You guys, I don’t even know what to say about this book. You either love The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as much as Zaphod Beelbebrox loves himself or you hate it as much as everyone hates Vogon poetry. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you need to read this book, obviously.
I don’t know, maybe you’ve read it and you don’t exactly hate it but you don’t get what the fuss is about. And if that’s the case, then you probably didn’t read this book at the right time in your life. I’m a firm believer that whether or not you like certain things depends on when you read/watch/hear it (see: Star Wars).
For instance! I saw Garden State right after college, as I was drifting through life, struggling to find a job and support myself, so OF FUCKING COURSE I loved a movie about a shiftless depressive falling in love with the definition of manic pixie dream girl, only this was before manic pixie dream girl was really a thing. Remember that? We were so innocent then.
I watched Garden State again recently for the first time in years and, as someone pushing 30, I couldn’t imagine what my 23-year-old self had been thinking. I hated pretty much everyone and wanted to slap them in their dumb, complainy faces. WHAT HAPPENED. This was a movie I once watched THREE TIMES IN A ROW. I played the soundtrack on repeat for weeks. Months, even!
Since then, I’ve been terrified to revisit my mid-twenties mainstays, the ones I’d watch when I was feeling particularly emo (Little Miss Sunshine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Closer, The Royal Tenenbaums), because what if I hate them now? I couldn’t bear it.
ANYWAY. My point is (I have one?), I was really scared to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy again. Because I first read it when I was in high school and god knows my taste in high school wasn’t always the best (see: my affinity for LJ Smith novels*). I was pleasantly surprised that it held up, though. Sure, it’s a bit of quirk that you can blast through in an afternoon, but it’s a supremely entertaining bit of quirk.
Arthur Dent is our protagonist, who begins a random Thursday lying in the mud, trying to block a construction crew from knocking down his house. Enter Ford Prefect, Arthur’s cool-as-fuck best friend, who, unbeknownst to Arthur, is actually a hitchhiking alien from a planet called Betelgeuse.
Ford knows that the world is about to end, so he convinces Arthur to give up his house plan and follow him to the pub because I mean HONESTLY where else would you rather be if the world was about to end? What follows is AN ABSOLUTE DELIGHT of a story. I mean that. Reading this book felt a bit like hanging out with my 15-year-old self and finding that we still had something in common, even after all these years. Five stars!
*whatever, I recently reread a bunch of those and they are still AMAZING
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