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

4.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  220,588 Ratings  ·  3,789 Reviews
Your planet has just been destroyed and you’re lost in the space-time continuum, but—Don’t Panic! Just thumb your way to the end of the universe for a nice cuppa tea with the help of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, your Baedeker for intergalactic zaniness. Featuring all five novels in Douglas Adams’s beloved Hitchhiker’s series—The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the ...more
Leather Bound, 815 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Harmony Books (first published January 17th 1996)
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Pengwynd The movie borrows a few things from the first book and I do mean a FEW. It vaguely follows the plot line of the first book. The book as I'm sure…moreThe movie borrows a few things from the first book and I do mean a FEW. It vaguely follows the plot line of the first book. The book as I'm sure you've been told is much better.(less)

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
...more
Chelsea
Jul 20, 2008 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Inge
2.5 stars

I ended it after four books because I felt like the fourth book (epilogue not included) had a nice ending and also I'm bloody sick of it
Mike
Aug 31, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 08, 2011 Lowed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
- whew!! kept me singing that old song that goes "i just can't get enough!" ...more
Joe S
Dec 28, 2007 Joe S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Melanie
I think after having made little to no progress in the past about 9 months it's best if I just give up even pretending I'm still reading this book.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was the book I really wanted to read - classic English comedy? Bring it on! I enjoyed that book; if I was rating this alone it would be a good 4-star book - it was funny and inventive with some great characters...it's the other books in this series that made it so difficult for me. The second - The Restaurant at th
...more
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
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.
Liz
Mar 21, 2009 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't get any better than this. Best books ever.
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
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
Travelling Sunny
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 ()
...more
COME_TO_THE_DARK_SIDE
Seriously, I would read anything he wrote, even his grocery lists.
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
Jimmy
Jun 27, 2011 Jimmy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 M
...more
Matt Anderson
Mar 04, 2016 Matt Anderson rated it liked it
My rating for Book 1 was a resounding 5 stars. Things got much worse from there, but I would still recommend people read the first book because it is so good. In fact, it is the only book that I would recommend. Someday I'll tell my children, "Just read Book 1 even if you feel like the story doesn't have a definitive conclusion. Reading the next four books in the series doesn't give the story a conclusion anyway, so save yourself some time."

The first book is so strong that I'll give this collect
...more
Eugene
Jan 21, 2009 Eugene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Wayne Barrett
Jan 13, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, sci-fi, humor, 2015
Having read this book I now know the answer to the universes, lifes big question. The answer is 42! However, it's not really the answer that is important. It's the question. ;)
Actual rating; 3.5, only because this is a collection of 5 novellas and a couple of them dragged a little for me.
Adelaide
May 29, 2015 Adelaide rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. By far my least enjoyed books of this year.
To sum it up:
-Though it was science fiction and had some interesting details, those details often went off on tangents, leaving me confused and constantly wondering what was going on.
- The author's delivery, in my opinion, was pretty poorly done. Everything was in a jumble, and I would have appreciated the information given more if it was delivered in a simple, composed way.
- Hitting upon the first note, it seemed as though the book did not stay o
...more
Tammy Witzens
Jun 25, 2015 Tammy Witzens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't panic.
I absolutely loved this book.
I started reading it a while ago. Since it has all five of Adams' Hitchhiker's "Trilogy" in it, I usually took a break between stories, so it took a bit of time to finish the whole thing.

This The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has far and away made it to the top of my "favourite books" list.

Douglas Adams has a way of making simple things funny, and funny things hilarious, and all while sprinkling in a bit of sarcasm, random events, and sci
...more
Michelle Ruedin
I often see requests for “life-changing” books that have “shaped you as a person.” I want to recommend The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy every time I see one of those. I almost never do because, well, they’re probably looking for something more traditionally spiritual and would think I was having them on.

The thing is, I discovered the Guide when I was 12 years old and have reread it constantly throughout my life along with watching the TV series, listening to the radio show, reading the radio
...more
Liam
I first read the Hitchhiker's series when I was in early high school I think, and though I enjoyed it I was sort of too young to enjoy the immaturity of the books I think, stupid though that might sound.

At that time I was reading Rogue Squadron and Foundation and was like "What is this shit? A sci-fi that doesn't take itself seriously? I don't have time for this I need to read Ringworld"

Having matured a bit and gotten over myself, re-reading these books was a joy. Considering how short the indi
...more
Ethan Brewer
Dec 13, 2009 Ethan Brewer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cherie
Apr 02, 2013 Cherie rated it it was amazing
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
Liz Janet
May 03, 2016 Liz Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
So, listen to the audiobooks because they are so funny.

So Earth's destroyed, and some weird English man and woman go to space with some weird aliens and robots, none very bright but ridiculous.

“I'm a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think late
...more
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Does anyone think that this series is NOT utterly confusing? 26 154 Mar 17, 2016 12:31AM  
Recommendations 4 40 Jan 19, 2016 02:03PM  
Literary Lions: Movie for February 5 8 Feb 03, 2015 01:40PM  
Favorite Quote From This Book?? 37 262 Jan 23, 2015 08:24PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 8 27 Jan 22, 2015 10:30AM  
Missing pages 1 22 Jul 08, 2013 04:59AM  
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  • The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit
  • The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Volume 4: The Minority Report
  • Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland, #3)
  • Starship Troopers
  • The Great Dune Trilogy
  • Doctor Who: Shada
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • The Martian Chronicles/The Illustrated Man/The Golden Apples of the Sun
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 8: Dirge (Transmetropolitan, #8)
  • The Hyperion Omnibus: Hyperion / The Fall of Hyperion
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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 (6 books)
  • Young Zaphod Plays It Safe
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)
  • 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)

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“It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else's point of view without the proper training.” 313 likes
“The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.” 249 likes
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