The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
ISBN: 1400052920
Harmony Books, New York, 1980
215 p.

GENRE: Science Fiction

TEASER: This is a journey through space that you will never forget.

SUMMARY: The story begins with Arthur Dent lying in front of a bulldozer that is going to rip down his house in order to build a new bypass. His friend Ford perfect comes along and convinces him to leave foe a bit. He also tricks the foreman into lying in front of Arthur’s house for him while he’s gone. Ford then tries to explain to Arthur that he is really an alien from the an area called Betelgeuse. He tells Arthur that they need to find a way off Earth because it will ironically soon be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. They steal away on a Vogon ship but are later caught. They are then tortured with reading of Vogon poetry, the third worst in the entire Universe. After they are ejected into space, they are picked up by the Heart of Gold. The ship’s other passengers are Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford’s semi-cousin, Malvin, a chronically depressed robot, and Trillian, a mathematician and astrophysicist. They are in search of the legendary planet of Magrathea. But once they get there, they encounter more problems. Now Arthur is separated from the rest and must escape from mice that want to cut open his head. how will Arthur get out of this one?

CRITIQUE: The story is told in third person perspective, switching between Arthur and Ford’s characters. It’s easy to see why Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is considered a classic in its genre. In a time when many author’s were writing space operas, Douglas chose to do a parody of sci-fi adventure stories. His characters are unique and well though out. He is famous for his witty prose. many agree that this book exemplified his writing prowess. The world is intelligently written and though provoking. You are sure to get a laugh out of Douglas Adam’s classic tale of adventure and insanity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Douglas Adams was an English author and dramatist. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is most well-known work. Some of his other titles were Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, The Private Life of Genghis Khan, and many other novels and short stories. He was an advocate of environmental conservation. Douglas died of a heart attack at the age of 49 on May 2001. After his death, author Richard Dawkins said, “science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender.”



CHALLENGE ISSUES: Some people may abject to the sexual situations in this novel and heavy drinking.

DEFENSE: I would suggest looking at the ALA’s support page for challenged materials.


BOOKTALKING IDEAS: There are many highly improbable scenes in this book. Which one was the hardest for you to accept?

WHY INCLUDED: I have always wanted to read this book and I kept coming across the title while looking for books for teen boys.