09 September, 2010

Book Review: The Hitchhiker's Quartet

Title: The Hitchhiker's Quartet
Author: Douglas Adams
Publisher: Harmony Books (out of print)
Genre: Science Fiction (and a whole lot of craziness)
Page Count: 611
Rating: 5 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3.5 out of 5. It's wacky. It's rather strange. Its got singing, triangle-playing, violin-stringing planets on the front, so of course it's a bit unusual, but it fits the book, actually. The book may not have planets that do such things, but it's certainly full of people doing strange things.

Inside flap:

There are four summaries in the beginning--I'm afraid that they're a tad spoiler-y, so I'm just going to get along with the review. (I'm reviewing all four books at once: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy, Life, the Universe, and Everything, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.)


My expectations: I expected the series to be funny, a little weird, and probably a relatively good read.

I got a book that was very funny, very weird, and a very good read. It's nice when expectations are exceeded. :D

About the book: They may as well say "Randomness Central!" on the front of this book, because believe me, this is the epitome of random. But even with all that randomness, it sticks to science and while not all of it is completely comprehensible, and the situations turn out as totally ridiculous and improbable, it is one hilarious ride.

And it's long. Really long. I'm glad it's long though, since I wanted more of that craziness! Adams here did a good job at making things so unlikely and un-guessable that if you try to anticipate what's going to happen next you're going to have as much luck getting the Paranoid Android non-Paranoid.

  • Plot:

Wacky. I felt occasionally like going "Hold it! Brake! Freeze for just a second!" because getting your bearings is tough. And it was also funny--like, what are the chances that one man's house is going to be destroyed for a bypass, when it turns out only a few hours later the entire Earth is going to be turned into a hyperspatial bypass? 

Unfortunately, (and this is one of the few drawbacks to the book) I felt that something was . . . missing toward the end. It was still random, and weird, and crazy, and funny, but I felt that it just wasn't right. Something was a little off. Not to say that he ended the Quartet badly, it was actually a good ending, it just didn't quite fit. Maybe it's just me.

  • Characters:

Arthur Dent was understandably disoriented through most of it. I wasn't totally fond of him, but he was certainly a good character to tag along with. Sometimes he got on my nerves a little, since he seemed so, well, dull and occasionally whiny, but his predicaments were very amusing.

Ford Prefect (a take on the Ford Perfect) is the guy adding things to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He says Earth is "Mostly harmless" and that's it. (LOL.) I liked him about as much as I did Arthur Dent but maybe a little less toward the end. His attitude was occasionally annoying, but it was a part of the story, after all.

Zaphod Beeblebrox (what kind of a name is Beeblebrox?!) is weird. Two heads, after all, and they don't seem to make him any smarter. Funny, though, different from both Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect.

Trillian . . . well, I didn't really like her at all. Got on my nerves mostly, since she always seemed on the edge of being a total airhead.

Marvin the Paranoid Android I loved. I know, out of all of the humans I have to love the robot, but still, he was depressingly funny. More like, he was depressing in a amusing way. All the comments and doom and gloom attitudes were a dry addition.

I don't really know what to make of Fenchurch. She's smart, though, and perceptive enough. Maybe not as crazy as the others, although everyone else thinks she's crazy.

  • Setting/Other Factors:

I really liked the way excerpts from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were put in. They were hilarious to read about what authors of the book thought about the parts of the Universe that they met up with.

Other: Drinking, s-word, asterisks, and one occasion of the f-word. Also, toward the end there is a scene where these two people are sort of, eh, flying through the air let's say. But--thankfully--Adams here actually precedes the scene with a lot of preamble about why books always seem to stop before the two characters actually do anything. So you're warned.

Do I recommend this book? Yes! Do I ever. (Remember to bring a towel.) If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend that you do! Don't let it sit around in your TBR pile.

-----The Golden Eagle


Kenzy said...

Ooooh!! *clapping hands excitedly* I watched be movie [i know, i know, shame on me for watching before reading] and LOVED IT!! Marvin is my favorite too. :) AND THE MICE!! LMAO XD anywhoose, it was a great movie, and the books are always [usually] better, so I'm definitely reading it! :D

Lizzy said...

A lot of people I know love these book. I haven't gotten around to reading them, though. I'll have to give them a try.

The Golden Eagle said...

Kenzy: Marvin's voice is Alan Rickman, isn't it? (I haven't seen the movie.) HP people are always a bonus. :)

I loved the mice too! Humans as only the third-most-intelligent beings made me laugh.

Lizzy: Definitely give them a try!

Kenzy said...

*singing* SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH. XD our whole family died laughing.

I know for sure that Alan Rickman was in the movie.... I just can't remember who he was. x]