The first in Douglas Adams’ hilarious series, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy follows Arthur Dent’s adventures through space (and occasionally time) with his friend, Ford Prefect, and his towel… naturally.
Arthur’s biggest concern is that his home is about to be demolished and a freeway built in its place. But when he learns that the entire planet is also about to be destroyed to make way for a much bigger, galactic freeway Arthur begins to realize that there's a whole universe issues at hand. After being swept away from utter destruction by his pal Ford, Arthur's adventuresfinally begin.
Full of witty dialog and comedic irony, these books are reminiscent of Monty Python, Mr. Bean, and other popular British sitcoms. This book (and its follow-ups) are cleverly written and full of unusual and interesting characters, such as Marvin (a brilliant, but deeply depressed robot), Zaphod Beeblebrox (the two two-headed, three-armed, possibly insane president of the galaxy), and Veet Voojagig (a man obsessed with the disappearance of all his ballpoint pens).
I picked up this book at an airport bookstore years ago and by the time we landed I rushed out to buy the next two! This series is superbly written and utterly addicting. It had me shaking with giggles and snorting with suppressed laughter next to a number of marginally concerned airline row-mates.
If you love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, then be sure to pick up the next book in series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (hint: that’s not a reference to distance, but to time). Or if you prefer fantasy over science fiction, try out Terry Pratchett’s Disc World Series with The Color of Magic. These witty reads and more are available at the Virginia Beach Public Library.