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


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The Meaning of Life

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 26, 2011 08:06PM) (new)

The meaning of life is really the number "42." Who knew?


message 2: by Tym (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tym 42


message 3: by Haley (new)

Haley I think you meant 42, but it isn't the meaning of life. It's the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything. The question itself is never revealed. So we don't really know what exactly 42 is answering - we just know that it answers the ultimate question. The planet Earth was supposed to be the 'supercomputer' that revealed said question.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, my bad. I meant "42"!!!


Poppy Actually, when Arthur used a random prognostication method to find the question - deducing that it must be coded in his genetics, therefore it was a valid way to find the question - it turned out to be "what is six times nine?"


message 6: by Tym (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tym when did this happen, I have read all of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker novels and don't remember that . . . not saying it isn't true, I just don't remember it.


Poppy It's at the very end of Restaurant at the End of the Universe.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

LOVE THIS BOOK!! !


message 9: by Tym (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tym Thanks Poppy I am so going to have to go back and read "Restaurant" again now, I love it when I find out something new about a book that throws me for a loop :)


Rodrigo Moretto Are you sure it's at the end of the 2nd? I thought it was at the beginning of the 3rd.


Rodrigo Moretto I was wrong...it's at the end of the 2nd.


message 12: by Gerd (last edited Jun 30, 2011 10:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerd Rodrigo wrote: "Are you sure it's at the end of the 2nd? I thought it was at the beginning of the 3rd."

Thought the same... but no, the third picks up where the second ended, that is in the new Earth's stoneage, but the attempt at finding the ultimate question buried in Arthur's mind was made at the novel that went before, "Restaurant" that is.
If they had let the mice do their work we would now have the answer, well, best laid plans and all that Jazz.


message 13: by Haley (new)

Haley Poppy wrote: "Actually, when Arthur used a random prognostication method to find the question - deducing that it must be coded in his genetics, therefore it was a valid way to find the question - it turned out t..."

Thanks Poppy, I went back and read it. It's so weird though... I guess it just went over my head. I wonder why he chose 6 times 9. The answer would be 54... unless he was just being silly. It wouldn't be the first time he did something like that. 'One million one billion one hundred one fifty thousand light years away...' - I wish I had a real example! :)


Travis The reason that 6 times 9 shows up is to show that they have screwed up the running of the Earth program and will probably never find the ultimate answer.


Scott When Arthur comes up with the question he mentions that he always felt there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe. Hence the bad math.


Brian Johnson 6 times 9 is 42 in base 13. :-)


Marianne Brian wrote: "6 times 9 is 42 in base 13. :-)"
wow, does this mean we have all been operating on the wrong base for all of earth's history? no wonder things go wrong!


Shane Marianne wrote: "Brian wrote: "6 times 9 is 42 in base 13. :-)"
wow, does this mean we have all been operating on the wrong base for all of earth's history? no wonder things go wrong!"


It all makes sense now :)


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Brian wrote: "6 times 9 is 42 in base 13. :-)"

Hahaha, that's awesome.


Irwin good book


message 21: by Haley (new)

Haley Scott wrote: "When Arthur comes up with the question he mentions that he always felt there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe. Hence the bad math."

haha that does make sense! :)


Beautiful Cheese (Celine) I want a babel fish


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Celine wrote: "I want a babel fish"

Who doesn't?


Beautiful Cheese (Celine) I know!!! You would never have to learn another language. But then whenever you remembered you had a fish in you ear you would feel a little weird and would you need one or two?


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Arthur only needed one, I think.


Beautiful Cheese (Celine) Yeah that's right


message 27: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Atkins Sadly the books can never get near to the original radio series after which they were written.


Beautiful Cheese (Celine) I need to listen to that


message 29: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz Atkins you can get the cds from Amazon


Beautiful Cheese (Celine) The thing is is that I'm broke.


Travis If your local library has a DVD/CD section they might have it or can get it through inter-library loan.


Christos try googling "the answer to life the universe and everything"


message 33: by Dana (last edited Aug 24, 2011 08:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dana Douglas Adams was asked many times during his career why he chose the number 42. Many theories were proposed,[6] but he rejected them all. On November 3, 1993, he gave an answer[7] on alt.fan.douglas-adams:

“ The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do' I typed it out. End of story.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Answ...


Marianne Dana wrote: "Douglas Adams was asked many times during his career why he chose the number 42. Many theories were proposed,[6] but he rejected them all. On November 3, 1993, he gave an answer[7] on alt.fan.dougl..."

Yes, having read all those H2G2 books, I can see that is just what Douglas Adams would have done. What a loss his passing was!


Phillip Casteel of course he revealed why 42 was the answer to ultimate question of life in Mostly Harmless (book #5). Turns out ultimate meaning is rather subjective (or personal).


message 36: by Amos (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amos Fairchild Most dogs have 42 teeth. I'm just saying...


message 37: by Huw (new) - rated it 5 stars

Huw Evans I prefer to think that the ultimate answer to the ultimate question being wrong sums up the futility of life, the universe and everything. I can only assume that Marvin was a disciple of Camus.


message 38: by Abby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Abby Braun The answer to life is obviously 7x8. Life is so confusing that why shouldn't the answer be?


Charles I thought the book was stupid.


Destructo The Mad Charles wrote: "I thought the book was stupid."

Really? Why? I can understand that some people wouldn't enjoy the book, but I don't see what would make you think it was stupid.


message 41: by Amos (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amos Fairchild It was stupid in a really hilarious way. lol. Probably why it made #2 on best ever scifi/fantasy list I saw the other day (behind LOTR).


Andrew I disagree with stupid, but there are times where the book its certainly purposefully whimsical. That very same trait was what made the humor so memorable for me as well though.


message 43: by Amos (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amos Fairchild Personally I liked the style...


Faisal Shabbir The book is a tribute to imagination..


Joline This book was amazing, I absolutely loved it. I downloaded it to my phone, so when I am board at work I can listen to it. There is such imagination and originality to these books. I wan't so impressed with the movie, but that is ok movies are not usually as good as the book; especially ones where the main character does a lot of thinking. And I also remember at the end of the Restraunte at the End of the Universe that the question was what is six times nine. Again this was an awsome book.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

What I liked the best about it and the rest of the series was the satire that frequently pops up. Like the bit in the 4th book about the people in the ancient democracy electing lizards as their leaders, hating all the candidates, but voting for one anyway because they are afraid of a worse lizard taking power; kind of reminds me of the way we vote in the United States!


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

69 looks a bit like Yin/Yang.... Now how is that for a quantum leap of logic.


Nathan i think adams satire is amazing. it is my favorite thing about the series, aside from his imagination of other worlds....as well as our own world.


Richard Travis wrote: "The reason that 6 times 9 shows up is to show that they have screwed up the running of the Earth program and will probably never find the ultimate answer."

This. At some point a shipload of incompetent middle-management types crash-lands on prehistoric Earth, corrupting the whole process set up by the mice. Too bad, there were some lovely fjords...


Stephen Robb Has anyone read the non-Douglas Adams sequel?


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