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Hitchhiker Guide to Galaxy a let down...?Follow

#1 Apr 09 2004 at 12:48 PM Rating: Decent
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I've finally gotten around to reading the book and well... I'm really disapointed. :(

It's not really funny... I see the jokes, they just don't tickle my funny bone... Like watching a bad stand up comic.

It doesn't seem to be going anywhere, there's no real tension and it is just so silly that at some point you'd wish for it to be more coherent and serious...

It's fun to see all those famous quotes tho, and see what context they were said in, but that's it.

Maybe I just don't get it.
#2 Apr 09 2004 at 1:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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You just don't get it. Might I suggest reading the boston municipal yellow pages, or maybe Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace? those might be more up your ally.
#3 Apr 09 2004 at 1:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Not all things for all people, I suspect. If it makes you feel better, I used to hear people rave about Terry Prachett. Finally, after years of it, I borrowed a Prachett book from my girlfriend at the time. I got about two chapters in before quitting. Ironically, I described it as someone "trying to write like Douglas Adams and failing at it."

Not that I expect you to throw away good money after bad, but in some ways I preferred Adams' Dirk Gently books to the Guide series. They have the same basic style of writing, but each of the two books is self contained, they seem to have a more "stable" plot and come together at the end more cleanly and without as many throw-away bits. If you have a library card and a semi-decent library, check one out.
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#4 Apr 19 2004 at 9:10 AM Rating: Decent
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Hey, don't knock the yellow pages man! :p

Regarding the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy, maybe I just had my hope set to high.

While I didn't find the books particulary entertaining while reading it, a lot of the concept have stuck with me and I've found myself enjoying discussion about the books (and not bashing it) or just quoting it.

Odd thing that.

Edit: Spelling mistakes.

Edited, Mon Apr 19 13:00:43 2004 by Tyrandor
#5 Apr 19 2004 at 11:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Regarding the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy, maybe I just had my hope set to high.


That happens often to me when I've heard a lot about a book or author. I can echoes Jophiel's feelings about Pratchett as well. A friend raved about him until I finally read a couple of his books and I was completely underwhelmed.

Just chalk it up to a matter of taste.
#6 May 16 2004 at 9:54 AM Rating: Good
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Another stand-alone book of Adams is Starship Titanic that you can also check out. I haven't read any of the Dirk books, so I can't comment on them.
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#7 May 27 2004 at 1:18 PM Rating: Decent
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While the Hitchhiker's Guide series are my favorite books, the Dirk Gently series is fantastic as well. I guess you just have to like that sort of humour... I'd like to recommend Dirk Gently but you might find it the same kind of deal.
Starship Titanic was pretty good, although it didn't have the same appeal to me that the others did. A note about that though, it was actually written by Terry Jones.
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#8 May 27 2004 at 7:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Alternatively, you can read a collection of his humorous and mostly unpublished short stories and essays in "The Salmon of Doubt".

The non-fiction work about endangered species "Last Chance to See" is also enjoyable.

I have found both of these enjoyable enough to read a second time through.
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#9 May 28 2004 at 8:57 AM Rating: Decent
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The salmon of doubt is great, but only if your'e a fan. Luckily he happens to be my favorite author so...
Last chance to see is good too, a different style but good nonetheless.
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#10 Jun 16 2004 at 8:03 PM Rating: Decent
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The Hitchiker's Guide: I recall so vividly picking it up for the first time. We were playing a computer game, the three of us, in my friend's room. It was Empire, the turn based PC version probably written in the late 1980's. Anyhow, the book was so funny I could hardly put it down to take my turn. I think I was loosing, badly, but it didnt matter in Empire because it took so long to play it was inconcievable that anyone would actually bother to finish it.

But it is either your kind of comedy or it isn't. I would be hard pressed to find a funnier book. Perhaps Catch-22?
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#11 Jun 18 2004 at 3:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Was Empire the one where you'd be doing great, having lots of windmills and shipyards and a grand army of knights...

...then the game would arbitrarily decide you died during a fox hunt?

That game sucked.
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#12 Jun 18 2004 at 4:42 PM Rating: Decent
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I loved Hitchhikers Guide but it is British hummor so if you dont like that kind of hummor you probably wont like this book.

Now i liked the first 3 Hitchhikers books but the 4th and 5th book seem really weird and not even attached to the series i followed the first three and they seemed to follow each other very well the 4th seems to start at a totally diffrent place and the 5th seems completely out there. The titles are creative but he shoulda just stuck with it being a trilogy.
#13 Jun 20 2004 at 11:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Ahhh... Hitchhiker's Guide.... how I love those books... (Got the big The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide myself.) As for me, the reason I love Douglas Adams' writing in those stories is because, very often, it doesn't make a lot of sense and stuff just seems to be thrown into the plotline for the heck of it. Nevermind the fact that almost every third sentence can make a great quote.

"The point is that I am now a perfectly safe penguin, and my colleague here is rapidly running out of limbs!"

