Friday, October 12, 1979

Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Published

Last updated 7/5/2020.

The Hitchiker’s Guide to Galaxy

Douglas Adams

First Publication: October 12, 1979

Category: comic science fiction

Sales: 14 million


About the Book:

“This quotable comedy about a hapless Englishman and his alien friend proved that sci-fi could be clever and funny.” TG Originally presented as a radio series on BBC Radio 4, Douglas Adams used “its first four parts as the basis of a novel of the same name. It ended up the first of five books in the comedy science fiction, deliberately-misnamed “trilogy.” WK

The novel is “a fictional guide book for hitchhikers inspired by the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe, written in the form of an encyclopedia.” WK The story focuses on Arthur Dent and “his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.” AZ

Dent is “plucked off the planet” AZ “seconds before before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway.” AZ The “dynamic pair began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox – the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.” AZ

The Washington Post Book World hailed it as “extremely funny…inspired lunacy…[and] over much too soon.” AZ Publishers Weekly called it “a whimsical odyssey…Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:

In July 2018, I became the organizer of the Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the Book Club tab here or Meetup for more information. This is our August 2019 book.

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