The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Paperback)

Author: Adams, Douglas

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Product Overview

Originally published: New York: Harmony Books, 1980.


Publisher Random House
Mfg Part# 9780345391803
SKU 30049844
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0345391802
Release Date 11/1/1995
Dimensions (in Inches) 6.75H x 4.25L x 0.75T
Author Info
Douglas Adams
The award-winning author of the definitive guide to slogging around in outer space, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, was born and raised in Cambridge, England. While studying English at St. John's College, Cambridge, Adams began to write, perform in, and direct stage plays. Through this experience he got a job as a script supervisor on the influential cult TV show, DR. WHO--Adams also said that he worked as everything from a chicken shed cleaner to a bodyguard. In 1978 he wrote what many still consider his best work, the science fictional satire that became the original BBC radio series, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE....The record album of that first series, as well as the second series, won awards from the British Science Fiction Association in 1979, 1980, and 1981. Following THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE... radio series, Adams adapted his scripts and produced the first novel of what was originally intended as a trilogy, though it eventually stretched to five novels and a short story. With the publication of the fourth book in the "trilogy," and with his subject matter becoming simultaneously more environmentally aware and much darker in tone, Adams arrived at two important themes of his later work--ecological concern and a more pervasive sense of pessimism. He explores the first theme in his non-fiction account--co-written with Mark Carwardine--of traveling to see the last surviving members of various endangered animal species around the world. The second theme, addressed in the Dirk Gently series, delved more fully into the defects of the human condition, although a sense of comedy remained. Adams returned to finish up the Hitchhiker trilogy with a final, fifth volume. Following that, Adams, a longtime fan of Macintosh computers, developed several CD-ROM games, based both on his own published novels and on original ideas--one of the latter, STARSHIP TITANIC, was novelized by Adams's friend, Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones. Adams married Jane Belson on November 25, 1991 and the couple had a daughter, Polly Jane--nicknamed "Rocket"--on June 22, 1994. He died of a heart attack on May 11, 2001, only two days after Asteroid 18610 (which had been discovered in 1998) was officially named Arthurdent, in honor of the main character in THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY.
"[T]he novel...remains, without a doubt, the most cheerful book about the total destruction of Earth and its entire population minus one ever written."
From the Publisher
Editors Note Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from "The Hitchhiker's Guide" ('A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have') and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!
Editors Note 1 Just before the Earth is demolished, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect.
First Line "Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea."
Annotation THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY is not just a book--it's a phenomenon. It's based on a BBC radio series that also spawned four other books, a TV series, a 2005 film, a text-based computer adventure game, and a website. As the story begins, Arthur Dent is having a bad day. First, the town council knocked his house down to build a local bypass. Then a fleet of alien spaceships blew up his planet to make way for an intragalactic bypass. Can things get any worse? Possibly. Having been rescued from the Earth's destruction by his friend Ford Prefect, Arthur embarks upon a hectic, hysterically funny adventure that includes torturously bad poetry, a depressed robot, the two-headed President of the Galaxy (currently on the lam), and the legendary planet-building planet of Magrathea. Arthur's only consolation is the wise advice printed on the cover of that classic tome, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: "Don't Panic." HITCHHIKER'S has developed a cult classic status that extends beyond SF fans, and people enjoy swapping quotes from it in much the same way that they exchange quotes from MONTY PYTHON. Although there is an extensive crop of British writers who write humorous fantasy in much the same vein, such as Terry Pratchett and Tom Holt, no one has quite been able to make the splash in satirical SF that Adams has.
Product Attributes
Book Format Pocketbook
Number of Pages 0224
Publisher Ballantine Books

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