The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This had been on my list for years, but there had always been a more enticing option every time I was in the mood for sci-fi. Here was my chance to finally learn the meaning of life.

1) “People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what’s 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.”

People want the segment AB.

2) “Ford pressed a large red button at the bottom of the screen and words began to undulate across it. At the same time, the book began to speak the entry as well in a still, quiet, measure voice.

This hitchhiker’s guide is basically the Pokedex right?

3) “The argument goes something like this: ‘I refuse to prove that I exist, for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'” – God

Faith is belief in the absence of proof.

4) “‘I don’t want to die now! I’ve still got a headache! I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache, I’d be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it.'” – Arthur

TFW you feel a headache coming and you know your day will be ruined.

5) “It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.”

Can we talk about the automated toilets that flush when you even remotely shift your weight?

6) “‘What the photon is it?'” – Zaphod

Corny but I lol’ed.

7) “‘The recession came and we decided it would save a lot of bother if we just slept through it. So we programmed the computers to revive us when it was all over.'” – the old man

I wish I could have slept through this year.

8) “Science has achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”

I find that I increasingly read fiction books through the lens of current events. My overwhelming conclusion thus far is that there are no new ideas. Humans will be humans.

9) “‘Because there are some things you have to do even if you are an enlightened liberal cop who knows all about sensitivity and everything!'” – the cop

Yet another example.

10) “‘What’s up?’ ‘I don’t know. I’ve never been there.'” – Ford, Marvin

It’s been a good decade since I’ve heard a what’s up joke.

This book started slow but became quite fun, all the way until the abrupt ending. It’s one of those books that you read with a smile on your face. That said, I didn’t get that aha moment, and I’m surprised that it has become the meme of memes. It feels like I missed the cultural moment, and now I’m just reading a short quirky sci-fi story. If not for my expectations for the 42 reveal, I’m not sure the story would have been as engaging. Perhaps I’m too old to get it. This is why I hesitate to re-read my childhood favorites. There are right books for the right moments, and this was not it for me.

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