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Depressing?

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Fatin Was anybody else just depressed throughout the novel because Earth was gone?
Yes, I enjoyed the novel, yes, I laughed, I cringed. But there was an undercurrent the whole time. EARTH IS GONE. MY HOME PLANET IS DESTROYED. ARE THERE POTATOES ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE?
Note: I haven't read the other 4 novels. I just bought them though and will be starting soon.


Paul Vincent Depression never crossed my mind. I empathised with Arthur Dent, but I think I always maintain a separation between the story and me, so I didn't feel down when the Earth was destroyed - it's just a story, and a very funny one at that.


Fatin Paul wrote: "Depression never crossed my mind. I empathised with Arthur Dent, but I think I always maintain a separation between the story and me, so I didn't feel down when the Earth was destroyed - it's just ..."

Oh, I never maintain the separation. I always become a part of the story, flitting from one character to another, or just a silent observer. I think that helps me enjoy the book a lot more.


Melissa Faith, I too immerse myself into a story...I find it a better read that way. As for being depressed the Earth was gone, no. There were too many new adventures to be had and new places to explore, and as long as I lived, EARTH lived! :-D


message 5: by Mitali (last edited Sep 21, 2012 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mitali Depressed? In a book like this? Never crossed my mind. Come on - it's black comedy at its finest. If you get depressed over the earth's destruction in this, you probably get upset at the Black Knight's loss of limbs in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Spoiler for later books:
(view spoiler)


Melissa Mitali wrote: "Depressed? In a book like this? Never crossed my mind. Come on - it's comedy at its finest. If you get depressed over the earth's destruction in this, you probably get upset at the Black Knight's l..."

"Bring out your dead!" I love that movie!! "Run away!"


Paul Vincent Oh I immerse myself in the story, but I don't believe that it is real life - therefore it doesn't stimulate that emotional response. If books did that I could never read a book involving the death of a loved one or child or anything like that - it would be too painful.


Neil I never even felt bad about the earth getting blown up. Does this mean I am an emotionally detached awful, awful person?


Melissa Neil wrote: "I never even felt bad about the earth getting blown up. Does this mean I am an emotionally detached awful, awful person?"

Yes, Neil, that's exactly what it means! Hahahahaha!! I hope you know I am kidding! ;-D


message 10: by Neil (last edited Sep 21, 2012 11:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Neil Melissa wrote "Yes, Neil, that's exactly what it means!"

Thought so. It does explain alot. The bodies in my basement for a start.


Fatin Neil wrote: "I never even felt bad about the earth getting blown up. Does this mean I am an emotionally detached awful, awful person?"

Perhaps you just don't like mankind :P
You guys, I don't mean like that awful kind of sadness when somebody dies or something terrible happens, rather the faint smell of it bothering you while you try to enjoy the story. Most of the time I was able to just ignore it, and I did REALLY enjoy the story, but I won't deny that it was there.


message 12: by Neil (new) - rated it 5 stars

Neil Fatin wrote: "You guys, I don't mean like that awful kind of sadness when somebody dies or something terrible happens, rather the faint smell of it bothering you while you try to enjoy the story"

One person dies: it is a tradgedy. A million die: it is a statistic. A world blows up: Thats pretty cool and I want to be there to see it.


Fatin Neil wrote: "Fatin wrote: "You guys, I don't mean like that awful kind of sadness when somebody dies or something terrible happens, rather the faint smell of it bothering you while you try to enjoy the story"

..."


...but what if you get blown up with it?


message 14: by Neil (new) - rated it 5 stars

Neil I think at the point the atoms in my body are spread out over a few miles of space I would be beyond caring about what was going on. I would certainly not be worrying about the availability of the potato throughout the remainder of the galaxy.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I think I was too busy looking forward to all the new adventures Arthur was going to have than worrying about the earth being destroyed. On the one door closes, another open philosophy. The earth wasn't there but he now had the whole universe to wander around in.

Liking the misquote there, Neil!

Although I will admit that Slartibartfast and his fjords did get a lump in the throat.


Scott I didn't get depressed until the fourth or fifth book.


Ayesha I never thought about it.

Does it make me a bad person that I think this is one of the coolest scenes in the movie?


Marianne too busy laughing to feel depressed!


message 19: by Lars (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lars Rosseland I always find the book to be a little misantrophic, so I find it more funny than sad.


Lindsey no. i imagine most people reading it realised that wouldn't be the end of earth? and as the series progresses you realise that even if it is there's something bittersweet about it. in my view anyway.


Stephanie Bolen I laughed out loud because of the way it was destroyed, it was blown up to make room for an off ramp. By a alien race of bureaucrats, who think of these things.


message 22: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Vincent Erm...I think it tells you who thought of it on the front of the book.

LOL


Sarah I don't know about depressed but I have always been willing to forgo the contents of my handbag in exchange for an unknown adventure in space with a two headed ego-maniac


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

No, I don't think the reader is meant to feel depressed, it's more an opportunity for comedy. Of course, it's sad when it happens, and it stays in your mind as an essential fact of the story, but its main purpose, as Mitali pointed out earlier, is black comedy. It's like in Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic when Ankh-Morpork gets set on fire in the beginning. Nobody would think to be depressed by that.


