Thursday, July 16, 2009

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish, the number 42, the Infinite Improbability Drive, and Vogon Poems

I just finished reading the first installment of the Douglas Adams sci-fi series, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It is a great summer read for all those looking for a last lovely hoorah before they hit the real books accorded to them to by professors of such fame and fortune that only use the books they themselves have written while sometimes using the books of popular noteriety and sometimes, on occasion, or something to that effect, an actual classic in their own field, i.e. Aristotle, Aquinas, Newton, Hippocritus, Einstein, da Vinci (he wrote stuff right), whoever is famous in engineering, and of course, Dante, Shakespeare, and Crichton (the great writers of the English language).

Never mind the long run on sentence. I found Hitchhiker's to afford me the time to laugh out loud because of ridiculous yet intelligent hilarity such as that (I'm glad you caught and appreciated my self-proclaimed brilliance). It is very well written. The plot and character development allow you to get into the story and feel right with Arthur Dent, who has lost his home, Earth, because it was destroyed to make way for an intergalactic bypass. The obvious microchasm and macrochasm show that the Adams uses throughout adds to the level of comedy. His characters are creations of comic genius. Zaphod Beetlebrox, the man from a planet somewhere near the star Betelgeuse, affords most of the laughs because of his out-of-this-world personality, a mix between Indiana Jones bravado, James Bond womanization, and Inspector Clouseau recklessness, all while having two heads, three arms and the distinction of being the Intergalactic President.

It really is a much fun to read. I found it most difficult to read in public places though. Can you imagine the odd looks you would receive if you were singularly watching your favorite comedy in busy coffeehouse? Your laughter, which would also be singular, would permeate their tepid and poor existence for having not experience the same hilarity you were. It creates odd situations, comical ones in fact, and that is what the comedy of this novel is all based. Create odd situations with maladjusted and far-out characters and watch the laughter arise.

So drink your three pints, eat you some peanuts, and stick out your thumb. Get ready for a very funny ride.

1 comment:

Brent (has no cool nickname) said...

Fun times! Gotta love those awkward coffee shop moments when you laugh alone... I almost watched an episode of the office the other day at the coffee shop but then realized where I was and how much of a fool I'd make of myself. Enjoy the reading...I'm sure we'll have some good dense stuff coming down the pipe in about 5 weeks.