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Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy

Updated on June 25, 2015

Introduction to the Trilogy (sexology!)

I joined the Squidoo Book Club and the first quest was to write a lens about our favourite fiction novel or author. How could I not choose Douglas Adams and his famous 6 part trilogy (he actually only wrote the first 5) Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy. The series poses the question what is the answer to everything? The answer 42! Now the remaining question is what is the meaningful question to which this is the answer? Having read the books listened to the radio shows I can honestly say I do not know.

The series is obviously a comic one, but at the same time like all good fiction it takes us on quite the ride to discover absolutely nothing or 42! The books started in 1979 and that is a time when I was just out of university and roughly the same age as the author, so many of the things mentioned were things that I knew from growing up.

This book sold 250,000 copies within 3 months of publication and has always been one of my favourite's of all time. It built up quite a cult following at the time!

Since the book is old and I have lost my copy I have used pictures from the public domain and Amazon as illustrations.

Restaurant At The End Of The Universe Original Cover
Restaurant At The End Of The Universe Original Cover

The Actual Books in the Trilogy And A Little About Them

1. Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy

2. The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

3. Life The Universe and Everything

4. So Long and Thanks For All The Fish

5. Mostly Harmless

6. By Eoin Colfer - And Another Thing (Published in 2008 on the 30 anniversary of the originating novel).

Hitch Hikers Guide To The Universe

The story follows the progress of Arthur Dent who tries to stop bulldozers from eradicating his home to make place for a new super highway by lying in front of them. This turns out to be ironic, because as he does this his friend Ford Prefect (our first car was a Ford Prefect as I suspect was the authors) arrives and breaks the news that Arthur is wasting his time and must come with him as the Earth is about to be demolished by a race of aliens, the Vogans. This is to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Arthur and Ford hitch a ride by hiding on a Vogan demolition ship, this is of course against the Vogans regulations and they are sentenced to have to listen to Vogan Poetry (the third worst in the universe) and then are thrown out into Space. Against all the odds they are picked up by a ship "Heart Of Gold" which has been stolen by Ford Prefects semi cousin and President of the Galaxy (Zaphod Beeblebrox).

The Heart Of Gold was powered by an infinite improbability drive (which may explain how it just happened to be in the right place at the right, or wrong time , depends on your point of view!). Zaphod is seeking a world called Magrathea and is being accompanied by Trillion and Marvin a chronically depressed robot.. Magrathea is rumoured to be manufacturing luxury planets.

Against all odds and the skepticism of Arthur they do in fact find Magrathea. Here Arthur manages to get separated from his new "friends" and is picked up by a native Slartibartfast who escorts him to the interior of the planet. Slartibartfast explains to Arthur that the Earth was in fact a giant supercomputer commissioned and paid for by hyper intelligent, pan dimensional beings. These beings had earlier commissioned a computer "Deep Thought" which had provided the answer to Life The Universe and Everything - 42!

Being unsatisfied with the answer they commissioned the Earth to find the meaningful question to the answer. It was Deep Thought that designed the Earth. However 10 Million years later and just 5 minutes before it could provide the answer the Vogans destroyed the Earth. Two of the creatures had arrived on Magaretha with Arthurs party they are Trillion's pet white mice. Franky and Benjy.

The mice realise that since he is from Earth a latent version of the question or something like it must exist in Arthur's brain as he is a late generation organic product of the computer (Earth). So they offer to buy his brain. Naturally a fight ensues and the mice are about to extract Arthur's brain, when klaxons all over the planet are activated. In the turmoil, Arthur, Ford, Zaphod and Trillion escape. The galactic police arrive on the planet to arrest Zaphod, but die as their life support systems pack up. It seems that Marvin had been talking to their ship which controlled their life support systems and the ship became so depressed it committed suicide.

The group decides to go the The Restaurant at The End of The Universe For Lunch.

Restaurant At The End Of The Universe

I really do not want to spoil all the fun, so I will leave it to you to find out what the rest of the series is about. Suffice it to say that they are extremely amusing a little depressive and somehow Arthur survives it all or does he? Read them to see!

Original Book Covers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Life The Universe And EverythingSo Long And Thanks For All The FishMostly HarmlessAnd Another Thing
Life The Universe And Everything
Life The Universe And Everything
So Long And Thanks For All The Fish
So Long And Thanks For All The Fish
Mostly Harmless
Mostly Harmless
And Another Thing
And Another Thing

Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy Books from Amazon

Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy

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Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy - Have Your Say

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  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    The answer is 43 now if we only knew what the question was!

  • Don Bobbitt profile image

    Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida

    Dressage Husband- Read Them! Loved Them! Years ago.

    And, there are several quotes that I use from them. I know it shows my age, but it is fun confusing the Hell out of the Milleniums I deal with sometimes. LOL!

    Thanks for stirring up the memories.

    DON

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Isn't it funny how you keep coming across writers you like in different genres than perhaps you expected? Douglas Adams has/had a great sense of humor that tickled people a particular way. I really liked his style.

  • Anne Harrison profile image

    Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

    An interesting hub on a great author. Interestingly, some of my favourite Dr Who episodes were the ones written by Douglas Adams.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    I think you would really like them! :)

  • Margaret Schindel profile image

    Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

    My husband introduced me to Douglas Adams' books many, many years ago. I've read the first four but have yet to read the last two. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    I started life in a Church of England School so understand your terror of certain Nuns. I wonder if God might actually think they were the spiritually disturbed ones? I know what you mean about the books disappearing when you lend them out I couod not find mine when I was writing the Hub!

  • Besarien profile image

    Besarien 2 years ago

    These are books you lend out and never see again. I believe I have replaced the first in the series upwards of twenty times. The first time I read it I was in eighth grade in a Catholic school. My best friend and I used to try to compose Vogon poetry together, which was a lot of fun. Some of it got confiscated by Sister Bridey who read it and thought we were both spiritually disturbed. It would have funny if we weren't so terrified of that particular nun for good reason.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @adragast24: Thank You!

  • adragast24 profile image

    adragast24 4 years ago

    Nice review, I enjoyed it.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @texan203 lm: Thank You!

  • texan203 lm profile image

    texan203 lm 4 years ago

    I very interesting book review lens