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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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ISBN13: 9780345391803
ISBN10: 0345391802
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Excerpt

Chapter One

 The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the

village. It stood on its own and looked out over a broad

spread of West Country farmland. Not a remarkable house

by any means—it was about thirty years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which more or less exactly failed to please the eye.

The only person for whom the house was in any way special was Arthur Dent, and that was only because it happened to be the one he lived in. He had lived in it for about three years, ever since he had moved out of London because it made him nervous and irritable. He was about thirty as well, tall, dark-haired and never quite at ease with himself. The thing that used to worry him most was the fact that people always used to ask him what he was looking so worried about. He worked in local radio which he always used to tell his friends was a lot more interesting than they probably thought. It was, too—most of his friends worked in advertising.

On Wednesday night it had rained very heavily, the lane was wet and muddy, but the Thursday morning sun was bright and clear as it shone on Arthur Dents house for what was to be the last time.

It hadnt properly registered yet with Arthur that the council wanted to knock it down and build a bypass instead.

*  *  *

At eight oclock on Thursday morning Arthur didnt feel very good. He woke up blearily, got up, wandered blearily round his room, opened a window, saw a bulldozer, found his slippers, and stomped off to the bathroom to wash.

Toothpaste on the brush—so. Scrub.

Shaving mirror—pointing at the ceiling. He adjusted it. For a moment it reflected a second bulldozer through the bathroom window. Properly adjusted, it reflected Arthur Dents bristles. He shaved them off, washed, dried and stomped off to the kitchen to find something pleasant to put in his mouth.

Kettle, plug, fridge, milk, coffee. Yawn.

The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in search of something to connect with.

The bulldozer outside the kitchen window was quite a big one.

He stared at it.

“Yellow,” he thought, and stomped off back to his bedroom to get dressed.

Passing the bathroom he stopped to drink a large glass of water, and another. He began to suspect that he was hung over. Why was he hung over? Had he been drinking the night be- fore? He supposed that he must have been. He caught a glint in the shaving mirror. “Yellow,” he thought, and stomped on to the bedroom.

He stood and thought. The pub, he thought. Oh dear, the pub. He vaguely remembered being angry, angry about something that seemed important. Hed been telling people about it, telling people about it at great length, he rather suspected: his clearest visual recollection was of glazed looks on other peoples faces. Something about a new bypass hed just found out about. It had been in the pipeline for months only no one seemed to have known about it. Ridiculous. He took a swig of water. It would sort itself out, hed decided, no one wanted a bypass, the council didnt have a leg to stand on. It would sort itself out.

God, what a terrible hangover it had earned him though. He looked at himself in the wardrobe mirror. He stuck out his tongue. “Yellow,” he thought. The word yellow wandered through his mind in search of something to connect with.

Fifteen seconds later he was out of the house and lying in front of a big yellow bulldozer that was advancing up his garden path.

Mr. L. Prosser was, as they say, only human. In other words he was a carbon-based bipedal life form descended from an ape. More specifically he was forty, fat and shabby and worked for the local council. Curiously enough, though he didnt know it, he was also a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his genes that he had no discernible Mongoloid characteristics, and the only vestiges left in Mr. L. Prosser of his mighty ancestry were a pronounced stoutness about the tum and a predilection for little fur hats.

He was by no means a great warrior; in fact he was a nervous, worried man. Today he was particularly nervous and worried because something had gone seriously wrong with his job, which was to see that Arthur Dents house got cleared out of the way before the day was out.

“Come off it, Mr. Dent,” he said, “you cant win, you know. You cant lie in front of the bulldozer indefinitely.” He tried to make his eyes blaze fiercely but they just wouldnt do it.

Arthur lay in the mud and squelched at him.

“Im game,” he said, “well see who rusts first.”

“Im afraid youre going to have to accept it,” said Mr. Prosser, gripping his fur hat and rolling it round the top of his head; “this bypass has got to be built and its going to be built!”

“First Ive heard of it,” said Arthur, “whys it got to be built?”

Mr. Prosser shook his finger at him for a bit, then stopped and put it away again.

“What do you mean, whys it got to be built?” he said. “Its a bypass. Youve got to build bypasses.”

Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder whats so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and whats so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.

Mr. Prosser wanted to be at point D. Point D wasnt anywhere in particular, it was just any convenient point a very long way from points A, B and C. He would have a nice little cottage at point D, with axes over the door, and spend a pleasant amount of time at point E, which would be the nearest pub to point D. His wife of course wanted climbing roses, but he wanted axes. He didnt know why—he just liked axes. He flushed hotly under the derisive grins of the bulldozer drivers.

