X= The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy

Don’t scratch your head too much. I know the name of the book doesn’t start from X. But I don’t recall any book starting from X. So I cheated a bit and selected a book which had X in it and the one I wanted to talk about.

I was guided to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything. It all started with a game. One of the friends on Writing.com gave us a game with a blank. We were to select the number from 1 to 100. Every time the game was played, the answer would be 42, and I never guessed right. I was so miffed that I practically shouted why 42. Since I was online, I can only guess how the other person reacted physically, but the next question which flashed on screen was: What’s one thing a inter-galactic traveler should always have? And that’s how I entered the world of Hitchhikers. 

I read the first page about the demolition quite uneasily, and then when the demolition of house turned into demolition of planet earth, I was intrigued. And then when the whole hitchhiker’s guide came into the picture I was hooked. The fascinating aspect of this book is that it was written in 1970s and it goes on to talk about electronic books and the touch sensitive screen. Then it goes and bring us the babel fish. That is the vision of the author, the true sci-fi nature where in the fiction of older times becomes the reality of today.

 

Let me tell you that this book is absurd, as absurd as the world we live in, as absurd as our thoughts and beliefs.  It won’t leave you in tears or sleepless in anticipation. But it will make you think about what we humans are doing for once. In the sci-fi realm, it  is philosophy wrapped in humor; it is a book of possibilities, a book of ideas.

Look at one of my favorite quotes:

“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.”

And one more:

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.” 

And tell me aren’t we like that? Doesn’t it speak to you?

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sonia Lal
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 07:01:58

    Heard so many good things about the book, but haven’t read it.

    Reply

  2. Kate Larkindale
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 15:28:19

    I loved this one when I was a kid. I read it over and over again and thought it was the funniest thing ever. And I was right. It’s still funny now, although for slightly different reasons.

    Reply

  3. Diane Coto
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 18:32:16

    Hi there – Don’t feel too bad about the ‘cheat’. I had trouble also and reviewed a book which had an X but not the first letter. Good review although I rarely read sci fi. Take care! 🙂

    Reply

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