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

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  932,968 Ratings  ·  17,084 Reviews
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hi
Audio Cassette
Published June 1st 1985 by Dh Audio (first published 1979)
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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)
Callan Holpp
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. 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
Jun 29, 2007 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  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.


The first three books in the Hitc
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 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
Jan 16, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 04, 2014 Alejandro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Emily May
Apr 08, 2011 Emily May rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Mar 21, 2009 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, sci-fi
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.
Apr 01, 2008 Carole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Will M.
Jan 14, 2016 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another instance where it's daunting to write a review because the novel is well-known and loved by millions of people. As a Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader, it's embarrassing that I've only read this once, and I've waited 'till 2016 to read this. I'm glad that I can finally say that I've read this. I've finally read and enjoyed one of the most influential books of the sci-fi genre.

I understand all the buzz regarding this novel. This is the first time in my whole life that I laughed out loud whil
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
Jun 02, 2008 Melina rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Mary Elizabeth
May 07, 2008 Mary Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  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

It's a sort of electronic book. It tells you eveything you need to know about anything. That's its job. [...] Which is exactly the sort of thing you need to know if you are an impoverished hitchhiker trying to see the marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairan dollars a day.

Anybody can have a brilliant idea for a good story, but it takes hard work and dedication to transform it into a magnum opus of satirical science-fiction. According to legend, Adams was lying on his back, pennyle
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
Apr 06, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 02, 2007 Andrew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Henry Avila
Apr 29, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for ages and thanks to my awesome friend, Roya, I finally did. I will be honest, this is one of those books that I couldn’t have finished by myself. Thanks Roya!

As a big fan of science-fiction, I felt obligated to read this book. This book is a classic and so many of my friends love it that I just had to try. However, I knew I might need help for reading this for two personal reasons. First, I am too used to a serious tone in my science-
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
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 18, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  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: 1001-core, 501, 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
I read this as buddy read with Argona. (Thanks again for doing it with me!) You can read her better and more thorough review here.

This book just wasn't really up my street. I didn't think it was hilarious. I found parts of it funny and witty, but usually nothing more. I feel like Adams was trying too hard to be amusing and it became a bit of an overkill. I wasn't crazy about the writing style. And as for the plot, I didn't get it. The book was too random overall for my liking, and this is coming
Dec 24, 2015 Nikoleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, cute-funny
Ένα βιβλίο που συνδυάζει ένα εξωφρενικά παράλογο στορυ μα πάρα πάρα πάρα πολύ διασκεδαστικό, με μια υπόγεια κριτική για την ούτως ή άλλως παράδοξη μοντέρνα ανθρώπινη κοινωνία. Λεπτεπίλεπτη ειρωνεία σε μια χαρούμενη και γρήγορη πλοκή. Μου άρεσε πολύ.
Jul 13, 2007 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Nov 03, 2012 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 26, 2008 Punk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Shoa Khan
SciFi + Comedy is unquestionably one of the craziest and most entertaining combinations in the world.
Even then, this shit happens to be ridiculously absurd!

In its own words (more or less), this is the story of a terrible stupid catastrophe and some of its consequences.
It is also the story of a book, a book called The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - not an Earth book,
never published on Earth, and until the terrible catastrophe occurred, never seen or heard of by any Earthman.
Not only is it
Mar 28, 2011 Apokripos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To those bored enough with the usual books they read
Recommended to Apokripos 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
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,
Apr 27, 2015 binnudeya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, 1001
To look on the bright side, at least it's over.
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Around the Year i...: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams 6 32 Jul 10, 2016 01:35PM  
  • Foundation (Foundation, #1)
  • Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Red Dwarf #1)
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Earth
  • Bellwether
  • Lords and Ladies (Discworld, #14; Witches #4)
  • The Day of the Triffids
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • Foreigner (Foreigner, #1)
  • The Player of Games (Culture, #2)
  • The Tripods Trilogy (The Tripods, #1-3)
  • Absolution Gap
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 (6 books)
  • Young Zaphod Plays It Safe
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2)
  • Life, the Universe and Everything (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3)
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4)
  • Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5)

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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.” 8661 likes
“Don't Panic.” 3828 likes
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