July 31, 2012
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
GENRE: Science Fiction
HONORS: Multiple Best-Seller Lists Over Multiple Decades
REVIEW: One morning, Arthur Dent wakes up to find a construction crew with a bulldozer outside of his house - the location for a new interstate. It is also the day that Earth has been scheduled for demolition to make way for a new intergalactic highway. Luckily, Arthur's friend, Ford Prefect, is not what he seems. He is a Hitchhiker and he knows where his towel is. Just as the Earth explodes, Ford, with Arthur in tow, snags a ride from a passing ship, escaping the Earth's destruction and landing them in a series of comic misadventures across the galaxy. With a cast of characters that have come to personify the ridiculous (in a really funny kind of way), Adams's now classic adventure is true must-read, particularly junior high boys - not to discriminate against junior high girls, it's just that, even thirty years later, adolescent males seem to take special joy in quoting any number of Adamsisms at length. Expertly paced, tonally perfect and truly quirky, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy may be science-fiction lite, but it's still must-read science fiction, even at the risk of exposure to Vogon poetry.
OPINION: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the kind of funny that relies on timing, word play and healthy dose of the ridiculous. It swings along and before you know it, you're halfway through and ignoring chores. Though not for readers that take themselves terribly seriously, most adolescents will enjoy Arthur Dent's slow inculcation into the Hitchhiking way of life. If a library doesn't have this book, there is very likely something wrong...
IDEAS: A great suggestion for parents looking a book they can read with their tween. A lot of parents will remember reading it when they were adolescents and would probably share it, with great enthusiasm, with their own kids. The humor has more than held up.