Of course, one of my very favorite chapters in all of the books was the one on Sqornshellous Zeta with Marvin and the mattress named Zem. Love, love these books! ^_^
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#14 Jun 21 2004 at 9:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Now i liked the first 3 Hitchhikers books but the 4th and 5th book seem really weird and not even attached to the series i followed the first three and they seemed to follow each other very well the 4th seems to start at a totally diffrent place and the 5th seems completely out there. The titles are creative but he shoulda just stuck with it being a trilogy.


I see what you're saying, but the 4th and 5th books are what makes that such a complete series for me. It takes the time to develop the characters, so it's not all just comedy from front to back. With the development of the relationships done in the last 2 books it actually makes me sad to finish mostly harmless.

...maybe it just makes me sad because I'm delusional though.
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#15 Jun 24 2004 at 8:04 AM Rating: Decent
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THe thing that I hate about this series is that he was just getting round to writing a sixth book before he died.
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#16 Aug 12 2004 at 5:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Was Empire the one where you'd be doing great, having lots of windmills and shipyards and a grand army of knights...

...then the game would arbitrarily decide you died during a fox hunt?

That game sucked.


Hi Joe, no this was the UNIX classic with little armys, planes, ships and cities. Essentialy discover and take over the world with WWII technology. Yes, it is totally illogical. You start with one city on a map perhaps 1000x1000 grid squares in size. each square holds one icon, except cities which can hold extra and aircraft carriers.

You could play over a network or "hot seat" one terminal (or PC it was ported to Apple II and IBM compatable in the 8088 era). We were hot seating one IBM at the time. After perhaps 3 hours none of us saw each other or fought anything except unoccupied cities since army's only move one square at a time and turns do take a bit of time to think about. Honestly, the time scale involved for some of these games was collosal, but you could play over the network on campus for free so much fun was had, albiet very, very slowly.

We never finished games, just surrendered when one guy's turn started taking 10 times longer then the next person's and he was automating everything he could (e.g. he had sooooo many more troops to move it was just obvious we were all doomed then we would confess our city totals and it would be like 22 to 6 to 5 and the person with 22 was just so far ahead it was insane.)

Acutally, I don't know the game to which you were referring.
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#17 Sep 03 2004 at 8:38 PM Rating: Decent
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It's definitely my kind of humor. About time to read it again.
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#18 Apr 19 2005 at 11:37 AM Rating: Decent
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Poor Douglas. I actually got his last Hitchhiker book, Mostly Harmless, signed by him on my birthday. Put a "42" stamp on it as well. Weird thing to be doing on one's birthday, true, but it makes for a decent story now :-)

I think Douglas was depressed those last few years. He felt a lot like a fraud and that he wasn't the "great writer" people thought he was. He let the characters "die" (or did they?) at the end because he was sick of them and how the plot was going nowhere. He'd already destroyed the universe, found out the meaning (and question) to life, and God's last message... what else was left?

That is why I prefer Pratchett. He doesn't dwell in depression, he satires a great deal of things, he doesn't hate his main characters, and his books have happier endings.

But that's just me.
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#20 Apr 20 2005 at 11:03 AM Rating: Excellent
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Don't recall the title but it was set in faux-Australia.
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#22 Apr 20 2005 at 12:48 PM Rating: Decent
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I enjoyed the first book, but I never did finish the four other books.

The book is staring to me on the shelf though, most likely I will try and finish it completely. It's a peculiar style of humour though, some would say that it is typically British and it could very well be. But often it is too repetitive and I can't consume too much of it in a short time.

Mind you, it is often the little things that you will remember for a while to come :). I'm still wondering if I'm bringing a towel to the movie when it is released or not, if the theater will even allow it lol.
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#23 Aug 16 2005 at 1:39 AM Rating: Decent
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I worded this horribly, just want to edit it (What? A month later maybe..) and say that it was 2 at night <_<

Not in the mood to retype it, but in short: The last 2 books sucked.

Edited, Fri Oct 14 19:10:32 2005 by Laktor
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#24 Sep 10 2005 at 2:29 PM Rating: Decent
I remember listening to HGTTG on the radio, Douglas Adams wrote it originally as a radio series and it was really funny at first.

The wise old bird and the statue of Arthur Dent were a fun part of the story. But after a time it lost its way, as the BBC demanded the scripts be delivered faster and faster.

I found that the books were fine at the start. But then he lost his way and it seemed to be a hacks work.

I met him once after a signing and had a drink with him. He was a really nice guy to chat to but he seemed a little bemused by the success of the whole Hitchhiker thing.

The film deal was talked about over many years but no one took it on until Disney got hold of the script. They ruined the story line, they missed sections out that were integral parts of the plot. Then to add insult to injury they added a load of stuff that was just pointless garbage.

If they had done a follow up with a new story line, it may have been acceptable, but the hash up they made was in my opinion, terrible.

I have been told the Douglas Adams walked out of the studios after a disagrement over the way that Disney were doing a hatchet job on his script. Having seen the film I can understand why.

And finally, the only decent actor in the whole film was Marvin and even he wasn't a patch on the original Marvin from the BBC Radio and TV series, with a pain in the diodes etc.

Yes, it's British humour, but please don't say the people in the USA don't understand it, just go on to WoW and type in "We are the Knights who say Ni" and see how many people come back with a follow up :-)
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