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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series, Book 1
"Extremely funny . . . inspired lunacy . . . [and] over much too soon."—The Washington Post Book World
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!
Praise for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"A whimsical oddyssey . . . Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy."Publishers Weekly
"Irresistable!"The Boston Globe
"Extremely funny . . . inspired lunacy . . . [and] over much too soon."—The Washington Post Book World
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!
Praise for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"A whimsical oddyssey . . . Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy."Publishers Weekly
"Irresistable!"The Boston Globe
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  • Text Difficulty:
    9 - 12

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Excerpts-
  • From the book


    Chapter One


     The house stood on a slight rise just on the edge of the

    village. It stood on its own and looked out over a broad

    spread of West Country farmland. Not a remarkable house

    by any means—it was about thirty years old, squattish, squarish, made of brick, and had four windows set in the front of a size and proportion which more or less exactly failed to please the eye.

    The only person for whom the house was in any way special was Arthur Dent, and that was only because it happened to be the one he lived in. He had lived in it for about three years, ever since he had moved out of London because it made him nervous and irritable. He was about thirty as well, tall, dark-haired and never quite at ease with himself. The thing that used to worry him most was the fact that people always used to ask him what he was looking so worried about. He worked in local radio which he always used to tell his friends was a lot more interesting than they probably thought. It was, too—most of his friends worked in advertising.

    On Wednesday night it had rained very heavily, the lane was wet and muddy, but the Thursday morning sun was bright and clear as it shone on Arthur Dent’s house for what was to be the last time.

    It hadn’t properly registered yet with Arthur that the council wanted to knock it down and build a bypass instead.

    *  *  *

    At eight o’clock on Thursday morning Arthur didn’t feel very good. He woke up blearily, got up, wandered blearily round his room, opened a window, saw a bulldozer, found his slippers, and stomped off to the bathroom to wash.

    Toothpaste on the brush—so. Scrub.

    Shaving mirror—pointing at the ceiling. He adjusted it. For a moment it reflected a second bulldozer through the bathroom window. Properly adjusted, it reflected Arthur Dent’s bristles. He shaved them off, washed, dried and stomped off to the kitchen to find something pleasant to put in his mouth.

    Kettle, plug, fridge, milk, coffee. Yawn.

    The word bulldozer wandered through his mind for a moment in search of something to connect with.

    The bulldozer outside the kitchen window was quite a big one.

    He stared at it.

    “Yellow,” he thought, and stomped off back to his bedroom to get dressed.

    Passing the bathroom he stopped to drink a large glass of water, and another. He began to suspect that he was hung over. Why was he hung over? Had he been drinking the night be- fore? He supposed that he must have been. He caught a glint in the shaving mirror. “Yellow,” he thought, and stomped on to the bedroom.

    He stood and thought. The pub, he thought. Oh dear, the pub. He vaguely remembered being angry, angry about something that seemed important. He’d been telling people about it, telling people about it at great length, he rather suspected: his clearest visual recollection was of glazed looks on other people’s faces. Something about a new bypass he’d just found out about. It had been in the pipeline for months only no one seemed to have known about it. Ridiculous. He took a swig of water. It would sort itself out, he’d decided, no one wanted a bypass, the council didn’t have a leg to stand on. It would sort itself out.

    God, what a terrible hangover it had earned him though. He looked at himself in the wardrobe mirror. He stuck out his tongue. “Yellow,” he thought. The word yellow wandered through his mind in search of something to connect with.

    Fifteen seconds later he was out of the house and lying in front of a big yellow bulldozer...
About the Author-
  • Douglas Adams died in May 2001 at the age of 49. He was the author of five books in the Hitchhiker's Trilogy, including The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; and Mostly Harmless. His other works include Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency; The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul; The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff (with John Lloyd); and Last Chance to See (with Mark Carwardine). His last book was the bestselling collection, The Salmon of Doubt, published posthumously in May 2002.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Moments before Earth is destroyed, Ford Prefect, an alien who's been incognito for 15 years while researching a newer edition of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, rescues his friend, Arthur Dent. The two stow away on a passing spaceship, and their adventures begin. Ford and Arthur encounter ex-hippie Galaxy President Zaphod Beeblebrox; Marvin, the morose robot; and a slew of otherworldly weirdos populating Douglas Adams's cult classic. Stephen Fry's performance is priceless as the interstellar travelers tumble from one near disaster to another. His voice shifts are inspired bits, half schtick, half nonsense. Without editorial comment, Fry injects just the right touches of irony into Adams's cheeky, always hilarious social satire. This is sure to please fans of Spider Robinson's THE CALLAHAN CHRONICLES and Terry Pratchett's DISCWORLD series. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine It's been more than a quarter century since Douglas Adams's original radio series was first broadcast. In the able hands of director Dirk Maggs, Adams's third novel about Arthur Dent, Life, the Universe, and Everything, has been adapted as a radio drama and brought to life with most of the original cast from the first two series. Simon Jones reprises his role as the chronically disgruntled Arthur Dent, an earthman cast about in time and space when the earth is destroyed. Geoffrey McGivern is back as the easy-going Ford Prefect, and Mark Wing-Davey is the two-headed hipster, Zaphod Beeblebrox. Fans will be pleased by the return of Susan Sheridan as Trillian, who was conspicuously absent from the second series. Even Douglas Adams, who passed away in 2001, makes an appearance as the continuously reincarnated Agrajag. Through the wonders of digital sound editing, dialogue from an audiobook version of LIFE, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING read by Adams was seamlessly spliced in, along with Simon Jones reading Arthur Dent's parts. Roger Gregg of Crazy Dog Audio Theatre plays Eddie the Shipboard Computer, giving a cheerful counterpoint to Stephen Moore's hilariously depressing Marvin the Paranoid Android. All in all, a delightfully manic treat. S.E.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2006 Audie Award Winner (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
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