Cecily's Reviews > The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
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it was amazing
bookshelves: humour, scifi-future-speculative-fict, favourites

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 must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays" (borrowing from Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's).

"Bits of it were dullish grey. Bits of it were dullish brown. The rest of it was rather less interesting". "An acute attack of no curiosity".

"Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea".

"It's unpleasantly like being drunk. What's so bad about being drunk? Try asking a glass of water."

God refuses to prove he exists because proof denies faith and without faith he is nothing. But the Babel fish is a dead giveaway - so God disappeared in a puff of logic.

Infinite improbability drive.


Brief summary and favourite quotes from the other four of the five books, as follows:

Restaurant at the End of Universe (vol 2): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Life, the Universe and Everything (vol 3):
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish (vol 4): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Mostly Harmless (vol 5): http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

And Another Thing...( vol 6), by Eoin Colfer : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Adams' thoughts on the Babel Fish are cited by linguist David Crystal in Language Death
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Quotes Cecily Liked

Douglas Adams
“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“something almost, but not quite entirely unlike tea”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
“The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no, he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me."

"But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

"Oh yes, well, as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

"But the plans were on display..."

"On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

"That's the display department."

"With a flashlight."

"Ah, well, the lights had probably gone."

"So had the stairs."

"But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

"Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
tags: humor


Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 19, 2010 – Shelved
June 19, 2010 – Shelved as: humour
June 19, 2010 – Shelved as: scifi-future-speculative-fict
June 19, 2010 – Shelved as: favourites

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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Sonja ✧ Badass Wanderer ✧ I loved the writing too! :)


message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve I'm sad to say I've not yet dipped a toe into this galaxy of which you speak. But it sure looks like fun. Great quotes, Cecily!


Cecily It is VERY English, which may or may not be a good thing for non-Brits. People of my generation, who grew up with it, tend to have strong feelings about it, but some of my son's generation have barely heard of it.


message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve The Britcentricity doesn't put me off in the slightest. In fact, it may be part of the appeal.


Cecily Steve, I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to reading your opinions if/when you do.

Marita, thanks. This is an old review, which means it's succinct, but in this case, too succinct. I don't think it really does the book justice.


Apatt How come I haven't Liked this review? Of course I like it! As a Cecily scholar I must say this doesn't seem like a 2015 review. I wish I could carbon date it.


Cecily It's not a 2015 (I must have edited it).
It's not even a 2014 (the year of the first comment).
I first posted it on 9 June 2010.

(If I look here, it shows date of the most recent edit, but if I look at the general GR list of all reviews for the book, it shows the date of first posting.)


David Sarkies I've so got to get around to reading this book again (it's sitting on the top of my bookshelf screaming 'read me next - no, no, no not another Famous Five book!'.


Cecily This is far, far better than anything by Blyton!


William Thank you for the review!

I never really got into this. I'm not a fan of the in-your-face absurd, really.


message 11: by Cecily (last edited Feb 05, 2018 07:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cecily William wrote: "Thank you for the review!
I never really got into this. I'm not a fan of the in-your-face absurd, really."


I think it helps if you encountered it in your teens. And also if you're British or an Anglophile.


William I moved from the US (Memphis, Connecticutt, Boston, D.C.) to London in 1985, and have been here ever since (minus Silicon Valley 1988-1990)


Cecily William wrote: "I moved from the US (Memphis, Connecticutt, Boston, D.C.) to London in 1985, and have been here ever since (minus Silicon Valley 1988-1990)"

Ah, so you arrived a bit late for early Hitchhiker's. And maybe it would never have been your thing anyway (no shame in that).


message 14: by William (last edited Feb 05, 2018 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

William One of my very good and oldest friends in London was a close buddy of Adams. He surely was an amazing writer and thinker.


Cecily William wrote: "One of my very good and oldest friends in London was a close buddy of Adams. He surely was an amazing writer and thinker."

You've met and known so many impressive people. I'm very envious!

As for Adams, yes, from what I know at a distance, you're quite right. And he died far too young.


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