The movie was okay, but the book was great.
It’s traditional science fiction with a brilliant injection of humor, satire, sarcasm, and cultural observations. In fact, Douglas basically created his own sub-genre. This is the type of book that has you belly laughing on one page and pondering the ironies of modern life on the next.
The book opens with the destruction of Earth to make way for a galactic freeway, and the only human to survive is one Arthur Dent. Arthur is beamed off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, who has been posing as an out-of-work actor for the last fifteen years, but who is really an intergalactic researcher for the latest edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Together the pair embarks on a journey through the stars, led by the Guide’s many wisdoms (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”). Along the way they meet a cast of characters you’ll never forget: the two-headed, three-armed ex-stoner galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox; the ingenious but chronically depressed robot Marvin; the former student Veet Voojagig who has to figure out where all ballpoint pens disappear to; and more.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide is quirky, it’s whimsical, it’s insightful, and it’s just downright fun. One of those books that everyone should read.