BOOK REVIEW: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – by Douglas Adams


Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
(Hitchhiker’s Guide To THe Galaxy Series #1)
Author: Douglas Adams
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor, Fantasy
First published: 1979
Finished reading: March 1st 2015
Pages: 216
Rating 3

“This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”


I know a lot of people seem to love The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, but I have to be honest and I cannot say the same. It’s not that I hated it either; I just wasn’t able to connect to the story or characters. And although I admit there are some funny parts, I didn’t catch myself laughing out loud like others did. I normally do like dry and sarcastic humor, so it is truly a mystery why I didn’t seem to enjoy this classic by Douglas Adams… Still, since I own the whole Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series I will probably read The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe and the rest of the sequels at some point in the future. I might see the movie first though to see if it helps improving my enjoyment of this series… Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood when I read this one, who knows?


The Earth is about to be destroyed to make way for a galactic freeway, but Arthur Dent doesn’t know anything about it. His friend Ford Prefect saves him from this terrible fate. Ford is a researcher for the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and has been stuck on the planet Earth for the last fifteen years… But luckily they were able to hitch a ride just before the Earth ceased to exist. Unfortunately for them it was about the worst ship to pick for your own rescue mission, as the captain hates hitchhikers and is truly unpleasant in general. They soon start a journey through space where they meet a lot of improbable travelers, and Arthur slowly learns more about the galaxy with the help of the Hitchhiker’s Guide. Ford’s friend Zaphod Beeblebrox, the current president of the galaxy, has stolen a very special ship and together with its crew he his looking for a very special planet most people think is a myth…


Yes, the prose was pretty good. Yes, the characters as well as the plot were interesting. Still, I just couldn’t truly connect to either of them, and the humor didn’t have a great impact on me. It might just have been the wrong moment for me to read this classic, as a lot of people seem to love The Hitchhiker’s Guide Through The Galaxy… But I wasn’t convinced. I know I will give this series a chance in the future and I will probably watch the movie as well to see if I’m able to enjoy the story better after it. But for now this one won’t be making it to my list of favorite classics.

28 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – by Douglas Adams

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  8. I’m a Douglas Adams fan, but I’ve noticed that sometimes his descriptions don’t paint a clear enough picture (at least to me). This can be tough when you’re dealing with alien scenarios, since the reader has no preexisting knowledge on which to base a mental picture. Did you have a similar problem?


    • That was part of the problem yes; sometimes I just couldn’t get a clear picture of what Douglas Adams wanted to say and that didn’t help with the story. I just couldn’t get into the book, but that might also just be because I read it at the wrong moment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been holding back for a long time as well! I’m glad I finally read it, even if I didn’t enjoy it the way I thought I would… But at least now I can say that I’ve read it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. One caution about the movie is that it uses content from other books in the series so you might have something ruined for you if you watch it before reading the others. That said, the movie is well done and I enjoyed it though I haven’t seen it in years. I hope you can enjoy the film more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for letting me know! I will probably read the rest of the series first then before I watch the movie… That way at least I won’t spoil any surprises left in the sequels.


  10. I’m one of those people who adore the H2G2 series, but I do also see your point and that it might not be for everyone. Humour is a tricky thing, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you didn’t fall in love at first sight. I didn’t really like the movie (although it has Martin Freeman), but I’d definitely recommend you to try the original BBC radio series – the actors bring the story to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They say the movie is not exactly the same as the book and there might be spoilers for the sequels as well… But it might be a way to determine easily if you like the general feel of the story.


  11. Reminds me of a guy I used to work with in Borders (before it went bust in the UK – a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away). He worshiped this book and was even working on his own similar novel. I never did get to read my colleagues work, and this was when Myspace had just come out, so no current online connection. If he’s out there – maybe running his own more successful chain of bookshops – and sees your review, perhaps he’d be kind enough to look me up.

    Anyway… I digress… Nice review, I like the TV / radio versions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s such an interesting anecdote! Who knows, he might have created his own Hitchhiker’s Guide series… I really have to check the TV and radio versions to see if they can help me get a better feel for the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed, who knows? Please do, I’m sure they’re up on the inter-web somewhere. You’ll find a man wandering around space in a dressing gown can be quite entertaining.


        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m in exactly the same boat as you. While I didn’t hate this book, I was pretty underwhelmed by it. This type of dry wit is the type of humour I normally like but for some reason Hitchhiker’s didn’t really click with me. Maybe if I give it a go in a while I might appreciate it more. Anyway, it’s always nice to find someone else who has a similar opinion as you, especially when that opinion is pretty unpopular.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, it’s great to hear someone had similar thoughts when reading Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy! Makes me feel less lonely out there. 😉 I guess Douglas Adams uses a kind of humor that doesn’t work for everybody… I just couldn’t get into the story and the fact that I had high expectations before starting didn’t really help either.


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