He shifted his weight from foot to foot, but it was equally uncomfortable on each. Obviously somebody had been appallingly incompetent and he hoped to God it wasnt him.

Mr. Prosser said, “You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time, you know.”

“Appropriate time?” hooted Arthur. “Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if hed come to clean the windows and he said no, hed come to demolish the house. He didnt tell me straight away of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me.”

“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well, as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadnt exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display . . .”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“Thats the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didnt you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

A cloud passed overhead. It cast a shadow over Arthur Dent as he lay propped up on his elbow in the cold mud. It cast a shadow over Arthur Dents house. Mr. Prosser frowned at it.

“Its not as if its a particularly nice house,” he said.

“Im sorry, but I happen to like it.”

“Youll like the bypass.”

“Oh, shut up,” said Arthur Dent. “Shut up and go away, and take your bloody bypass with you. You havent got a leg to stand on and you know it.”

Mr. Prossers mouth opened and closed a couple of times while his mind was for a moment filled with inexplicable but terribly attractive visions of Arthur Dents house being consumed with fire and Arthur himself running screaming from the blazing ruin with at least three hefty spears protruding from his back. Mr. Prosser was often bothered with visions like these and they made him feel very nervous. He stuttered for a moment and then pulled himself together.

“Mr. Dent,” he said.

“Hello? Yes?” said Arthur.

“Some factual information for you. Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it roll straight over you?”

“How much?” said Arthur.

“None at all,” said Mr. Prosser, and stormed nervously off wondering why his brain was filled with a thousand hairy horsemen all shouting at him.

By a curious coincidence, “None at all” is exactly how much suspicion the ape-descendant Arthur Dent had that one of his closest friends was not descended from an ape, but was in fact from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not from Guildford as he usually claimed.

Arthur Dent had never, ever suspected this.

This friend of his had first arrived on the planet Earth some fifteen Earth years previously, and he had worked hard to blend himself into Earth society—with, it must be said, some success. For instance, he had spent those fifteen years pretending to be an out-of-work actor, which was plausible enough.

He had made one careless blunder though, because he had skimped a bit on his preparatory research. The information he had gathered had led him to choose the name “Ford Prefect” as being nicely inconspicuous.

He was not conspicuously tall, his features were striking but not conspicuously handsome. His hair was wiry and gingerish and brushed backward from the temples. His skin seemed to be pulled backward from the nose. There was something very slightly odd about him, but it was difficult to say what it was. Perhaps it was that his eyes didnt seem to blink often enough and when you talked to him for any length of time your eyes began involuntarily to water on his behalf. Perhaps it was that he smiled slightly too broadly and gave people the unnerving impression that he was about to go for their neck.

He struck most of the friends he had made on Earth as an eccentric, but a harmless one—an unruly boozer with some oddish habits. For instance, he would often gate-crash university parties, get badly drunk and start making fun of any astrophysicists he could find till he got thrown out.

Sometimes he would get seized with oddly distracted moods and stare into the sky as if hypnotized until someone asked him what he was doing. Then he would start guiltily for a moment, relax and grin.

“Oh, just looking for flying saucers,” he would joke, and everyone would laugh and ask him what sort of flying saucers he was looking for.

“Green ones!” he would reply with a wicked grin, laugh wildly for a moment and then suddenly lunge for the nearest bar and buy an enormous round of drinks.

Evenings like this usually ended badly. Ford would get out of his skull on whisky, huddle in a corner with some girl and explain to her in slurred phrases that honestly the color of the flying saucers didnt matter that much really.

Thereafter, staggering semiparalytic down the night streets, he would often ask passing policemen if they knew the way to Betelgeuse. The policemen would usually say something like, “Dont you think its about time you went off home, sir?”

“Im trying to, baby, Im trying to,” is what Ford invariably replied on these occasions.

In fact what he was really looking for when he stared distractedly into the sky was any kind of flying saucer at all. The reason he said green was that green was the traditional space livery of the Betelgeuse trading scouts.

Ford Prefect was desperate that any flying saucer at all would arrive soon because fifteen years was a long time to get stranded anywhere, particularly somewhere as mind-bogglingly dull as the Earth.

Ford wished that a flying saucer would arrive soon because he knew how to flag flying saucers down and get lifts from them. He knew how to see the Marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairian dollars a day.

