Thinking about Life, the Universe and Everything

I am reading through five novels and one story by Douglas Adams, laughing out loud and alternately shaking, nodding and scratching my head.

The first book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the rest follow the same theme, if there is one.

I think I will eventually post some observations about this series, but first I want to check with my readers and friends, which, with any luck, just might turn out to be the same people.

Have you read the first novel, or the series?
What did you think?
How would you describe these novels?
What kind of mind would it take to produce such zany thoughts and plots?

Is anyone out there, or am I talking to empty cyberspace? Actually, whether cyberspace is empy or overcrowded is a point on which I understand experts from the planet Rupert diasgree vociferously.
The planet Rupert?! You have to read the book…

Enter your comments, please.

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5 Responses

  1. How’s your reading project. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” reminds me of my teen years (I turn 35 on 1/17).

    At that time I lived in such a cyber-reality (although I was more organized with the influence of Star Wars and Doctor Who), but I’ve continued to have friends which can be found to inhabit such places. So I guess you have to be like me 😉

    Have you seen the film?

    More on the books later, I have to run to help w/the twins who just came home from school.

    PS. While you’re taking pics of the buses be sure to get one of the TARDIS.

  2. I have read the trilogy, though not in a while – definitely there are some bizarre things that I don’t know if anyone understands all of it.

    My wife hadn’t read them, but once she had graduated from CMU, and had always heard that the series, or at least the first book, was required reading for all students, figured she should at least read it. She thought it was really odd.

    I liked a lot of it – though the one that had the stuff about flying by learning to not hit the ground or however it worked had some strange stuff in it.

  3. When I was in high school we had a Hitchhikers club. Reading at least one of the books was the requirement for membership. They provide a lot of material for inside jokes.

    If there’s one major theme in these books, I’d say it’s meaning vs. meaninglessness. The universe is totally beyond our comprehension (not to mention weird and random), and yet some things seem to make sense too. I’m not quite sure whether Adams believed in meaning or not.

    • Peter,
      Your high school Hitchhikers Club sounds like a lot of fun. And I am still reeling from the complexity of the novels, so I suppose many of your insider jokes would escape me.
      Your question about Adams and meaning is a good one.
      Adams the novelist says, as you know, that he wanted to write science fiction and comedy – and he succeeded in doing that very thing in these novels.
      Whether Adams the person believes in meaning or not, these novels seem to be pure fun and nonsense. They do poke fun at many of our human foibles but don’t seem to try in any way to build a coherent worldview.
      John

  4. I am sorry to say that I did not like the story at all. In my opinion it is filled with juvenile humor and a thoughtless plot. It is not a universe I want to spend any time in.

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