Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Anthology by Douglas Adams

Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy cavorting with fellow bookworms and writers? I'm going to have to pick up my reading speed, if I'm going to keep up with all the great suggestions I've come
This thing took me forever to read.
across these past few days!

Speaking of reading, I've finally made it through my anthology of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I feel as if I should list reading five books instead of just one on my Goodreads Account.

Anyway, Douglas Adams wrote Five books and one short story in the Hitchhiker's series: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Young Zaphod Plays It Safe, and Mostly Harmless.

Adams had a wonderful skill with describing characters and surroundings I've seldom seen outside of his work. The sheer imagination behind the world(s) he created is entertaining, but the simile he employs is a big part of why his work is so memorable.

The best books in this series, by far, are the first two. They're full of humor, vivid descriptions and generally entertaining prose. I could easily see that he was enjoying himself as he developed the story.

I also enjoyed The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, but it seemed as if the humor was slowly being eroded away. There were also shining points in Life, the Universe and Everything, and Thanks for All the Fish, but I found myself tickled less by the humor and not quite as absorbed by his world. It felt as if the fun was slowly draining from his work, as if he wasn't enjoying the writing any more.

Young Zaphod Plays It Safe was a refreshing peek into his humor and imagination, but I couldn't make it through Mostly Harmless. That last book was actually pretty dull, though I could tell there was an effort being made at creating an off the wall story.

From what I've read of Adams' life, he was growing tired of the Hitchhiker's world towards the end, and that's very evident in his writing. He knew he was being pushed to write more for the money than for the joy, and I think that really broke him down.

I don't blame him, either. Fiction writing is about expressing emotion, exploring the human condition and passion. I have a hard time doing anything 'just for the money', but unfortunately, it often needs to be done.

Anyway, back to the books. I would highly suggest picking The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, especially if you enjoy imaginative prose and dry humor. If you have time to kill, and you'd like to give them a shot, Life, the Universe and Everything, and Thanks for All the Fish are worth a look. (Or, you can pick up the below trilogy in four parts, and save yourself the trouble of hunting for the four books.) I'd skip Mostly Harmless, though.

Always remember. Know where your towel is. (Now, where did I put my salted peanuts?)

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