In fact, Ford Prefect was a roving researcher for that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Human beings are great adapters, and by lunchtime life in the environs of Arthurs house had settled into a steady routine. It was Arthurs accepted role to lie squelching in the mud mak- ing occasional demands to see his lawyer, his mother or a good book; it was Mr. Prossers accepted role to tackle Arthur with the occasional new ploy such as the For the Public Good talk, or the March of Progress talk, the They Knocked My House Down Once You Know, Never Looked Back talk and various other cajoleries and threats; and it was the bulldozer drivers accepted role to sit around drinking coffee and experimenting with union regulations to see how they could turn the situation to their financial advantage.

The Earth moved slowly in its diurnal course.

The sun was beginning to dry out the mud that Arthur lay in.

A shadow moved across him again.

“Hello, Arthur,” said the shadow.

Arthur looked up and squinting into the sun was startled to see Ford Prefect standing above him.

“Ford! Hello, how are you?”

“Fine,” said Ford, “look, are you busy?”

“Am I busy?” exclaimed Arthur. “Well, Ive just got all these bulldozers and things to lie in front of because theyll knock my house down if I dont, but other than that . . . well, no, not especially, why?”

They dont have sarcasm on Betelgeuse, and Ford Prefect often failed to notice it unless he was concentrating. He said, “Good, is there anywhere we can talk?”

“What?” said Arthur Dent.

For a few seconds Ford seemed to ignore him, and stared fixedly into the sky like a rabbit trying to get run over by a car. Then suddenly he squatted down beside Arthur.

“Weve got to talk,” he said urgently.

“Fine,” said Arthur, “talk.”

“And drink,” said Ford. “Its vitally important that we talk and drink. Now. Well go to the pub in the village.”

He looked into the sky again, nervous, expectant.

“Look, dont you understand?” shouted Arthur. He pointed at Prosser. “That man wants to knock my house down!”

Ford glanced at him, puzzled.

“Well, he can do it while youre away, cant he?” he asked.

“But I dont want him to!”

“Ah.”

“Look, whats the matter with you, Ford?” said Arthur.

“Nothing. Nothings the matter. Listen to me—Ive got to tell you the most important thing youve ever heard. Ive got to tell you now, and Ive got to tell you in the saloon bar of the Horse and Groom.”

“But why?”

“Because youre going to need a very stiff drink.”

Ford stared at Arthur, and Arthur was astonished to find his will beginning to weaken. He didnt realize that this was because of an old drinking game that Ford learned to play in the hyperspace ports that served the madranite mining belts in the star system of Orion Beta.

The game was not unlike the Earth game called Indian wrestling, and was played like this:

Two contestants would sit either side of a table, with a glass in front of each of them.

Between them would be placed a bottle of Janx Spirit (as immortalized in that ancient Orion mining song, “Oh, dont give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit/No, dont you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit/For my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die/Wont you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit”).

Each of the two contestants would then concentrate their will on the bottle and attempt to tip it and pour spirit into the glass of his opponent, who would then have to drink it.

The bottle would then be refilled. The game would be played again. And again.

Once you started to lose you would probably keep losing, because one of the effects of Janx Spirit is to depress telepsychic power.

As soon as a predetermined quantity had been consumed, the final loser would have to perform a forfeit, which was usually obscenely biological.

Ford Prefect usually played to lose.

*  *  *

Ford stared at Arthur, who began to think that perhaps he did want to go to the Horse and Groom after all.

“But what about my house . . . ?” he asked plaintively.

Ford looked across to Mr. Prosser, and suddenly a wicked thought struck him.

“He wants to knock your house down?”

“Yes, he wants to build . . .”

“And he cant because youre lying in front of his bulldozer?”

“Yes, and . . .”

“Im sure we can come to some arrangement,” said Ford. “Excuse me!” he shouted.

Mr. Prosser (who was arguing with a spokesman for the bulldozer drivers about whether or not Arthur Dent constituted a mental health hazard, and how much they should get paid if he did) looked around. He was surprised and slightly alarmed to see that Arthur had company.

“Yes? Hello?” he called. “Has Mr. Dent come to his senses yet?”

“Can we for the moment,” called Ford, “assume that he hasnt?”

“Well?” sighed Mr. Prosser.

“And can we also assume,” said Ford, “that hes going to be staying here all day?”

“So?”

“So all your men are going to be standing around all day doing nothing?”

“Could be, could be . . .”

“Well, if youre resigned to doing that anyway, you dont actually need him to lie here all the time do you?”

“What?”

“You dont,” said Ford patiently, “actually need him here.”

Mr. Prosser thought about this.

“Well, no, not as such . . .” he said, “not exactly need . . .”

