The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I’ve come to realize I definitely prefer more fantasy to sci-fi (except in the case of Red Rising, which isn’t a true sci-fi anyway), and that remains the case with Hitchhiker.
Arthur Dent is a normal human whose house is about to be demolished. Ford Prefect is an alien hitchhiker, working on the guidebook, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and has been stranded on earth for the past 15 years. When Earth is demolished by some bureaucratic aliens, Arthur and Ford are the only two to escape.
The first in a five-part series (“trilogy”), Hitchhiker sets up the characters and this vast universe in a funny, entertaining way, with satirical philosophy and absurdity thrown in as well.
While I enjoyed the story, I didn’t love it. It read like a serial of the week, with the characters getting in and out of trouble each chapter, only to be thrown into another one. As this started as a radio broadcast, however, it makes total and complete sense.
I liked the concept of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the guidebook within the book, which helps explain the nuances and complexities of this world in an unique and less info-dumpy kind of way.
The importance of Earth in this story was also really intriguing, and I was a big fan of how Adams incorporated that, as well as the spin on the Ultimate Question. To take the complexity and search for the meaning of life and pair it with sillyness and strife is quite a statement.
While I appreciated some of the more accurate observations about humanity, I didn’t love this book as so many others do. That being said, I’m going to give the audiobooks a listen for the rest of this 5 book trilogy.