ℂᖺαᖇᒪἷ℮ ⊰1017 &Tardis⊱ who knows maybe the earth in the books was a parallel universe earth. I wouldn't worry. lol by that i mean, not depressing.
Ever watch doctor who? the earth gets almost destroyed every 3 episodes.


message 26: by J.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.M. Porup You have three choices in life. In the face of an insane universe, you can laugh (write comedy), cry (write tragedy), or mock (write satire).

Comedy without an edge of depression/sadness would not be funny.


message 27: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul McElligott Are you serious? Because Douglas Adams wasn't... I thought it was a stroke of genius. So much bad SF is about saving the planet from being destroyed, so to begin the story by destroying was gold, pure gold.


message 28: by Phillip (last edited Sep 27, 2012 06:50PM) (new) - added it

Phillip Goodman its more than just a book....it's almost a mythology, but why be deppressed about the sudden lack of existence of some primitive backwater planet? There's a whole universe out there!


Fatin Because I think of it as everybody and everything I love on Earth being destroyed and only me surviving. I'm halfway through book 2, and the hint of it isn't there anymore, but it stayed with me through most of book 1.


message 30: by Gary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gary Wilson so long.... and thanks for the fish!


Warmdarksky I do remember feeling that twinge on every re-read. :3 Like others have said, humor flourishes from tragic or stupid situations. Give Earth a little moment of silence, and move on to the rest of the books.


Chelsey I was not depressed when the Earth was destroyed it was in the Intergalactical Planning Office for at least 50 years, everyone should have been prepared.


Robert lol Chelsey wrote: "I was not depressed when the Earth was destroyed it was in the Intergalactical Planning Office for at least 50 years, everyone should have been prepared."


message 34: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul McElligott Chelsey wrote: "I was not depressed when the Earth was destroyed it was in the Intergalactical Planning Office for at least 50 years, everyone should have been prepared."

Beware of the leopard...


Alkatraz I was too busy loving the story and laughing out loud, to the point of getting weird looks from my parents. There wasn't any time left to feel depressed. :)


message 36: by A.J. (new) - rated it 4 stars

A.J. Knauss Great comedy can come from tragedy...sometimes its a fine line.


Hannah Alkatraz wrote: "I was too busy loving the story and laughing out loud, to the point of getting weird looks from my parents. There wasn't any time left to feel depressed. :)"

Let's hear it for funny looks! I think Adams did that on purpose so we too could add a few more awkward moments to our life.

I wasn't depressed that the earth was gone in the book just like I wasn't depressed by the end of the movie Dr. Strangelove because it wasn't the focal point, it was just something that happened. Adams had his true strength in describing human behavior & the mundane occurrences of life, people & things & situations that we face every day & he gets them so spot on that, for me, I'm too busy relating to & laughing at all the little things happening to the characters that the fact that the earth's gone becomes only interesting.


message 38: by E.D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

E.D. Lynnellen Couldn't agree more...,or less..., depending on an eventual translation. :}


message 39: by The (new) - rated it 4 stars

The I agree that both the comedy and the "mostly harmless" reputation of Earth in the grand scheme of the galaxy is what made me flippant about Earth's demise in the novel.


Jason Dunbar Definitely didn't matter much in the context of the novel, but I often think of it when something small fades away from my life, and Earth's disappearance breaks my heart a little more. I always think of the disappearance of the Beatles for some reason (they were my mom's pantheon when I grew up). My favorite baseball team. The Simpsons. Whatever's relevant to you. Because time does the same thing...even a shift in geography. Things that are considered basic in your head. Blink and gone. So it's oddly light-hearted in the book, but watch out. You may think of it often.

Every time I read about how long humanity has left (9,000 years-ish the most?) I think of this.


Charity Read the rest of the series. A bit of a surprise awaits you.

As for feeling sadness that the Earth was destroyed, I didn't feel it. I was too wrapped up in the humor of it all. Perhaps that makes me a little insensitive but it is fiction after all.

On that note, I have to wonder if there are extraterrestrial beings out there who do feel that Earth would be better off nonexistent...like Marvin the Martian. We do obstruct his view of Venus, you know. :-)


James Mackay I actually thought it wasn't depressing more revealing ha. I reckon if somethings going to destroy this planet it probably will be something as stupid as making way for an intergalactic highway.


Jacque Fatin wrote: "Paul wrote: "Depression never crossed my mind. I empathised with Arthur Dent, but I think I always maintain a separation between the story and me, so I didn't feel down when the Earth was destroyed..."
Agreeing with James I think it was more revealing because Adams was a freaking genius to reveal the naivete of human nature, the ugliness of human nature, and the hilarity of our faults. As far as the destruction of Earth, yeah that's depressing but you have to look at it from a literary perspective. The destruction of Earth was really symbolic of humanity's naivete and arrogance.


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