Prosser was worried. He thought that one of them wasnt making a lot of sense.

Ford said, “So if you would just like to take it as read that hes actually here, then he and I could slip off down to the pub for half an hour. How does that sound?”

Mr. Prosser thought it sounded perfectly potty.

“That sounds perfectly reasonable . . .” he said in a reassuring tone of voice, wondering who he was trying to reassure.

“And if you want to pop off for a quick one yourself later on,” said Ford, “we can always cover for you in return.”

“Thank you very much,” said Mr. Prosser, who no longer knew how to play this at all, “thank you very much, yes, thats very kind . . ” He frowned, then smiled, then tried to do both at once, failed, grasped hold of his fur hat and rolled it fitfully round the top of his head. He could only assume that he had just won.

“So,” continued Ford Prefect, “if you would just like to come over here and lie down . . .”

“What?” said Mr. Prosser.

“Ah, Im sorry,” said Ford, “perhaps I hadnt made myself fully clear. Somebodys got to lie in front of the bulldozers, havent they? Or there wont be anything to stop them driving into Mr. Dents house, will there?”

“What?” said Mr. Prosser again.

“Its very simple,” said Ford, “my client, Mr. Dent, says that he will stop lying here in the mud on the sole condition that you come and take over from him.”

“What are you talking about?” said Arthur, but Ford nudged him with his shoe to be quiet.

“You want me,” said Prosser, spelling out this new thought to himself, “to come and lie there . . .”

“Yes.”

“In front of the bulldozer?”

“Yes.”

“Instead of Mr. Dent.”

“Yes.”

“In the mud.”

“In, as you say, the mud.”

As soon as Mr. Prosser realized that he was substantially the loser after all, it was as if a weight lifted itself off his shoulders: this was more like the world as he knew it. He sighed.

“In return for which you will take Mr. Dent with you down to the pub?”

“Thats it,” said Ford, “thats it exactly.”

Mr. Prosser took a few nervous steps forward and stopped.

“Promise?” he said.

“Promise,” said Ford. He turned to Arthur.

“Come on,” he said to him, “get up and let the man lie down.”

Arthur stood up, feeling as if he was in a dream.

Ford beckoned to Prosser, who sadly, awkwardly, sat down in the mud. He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. The mud folded itself round his bottom and his arms and oozed into his shoes.

Ford looked at him severely.

“And no sneaky knocking Mr. Dents house down while hes away, all right?” he said.

“The mere thought,” growled Mr. Prosser, “hadnt even begun to speculate,” he continued, settling himself back, “about the merest possibility of crossing my mind.”

He saw the bulldozer drivers union representative approaching and let his head sink back and closed his eyes. He was trying to marshal his arguments for proving that he did not now constitute a mental health hazard himself. He was far from certain about this—his mind seemed to be full of noise, horses, smoke and the stench of blood. This always happened when he felt miserable or put upon, and he had never been able to explain it to himself. In a high dimension of which we know nothing, the mighty Khan bellowed with rage, but Mr. Prosser only trembled slightly and whimpered. He began to feel little pricks of water behind his eyelids. Bureaucratic cock-ups, angry men lying in mud, indecipherable strangers handing out inexplicable humiliation and an unidentified army of horsemen laughing at him in his head—what a day.

What a day. Ford Prefect knew that it didnt matter a pair of dingos kidneys whether Arthurs house got knocked down or not now.

Arthur remained very worried.

“But can we trust him?” he said.

“Myself Id trust him to the end of the Earth,” said Ford.

“Oh yes,” said Arthur, “and how fars that?”

“About twelve minutes away,” said Ford, “come on, I need a drink.”

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Amy Wachsmuth, December 6, 2013 (view all comments by Amy Wachsmuth)
With my usual dubious feeling towards all things revered I cracked the cover. After reading the opening page, all my doubts vaporized, and soon afterwards so did our planet--in the story...

Arthur Dent is a normal English Joe, who fancies a cup of tea in the morning and a pint in the afternoon. He is dragged away from his house, which is about to be bulldozed to make room for a highway interchange, by his friend, Ford Prefect.

Ford is a galactic hitchhiking alien who's been stranded on Earth for the last fifteen years, while doing research for the title book, “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Ford could care less about Arthur's house, as he's just intercepted a signal from a Vogon Constructor Ship, which he knows are tasked with destroying planets to clear a routes for new hyper-spatial expressways. Progress, you know. He's brought Arthur to the pub in attempt to tank him up to ease the inherent discomfort of riding in a matter transference beam.

