got used to it, it was freaking awesome. The author has invented such different concepts related to the universe that I had to take a bow to him. These kind of books come very rare and may not come aga
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Jonathan
Alright, since I've been thinking a lot about this topic it's time to work out whether The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy is - or is not - a classic. So let me present what I think about the book. I do enjoy it, I don't love it as some people do but I'm trying to come up with as objectionable an argument as possible.

Reasons for it being a classic

1. Test of time - 30 years is, in my view, enough time for vast historical changes to occur. Think about how much has happened since 2000 and the ris
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Evan
I'd resisted this book for years, partly because I'd already heard the radio dramatization 20 years ago, but also because I tend to avoid anything that smacks of nerdy cultic chic. Or sci-fi.

But I picked it up on a whim at the bookstore yesterday -- the price was right: $1 -- began reading and was hooked instantly by Adams' delightfully impish wit and the simple, uncluttered effervescence of his writing --- and the thing reads with the paciness of one of his hyperspace craft. And even though sci
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
After all these years, I'm proud to say I'm finally a woman who knows where her towel is.

This book should get 4 1/2 stars, but that's not an option here. It's been around forever, but I always ignored it because I don't generally like sci-fi. I gave it a try because it's in "1001 Books."
What a treat! Silly, smart, satirical, and just a good healthy overdose of pure fun. Can't wait to read it again, which is saying a lot. I rarely re-read books, but this one will make a great traveling companion
...more
Franco  Santos
No soy de leer este género, pero tengo que admitir que este libro en particular me gustó mucho. Desde la primera página fui totalmente suyo. Alrededor de la mitad se me hizo un poco pesado, sin embargo fue un momento efímeramente rápido y, por tanto, pronto volví a estar entregado a este relato.

Uno de los atractivos más llamativos e interesantes son los personajes y sus maneras de ser. Son sutilmente diferentes, pero esa sutileza, paradójicamente, los hace contrastar mucho.

El final me gustó mu
...more
Charbel
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is probably the most entertaining, the most whimsical, and the funniest book that I've ever read. It tells the story of Arthur Dent who wakes up to find that his house is about to be demolished for the construction of a bypass. What he doesn't know is that at the same time the Earth is also being prepared for demolition, ironically for the construction of an intergalactic bypass. With the help of his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be an alien himself, ...more
Whitaker
THIS REVIEW IS SOLELY FOR CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH

In the darkened interior of a spaceship, there is a creepy silence punctuated by the occasional moan and an insane giggling. Through the door to the deck of the spaceship, two small heads appear. They appear to belong to a little pig and a small bear.

The little pig slips his hand into that of the small bear’s.

“What is it, Piglet?”

“N-n-nothing… I just wanted to be sure of you, Pooh,” replies Piglet.

They step further into the gloomy space. Pooh h
...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (5 books)
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2)
  • Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3)
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)
  • Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5)
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5 + short story) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide, #2) Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide, #3) So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)

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“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.” 8086 likes
“Don't Panic.” 3474 likes
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