Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Need a guide to the galaxy?

I've been reading the three sequels to the book Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 

In case you've never heard of it, the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction book. "The various versions follow the same basic plot but they are in many places mutually contradictory, as Adams rewrote the story substantially for each new adaptation. Throughout all versions, the series follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, although the story also follows the adventure of other major characters: Ford Prefect, who named himself after the Ford Prefect car to blend in with what was assumed to be the dominant life form, automobiles, is an alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and a researcher for the eponymous guidebook; Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford's semi-cousin and the Galactic President; the depressed robot Marvin the Paranoid Android; and Trillian, formerly known as Tricia McMillan, a woman Arthur once met at a party in Islington and the only other human survivor of Earth's destruction."

The three sequels are (in order):

-The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
-Life, the Universe, and Everything
-So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

We went to the library on Tuesday and I wanted to get all four books but the library only had the three sequels. So I got them out.

I read the first book, Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I was about eleven or twelve, when a house we stayed in once had it. But I've never read the three sequels! I'm actually really enjoying them.

So far I've finished the first sequel (Restaurant at the End of the Universe) and am at page 32 of the second sequel.

I love Douglas Adam's writing. He has such a relaxed and often humourous style! I want to quote here an excerpt from the second sequel. I think it's such excellent use of the English language!

(Excerpt from page 16, Life, the Universe, and Everything)

"Has it?" said Arthur, his eyes not wavering for a moment.
"It has," said Ford with a similar degree of occular immobility.

Similar degree of occular immobility??? This guy knows soo many good words! I am learning a lot from this author.

The science fiction aspect of the series is really funny. The Wikipedia page about the technology used (here) is most interesting! 

There are a whole pile of random characters, like Slartibartfast and Marvin the Paranoid Android.

Check out the series! It really is most unusual. Of course, it's completely fiction, (like in the book the Earth is destroyed to make room for a new hyperspace bypass and Earth is in the way) but it's quite interesting reading. You find out all sorts of things you didn't know before (for example: did you know that the meaning of life is forty-two?). 

You will probably enjoy the books if you like reading science fiction. Then again, you might enjoy reading it no matter what other books you read!

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