Have you ever wondered about the existence of it all? Why do we do the things we do? What is life? Is the Galaxy as big as we think it is? Are there creatures like us out there? And if the cosmos is so vast, isn’t it normal for it to be inhabited by more than just planet Earth? I’ve certainly pondered over these deep and complicated thoughts. If you too have, don’t you fret any more because I have found the man who can give you the ultimate answer to the meaning of life, the Universe and everything – Douglas Adams.
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is an electronic book that tells you everything you need to know about anything. A very remarkable book, never been published on Earth and, in fact, never been heard of before the terrible incident involving Arthur Dent. But we’ll get to that later. Anyway ‘The Guide’, as it is most often referred to, is probably the biggest accomplishment of the publishing cooperation of Ursa Minor (which also rings no bell to any of the human inhabitants of the green and blue planet). It is a best seller kicking dirt in the faces of its succors: the most popular titles in the Galaxy such as ‘Fifty-three more things to do in zero gravity’ and the oh-so famous series ‘Where God went wrong’, ‘Some more of God’s greatest mistakes’ and ‘Who is this God person anyway?’. It even tops the great ‘Encyclopedia Galactica’. And although ‘The Guide’ is a storage for information which is sometimes inaccurate it is still quite successful for it’s slightly cheaper and has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
But this story doesn’t begin like this. It begins on a Thursday.
On this particular day the house that belongs to the absolutely ordinary Arthur Dent is about to be demolished to make way of new bypass. But that is quite irrelevant because the planet he lives on – the Earth – due to an inexplicable coincidence is also about to be destroyed for a new hyperspatial express route. Another coincidence is that the only person in a near distance who knows about the end of the world happens to be a friend of Arthur and a hitchhiker – Ford Prefect. They manage to save themselves just before the Earth explodes and embark on a series of adventures which are all highly improbable. During their time in space they come to know Zaphod Beeblebrox who is the president of the Galaxy (with a very controversial personality, two heads and three arms) and who is also the thief of a spaceship. On board of it is the only other surviving member of the already nonexistent planet Earth, a girl named Trillian and the perpetually depressed robot Marvin who also happens to be extremely smart.
It is this company that sets on a journey which leads the group to the legendary planet Magrathea, home to the now-collapsed planet-building industry. There they learn about the computer Deep Thought who was capable to find the ultimate answer to life, the Universe and everything. It also explains that the answer is incomprehensible because no one knows the exact question. And so the mystery is unsolved.
But as ‘The Guide’ says DON’T PANIC, a solution can always be found. There are even more shocking revelations than the discovery of Deep Thought: just because humans assume they are the smartest beings on Earth doesn’t mean that it is actually true. Homo sapiens are holding the bronze medal and while the dolphins are happily squeaking and doing whatever water mammals do on the second pedestal the leader of the chart is yet unknown to most of us. The Universe has a lot of dark corners but maybe some of the biggest and scariest secrets are hiding just before our noses.
Douglas Adams is the author of an amazing, witty and unforgettable trilogy of five books that will leave you breathless and yearning for more novels like ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. Long after you’ve read them all memories and quotes will keep haunting you never failing to bring a smile on your face. So don’t waste any more time and start reading!