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jcunningham

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1) - Douglas Adams I came to Douglas Adams in the way a lot of guys do, probably: I was introduced to it by someone far nerdier than I. Some of us become nerds when people we come in contact with share their obsessions; others are born nerds, and somehow organically discover Monty Python & the Holy Grail or, say, the original BBC miniseries version of this book. And then they make you watch it, twice, and spoil all the jokes by quoting them alongside it. If I remember right, this happened to me freshman year of high school, which is a good time for The Hitchhiker's Guide. Douglas Adams' humor is offbeat and makes you feel smart for getting it, and if there is anything a 14-year-old boy likes to have reinforced, it is his smug sense of self-satisfaction.I went on to read the sequels, which kind of petered out for me (not sure I ever finished Mostly Harmless), but the first book is pretty hard to dislike. Though when I re-read it my senior year as part of a sci-fi/fantasy English elective, I don't know if the entire class appreciated it quite as much as I was expecting, perhaps because I didn't know that they weren't taking the course because they liked the idea of reading Tolkien for credit, but because they needed the credit to graduate and the teacher was really nice. Like, open book, multiple choice quiz nice. And some of them still didn't pass. How is reading 25 pages of Anne McCaffrey homework? It was homework for me to stop reading after 25 pages! Not that I did.So, you know this book, I am sure. Probably in more than one of its incarnations: TV series, radio play, big budget Hollywood movie. I love its elasticity -- each medium offers a slightly different take on the plot, which seems appropriate for a "trilogy" that somehow has five installments. Though it's humor, it really is a great sci-fi book, with a lot of ingenious concepts (my favorite being the Improbability Drive, which makes the most unlikely things happen, or the Point of View Gun, which shows you just how insignificant you are on a universal scale). After experiencing all of the various versions, I am getting a little sick of the jokes (Vogon poetry and depressed space whales are only funny so many times), but it was still an easy choice for this day of the book challenge.Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 25: Favorite book you read in school.