Title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams
Narrated by: Stephen Fry
Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio
Three Word Description: Hilarious, New Favorite
“Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe.
The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning” four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. “
This audio book was an experience. I have never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and the only thing I really knew of it was the “42” – quote and that it was supposed to be a bit silly. But what I got was the great comedy like that of Monty Python with a parody of philosophy and space and pretty much everything. I loved it.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is the first installment of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy -series about a man who’s adventures through the galaxy begin on a very unfortunate Thursday. First, his house gets demolished for a new freeway. Then, Earth gets demolished for a galactic freeway.
I think this book is amazing as an audio book because of the sheer amount of comedy and silliness, that makes it even funnier when listening to someone narrating it. I found myself snickering several times in the beginning, but the quote above is the one where I just completely lost it. Stephen Fry was a great narrator and I do not doubt that he narrates with the very voice the author had in his head when writing the story.
So Fry was excellent in “voice acting” the different characters. Arthur, the earthman protagonist, was portrayed on spot as someone who’s quite panicked about their planet being destroyed, resolving to “panicked sarcasm”. A very relatable character. Not to mention every other character, from a two-headed extremist hitchhiker (to put it lightly), a depressed robot to a sperm whale and so on.
It’s a short listen (or read) so of course, you don’t expect the plot to drag, but it could have ended up very dull and forgettable. What makes this book so unique and memorable was not just all the weird events, but also the “Lemony Narrator” (from which the trope is named after- you guessed it- Lemony Snicket). A very bizarre and idiosyncratic style of narration from a third person narrator. As for me, it is probably my favorite type of narration as I’m not a big fan of first perspective, but love the little remarks and sarcastic comments on events and people, et cetera. The “Lemony Narrator” makes probably the best type of audio books, as it is like listening to God drunkenly trying to tell you a story of the world he created.
Except for being funny and probably the weirdest and silliest ways possible, it also is actually pretty smart as well. The (in)famous “the ultimate answer and question” part was probably the most hilarious in the book, as it relates to philosophy, a course I’m currently studying. The problem they had with the ultimate answer was so hilarious because it was so true! And not to mention the aggressive philosophers.
But in summary, I loved this audio book and I think everyone should listen to it. Even if you think audio books aren’t for you, this one is definitely worth a try. The comedy of both the events and the narration will keep you hooked, no doubt. I may not do “Star ratings” on a review (as I have great distrust of them after a traumatic experience with a terrible book with 4.2 stars on Goodreads…), but know that I would give this a full 5/5 stars as it is one of my new favorite books. ❤