Time to diversify my book reviews I realize that the past few have been entirely focused on female characters and generally dystopian. So, time for me to dig back through some of my favorite books for some variety.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was something I stumbled upon. I believe my sister first pointed them out to me. This is far near the top of my favorite’s list. The mere fact that it was a trilogy in five parts delighted me even before cracking open the front cover, although technically now has six parts. I believe that I am actually younger than this series so the covers on my versions were brightly colored. The important part is that I instantly fell in love with them. A main character that truly only wants a decent cup of tea. Unluckily, Arthur Dent is saved from his sheer doom and the last decent cup of tea by his best friend, Ford Prefect. They escape onto one of the ships set to destroy planet Earth by hitchhiking. This paves the way for Ford to tell his friend more about the universe by handing him The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Delightful adventures ensue as they hitchhike through the universe. The odd cast of characters only gets more quirky as they end up on a stolen ship with doors that talk. Many electronic devices are implanted with personality chips in this reality. They can be endearing or mildly annoying. The most important bit is to always keep your towel with you. If you have your towel, then people are more likely to pick you up. If you have a towel, then people assume you have your life together and that you have all the other necessities as well and won’t mind lending you all of them. Arthur gains a crash course on the workings of the universe something he had been oblivious too until they decided to destroy his home planet. All while trying to find a cup of actual tea and pursuing the only other human left in the galaxy (who happens to be female). It’s hard to describe much in the way of a distinct plot since they spend their time on a ship using an improbability drive which takes them randomly to places when they press the big button. Their adventure is mainly to figure out why the Earth was destroyed.
WARNING MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
Arthur Dent is possibly such a beloved character for his simplicity. He knows what he wants and why he wants it. He just has no idea how to get it in the world into which he is forced. The center of this entire situation is the improbability drive of the Heart of Gold. The most valuable ship in the universe because of said improbability drive which is stolen by none other than the President of the Universe. Whom just so happens to be Ford’s cousin which is complicated as fits the entire random happenstances throughout the series.
The improbable circumstances are woven together so well that you can’t help but wait to read the next page to see what could possibly be next for our characters. Their improbability drive leads them around since they just usually press the button much to the chagrin of the other characters. They end up trying to save the Earth. Changing the past is as hard as you would expect as our characters get sucked into figuring out why the Earth was demolished in the first place.
My favorite character is Marvin the depressed robot due to the fact that his brain is the size of a planet and he never gets to use it. It’s hard not to love such an honest character and even though he is depressed he is surprisingly heroic and noble.
This turned out to be a hard review to write because analyzing the humor is difficult to do. The fact remains that it relies upon the unexpected and improbable and is tongue-in-cheek the entire time. The plot ends up being a mirror of Arthur's original misery of his house being bulldozed for a highway overpass which is the same reason for the destruction of the Earth.