Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Now there's some sound advice. And in such friendly letters too...
A radio show broadcast in 1978 on BBC Radio 4, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy was transferred to the written form by its original creator and writer, Douglas Adams. This book found even more fans than the radio show. Spawning 5 sequels, a TV series in the 80s and a film released in 2005, HHGTTG has become a cornerstone in both sci-fi and comedy writing. Sadly, not all people agree. Even more sadly, some people disagree badly...:
I guess I'm just old fashioned: But I prefer a good old SF classic based on a beleivable storyline: Like The Triffids (How is that 'believable'?) or The Trouble with Litchen or The Cephae (I understand that the author of The Trouble With Cephae shares the same surname and initial as the author of this review. Coincidence...?) or even Oryx and Crake. I had been recommended the Hitchhikers by several 'intelligent' friends (Are the inverted commas suggesting that, because they liked this book, they are no longer to be considered intelligent?) but after reading a couple of chapters I found that the story, like other fantasy (Sci-fi and fantasy are different. For example: Ringworld is SF, Lord of the Rings is fantasy), just did not hold my attention, so I dropped it into our local charity shop. Sorry Douglas, I tried, but this one's not for me. (You do realise that this book is a comedy right? A believable story is somewhat unnecessary for this book. Besides, it's not impossible that it could happen. Unlikely, sure, but not impossible. Please learn that humourous books need not be completely sensible. In fact, their lack of sensibleness is often why they are funny to start with...)
Here we have some American's views on this incredibly British book. This was never going to go well was it?:
I think that this book was one of the oddest I have ever read (Well, it's not a by-the-numbers thriller certainly). I really found no joy in reading it (God you're a depressing old cretin aren't you? No joy? You have issues mate) and didn1t see the point of the story line (What the fuck? If you're going to be like that, then what's the point in any storyline?). If I had known that this book was so absurd I wouldn1t have read it (Do you not have book reviews in America? Surely you could have checked this out before buying it?). While reading it I had to struggle to comprehend the characters1 bizarre surroundings and conflicts (It's not a tricky book to follow. It gets a bit more complicated in the sequels but this one is pretty straight forward). If I had to give this book a rating I1d give it one out of five stars (Well, you did have to because you decided to write this review didn't you.). I give it one star because there were some rare funny parts in the book (The pot plant had better be included in those 'rare funny parts' or I'm going to castrate you.). These parts really didn1t pertain to the book at all though. (Well they kind of did. And even the ones that seem unlinked are often referenced in the later novels in the series)
And here's another:
Not the kind of book to read if you are into thoughtful S.F like Frank Herbert or Asimov (I've never read Herbert, but I do very much like Asimov, so that's your argument derailed already...). The only good thing I can say the author is totally original (Well we agree here I suppose) and there is now way someone can figure the story line (Actually, I understood it fine when I first read it as a 13 year old...)(there isn't one (Actually there is a storyline. You may not feel it is a good one, but it definitely exists...)), every page is a surprise. (What does this mean? Is it bad that you couldn't tell what was going to happen next? Because that sounds good to me...)
And one more:
I do not understand why people love this book (Because it's funny and well written?). Or why they think it's funny (People have different ideas of funny you know. You don't have ultimate power over what is and is not funny...). It's just so boring (HHGTTG may be many things, but boring is not one of them). There's no plot, there's no character development, and the characters are one-dimensional anyway (Actually, while admittedly limited, there is character development, especially of Arthur. And the other charges are even more ridiculous.).
The entire story can be summed up in one sentence: The Earth is destroyed, and Arthur is saved by Ford Prefect, who is an alien researching Earth. (That's not the entire story. And anyway, almost anything is that simplistic when you boil it down to one sentence)
Woo, what an exciting plot. Honestly, I'd rather be on the Earth when it was destroyed than go on this boring adventure. (I can arrange for the bit of the Earth you're standing on to explode if you'd like...)
However, it's obviously a cult classic (Cult classic would suggest that its enjoyed by a small number of people, when in actual fact its enjoyed by most), and I guess it's just one of those books that everyone must read at least once in their lifetime. And finally I've been able to understand a lot of sayings and jokes that I've been hearing for all these years and not knowing where they came from. :) (As you're an Aussie, and I've just been listening to your team being hammered in the cricket, I can't resist but say - you got owned!)
Sorry, but I don't know any Aussies to mock, so I had to find someone...

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