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I like big books.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams I can't believe I put off reading this for so long! Think with all the hype I just didn't want to be disappointed when I actually got to it, but I was surprised to find that it was even better than what I'd heard. It's kind of hard to describe what exactly The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy really is. I tend to agree with some of the criticisms that there's not very much focus on plot development or story here and that mostly it's a collection of really witty, punny, and sarcastic observations about humanity and the universe, but that doesn't really detract anything from how clever it is. Adams wrote this at a time when really there was nothing comparable. It's hard to describe the exact flavor of Adams work, it's certainly unique, but it does echo a lot of things that modern readers should be familiar with. Imagine, if you will, throwing Monty Python, Kurt Vonnegut (specifically Slaughterhouse V), and Chuck Palahniuk in a blender - and that about captures it. In short, by the end, I found myself reading not to find out what happens, but just for the sheer pleasure of listening to Adams.

HItchhiker's is funny, light-hearted in spite of the backdrop of the story being the destruction of the Earth, and extremely well-crafted. Adams uses language masterfully, examining nuances and the connotation of words and facts about us that seems like an insanely chaotic metacognitive philosophical treatise with a thread of humor all the way through. To be sure, this book is nerdy and geeky in the extreme - I think a basic knowledge of physics is definitely required to fully appreciate all of the humor in here - even to appreciate all of the scientific creativity. Reading this as late as I have, I was astonished to see just how much of a cultural impact the book has had, from Babel fish to Deep Thought.

Will definitely read again.