Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy series

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Douglas Adams

GENRES:
SciFi, Humor, Satire

SUMMARY:
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy kicks off by introducing Arthur Dent, an everyday guy about to get the ride of his life through one of the most irreverent series ever written. It turns out that Earth is right in the middle of the new intergalactic highway planned for construction. No problem. Earth just needs to be blown up. Fortunately, our hero Arthur is saved just in time by his alien friend Ford Prefect who proceeds to introduce Arthur to the twisted wonders of the universe. The mere fact that Arthur does not believe in aliens or intergalactic highways is not enough to deter his friend.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe continues Arthur's adventures with Ford as they travel with an assortment of odd characters to the end of the universe (not what you think) to discover the real truth behind earth's existence.

Life, the Universe, and Everything reveals the answer to the meaning of life. Unfortunately, no one knows what the question is. In this installment Arthur and his buddies go on a quest to save the entire universe from oblivion.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish finds Arthur stuck in a primitive Earth where he finds apes, true love and "God's final message to his Creation".

Mostly Harmless continues Arthur's search for a home, preferably Earth. Instead he discovers his estranged daughter who is on a mission of her own.

RESPONSE:
I have yet to meet someone who does not like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is a hilarious romp through the warped galaxy of Adams' imagination. Nothing is sacred in this series; he mocks both evolution and creation, man and machine, and writer and reader.

Arthur Dent makes an endearingly grumpy hero. He seems a bit dense at times, but to be honest, I can't say that I would be much brighter if I were in his shoes. Arthur is a perfect character to accent human follies and faults.

Ford Prefect is a lovable laidback alien. He knows a lot, but fails to realize-- or care-- that his friend doesn't. I guess if I had to be stuck on lengthy adventures across the galaxy, Ford probably wouldn't be my ideal tour guide. But he sure is damn amusing.

The series as a whole generally gets less in-your-face funny as it progresses, and the last two books in the series are mostly deadpan satire. The first couple books, however, are pretty hysterical with one-liners, analogies, and absurdities that will keep anyone entertained.

The series is best read in order.

POINT BLANK:
Read at least the first book. Like the whole series, it's fast and fun and won't let you down. Because of the many many many tangents throughout the novels and the quick pace of the action, certain people have recommended this as great bathroom reading for when you have a spare 5 minutes with nothing to do (well, almost nothing...).