Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
I greatly enjoyed reading this novel. It was an interesting read, and far different from anything I have previously read. Douglas Adam’s highly innovative concept of writing a novel in the form of a guide was ingenious and made the book all the more engaging. As a reader, I enjoy science fiction and greatly appreciated the author’s new perspective on science fiction. Typically the science fiction tells a thrilling tale of spaceships and adventure (Ender’s Games), however in this novel the author take a more pragmatic view on the dangers and fears of outer space.
Arthur Dent, a rather controversial character in my opinion was an excellent narrator, portraying this most intimate fears and joys. Perhaps my favourite part of the novel was the diabolic mice, not to give anything way! The complex names and species found in outpace offered a realistic approach and the innovative entries into the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy were intriguing to say the least! The author’s style of writing; switching perspectives was useful and informative to the development of the plot. Typically I am not in favour of differing perspective but in this case and with the method with which the author executed this style of writing, the differing perspectives only added to the complexity and thus the value of the book. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, it is perfect for a long journey, as it it not too long as does not take a considerable amount of attention to follow the plot.