An Universal Comedy with a Guide to Boot?
Title : The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide
Author : Douglas Adams
Genre : Sci-Fi Fiction
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
How do I describe a book of this size? It’s dense, it’s funny and it’s fictionally brilliant – more precisely; an absolute babble.
Everything about The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide (TUHG) commanded my attention. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to pay as much. I just bobbed and floated along wherever the story took me without knowing where and how I ended up there. In essence, that’s how you’d feel reading this monstrous sci-fi ‘literature’ – it’s that good; really!
TUHG is indeed a monster – a cosmic alien of a book that transcends multidimensional time travel capabilities and vaporizes all logic, in any way or form. Douglas Adams is either a genius or a madman with a bizarre demented imagination. Either way his TUHG was by far the most far-fetched and hideously hilarious inter-planetary composition I’ve ever come across.
DON’T PANIC; it’s by no means tedious or boring. The state of confusion and chaos that Adams promotes in TUHG is very much intentional mind you. He lets you tag along feeling inadequate and entrapped like Arthur Dent did but yet sustains and enthrall you to enjoy the ride all the same. Cool eh?
Anyway, this 815 paged (hard cover) book took me 50 days to finish. It’s a complete 5-novel, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe with an added 6th as a bonus. The chapters are short (thank god) and really fast paced (freeeaoww!). It’s so fast that you zip between planets and time-dimensions like they were mere doors in a very large mansion – and you get lost.
And by the way, the story isn’t a real ‘hitchhiker’s guide’ in whatever form, as the title suggests; but only a perceived notion that it is (if you said: “Uh?” here; my answer is: “Exactly. See, I told you it was babble”).
It’s also then pointless for me to talk about the plot because there really isn’t one. However, first off, TUHG is very funny. I mean the humour here is celestial, dark and somewhat violent so to speak but still, very funny!
The book’s characters are also either quirky and smart or self-absorbed and ignorant or dumb and deluded. Not necessarily in that order and in TUHG that’s perfectly acceptable too. They (the characters) sort of just bounce in and out of these traits so much that, ultimately make them rather useless in the grand ‘universal’ scheme of things in the end – a state of matter that Douglas Adams so cleverly makes without contrite.
My last thought on TUHG is that, I liked it very much. That’s all I can say about that. It’s simply too complex to describe such bizarre work of fiction (this is a compliment). Sure, there are profound messages hidden and sublimely weaved scientific facts throughout the story (I think) but I didn’t really care much for those. I wanted to be entertained and TUHG did just that. No disappointments in that regard.
So, I recommend that you go read it yourself and if compelled, write your own review on this sci-fi mumbo-jumbo. It’d be fun!
“So long, and thanks for all the fish” as the dolphins said.
My other recent book reviews
- Terry Jones remembers Douglas Adams (bbc.co.uk)
- The Hitchhikers’s Guide to the Galaxy – not a Book Review (kasiajames.wordpress.com)