Ford and Arthur stowaway on the Vogon ship, and therein begins the adventure in which they learn the origins of our planet, for whom it was created, and why. Along the way we meet the two headed, AWOL, galactic president/hippie, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillium, who is the other remaining earthling, and a manically depressed robot named Marvin.

And then there's The Guide, with a cover stating, "DON'T PANIC", and subjects illuminating readers on nearly infinite topics, including the necessity for hitchhikers to possess a clean towel at all times.


The author, Douglas Adams, takes gorgeous colors from physics, math, social parallels, humor, and pure originality, and swirls them in a bucket of flippant genius; then he crunches up a spaceship and dips it in. Shaking it out, and hung on the line to dry is this book.

The product is slightly psychedelic, loaded with wildly imaginative ideas that swirl before our mind's eyes before shifting into something else fascinating and original. For example, the guide informs us that the “..beautiful planet Bethselamin is now so worried about cumulative erosion by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory it is vitally important to get a receipt.” Or the improbable inventor of the golden Infinite Improbability generator, “which could generate the infinite improbability field needed to flip a spaceship across the mind-paralyzing distances between the farthest stars” without all that “tedious mucking about in hyperspace”, who was a student rather than a self-exalted physicist. He ended up being lynched by an angry mob of physicists who just can't stand a smart ass.

With all these potential story threads flying around, there's me wondering what to make of it, and hoping he'll go in deep with one or two of my favorites. Then the book ends when the characters decide it's time for lunch.

Just like that.

Huh? Wha? You mean this isn't going to go on until every original idea is put in a mortar and ground into dust by a pestle wielding author? You want me to think about these things, and make what I will of them? How weird. How lovely. How trippy. Wheee!

I’m in! Just let me go pack my towel.
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Meg Chapple, January 22, 2012 (view all comments by Meg Chapple)
I was a latecomer to the Hitchhiker's series, but was instantly a fan. Douglas Adams' humor is simply genius. The premise and characters are delightful and the plot is a ton of fun, but the real treasures are in Adams' absolutely hilarious anecdotes about the other inhabitants of the universe. It is easy to see how these books are classics in humorous literature, and are a must read for anyone capable of enjoying a book. They are fortunately appropriate for readers of all ages and backgrounds and the humor is extremely accessible. I hadn't imagined literature could be slapstick, but Adams is even able to pull that off and make it look easy. If you know someone who hasn't read them, they also make a great gift--guaranteed to delight. And while Adams' other books are also wonderful, this is his work at his best. I have not completed the series yet, but the several books in it that I have read are as wonderful to read as the first.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
amwager, April 5, 2008 (view all comments by amwager)
This is the greatest book ever!!! Its only fault is that its over before you know it. Read this book, and when you're done, read it again!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345391803
Author:
Adams, Douglas
Publisher:
Del Rey
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Humorous Stories
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Science Fiction - Series
Subject:
Science Fiction - Adventure
Subject:
Prefect, Ford (Fictitious character)
Subject:
Dent, Arthur (Fictitious character) -- Fiction.
Subject:
Prefect, Ford
Subject:
Dent, Arthur
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Adventure
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Jacob Wonderbar
Publication Date:
19950931
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 6
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
6.97x4.22x.61 in. .25 lbs.
Age Level:
from 9 up to 11

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Adventure

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Used Mass Market
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$5.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Del Rey - English 9780345391803 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Forty-two. Now read this classic to see what we're talking about. Sort of. It's pretty complicated — you better read the book. Bring a towel.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This is the book that reveals the answer to life, the universe, and everything; teaches the importance of knowing where your towel is; tells why it is vitally important to get a receipt when you visit the lavatory on the planet Bethselamin; and disproves the existence of God by proving he exists (with the help of a fish). It is filled with sentences like, "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." It is the perfect book if you want to startle everyone around you by constantly breaking out in uncontrollable laughter.

"Review" by , "Irresistable!"
"Review" by , "A whimsical odyssey...Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy."
"Review" by , "The feckless protagonist, Arthur Dent, is reminiscent of Vonnegut heroes, and his travels afford a wild satire of present institutions."
"Review" by , "Very simply, the book is one of the funniest SF spoofs ever written, with hyperbolic ideas folding in on themselves."
"Review" by , "As parody, it's marvelous: It contains just about every science fiction cliche you can think of. As humor, it's, well, hysterical."
"Review" by , "Adams is one of those rare treasures: an author who, one senses, has as much fun writing as one has reading."
"Synopsis" by , Just before the Earth is demolished, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect.
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