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Publisher: Pan Macmillan
The intergalactic adventures of Arthur Dent begin in the first volume of the 'trilogy of five', Douglas Adams' comedy sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way...
Either by adorning ourselves with pigments and holes, to destroying our own environment, to going to war marching towards peace, humans have been drawn towards strange rather controversial ways of living. In that way, absurdity has not only become a part of our lives, but also a significant quality of being human. On "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Douglas Adams explores this absurdity.
In the book, we follow the adventures of Arthur Dent, a thirty-something carbon-based creature that is in space after his home planet, the Earth, has been wiped out. Dent shows us how little we are in the big scheme of things and how our reactions tend to be foolish.
Take, for instance, our tendency to state what is obvious. A case in point is that when it is raining our first instinct, as bipedal apes, is to say loud enough to be heard by everyone around us:"It is raining.".
Or consider being excited to meet the president, after you had developed one of the most advanced spaceships in the universe.
Unlike other comedy books in which absurdity is shown, intelligence is one of the trials of the characters. So it should not amuse us to find deep and philosophical queries such as: "Who is God","What are we looking for?","What is our purpose?" and "What do we mean by who we are?".
Whether we are not ready for the answers, or we are not asking the right questions, the author makes clear that there are things that are better left unknown. Or just maybe, the answer is forty-two.
Bookaxe Characteristics for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy