The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series Review

Happy Monday and Labor Day for my American readers.

hitchhikers (test)

This info-graph is a general overview of the series.

The Hitchhiker’s guide has an interesting history beginning as a pitch for a 6 part series called “The Ends of the Earth” where the earth ends at the end of each episode surly many of them end on a stupid Thursday(1).  This idea eventually evolved into what we have here today and then some(2) including the movie adaptation of the first book.

This series has a pretty close place to my heart and I have a pretty long history with it, probably the longest/first bookmance(3) I’ve ever had.  I remember when I was a kid, somewhere around 13-15 years old, my dad gave me the first Hitchhiker’s guide book.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy book cover

This is the cover art my dad’s copy had. Still my favourite of the versions.  Look at that meaty hand.

It might have been my first literary brush with literary si-fi, I was brought up on Red Dwarf(4) so I was well prepared, and it was good. Really good.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy book cover3

This is the cover art my best friend in middle school (ages 11-14ish) in school had. Clearly inferior to the original.

My dad had all the rest of the original books up to So Long and Thanks For All the Fish and I ate them all up. I have specific memories of reading these books in school and literally laughing out loud involuntarily in class.  I’m pretty easy to laugh(5) but usually I’m pretty good at restraining my self in public but this book got me several times.  Even on revisits.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy collection book cover

My first copy of the omni-bus.

Fast forward a few years and I’m at a book store, constantly building my library (sometimes I like to think about the day when I have enough books, that I’ve actually read AND enjoy no cheating with “the entire Steven King collection”, to make a book fort(6)), and I see this almost biblical looking version of the collection which was really nice because it came with a tassel bookmark.  This copy got donated after the first or second library purge(7) and in the last year since getting back into school I’ve begun replacing or obtaining copies of books I remember reading and enjoying but had borrowed from a friend or the library and this series was recommended to me on amazon.

This is my third and most recent re-reading of the series and I’ve had mixed reactions.  At first I was totally pumped to read this thinking I would blow through it in a few weeks but it ended up taking me about two months to read 815 pages +/- 20 pages because they count the title and dedication pages in between each book and most of that was spent trudging through Life, The Universe, and Everything.  However we will get to that in time.  The good news is that this series starts and ends pretty strongly (see info-graph above).

As in Adams style(8), over the next 7 weeks I will present to you:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Ultimate Review:

A 7 part review in 8 parts

Tune in next week for part II: The actual review for The Hitchhiker’s to the Galaxy the book.

Footnotes:

  1. The Earth is destroyed on a Thursday afternoon several times in the series.
  2. As I learned in researching this article that there has been yet another novel added to the series called “…and another thing.” which, I personally, do not count as cannon and will not likely read the reasons for which will become clear as this series progresses.
  3. If we can have words like “bromance“, which I reluctantly have adopted in specific situations, I’m championing the word “bookmance”.   I’ve submitted a definition to urban dictionary and I might adopt the word for one year for 25$ on wordnik, my favourite dictionary site.  Depends on if urban diction approves.
  4. I have so many fond memories of late night Sunday, kind of like tonight actually (as I write this that is), as a kid with my parents watching the foreign shows on PBS channel nine like Red Dwarf (British) and The Red Green Show (Canadian).  These came on, if I remember right, after the X-Files on Sunday nights.  Sometimes we would order Cecil’s or Imo’s Pizza, St Louis Style pizza, and it was pretty much the best.  I have a lot of television related memories, more the scheduling aspects rather than the shows them selves.  I don’t know, there’s an essay memoir in there. Something in Infinite Jest rattled it loose.  Stay tuned.
  5. I read a snapple facts once “Snapple fact #831: Adults laugh only about 15 to 100 times a day, while six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day.”  and I keep meaning to start a data crunch project on this, I keep track of other things in my journal.  Another thing for the list.
  6. book fort
  7. As a minimalist I have regular purge events where I strip down to bare essentials however in the last major purge I decided to begin building a library rather than holding on to a few prized pieces, however I do prune it regularly.
  8. His series started as a trilogy and remains to be frequently refereed to as a trilogy because humour.

 

 

 

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Running

They tell me my great grandfather, on my father’s side, was a great runner. Ran everyday until he died at the age of 86. He was also a preacher.  Big legacy to inherit.  His son, my grandfather, wasn’t a runner and went to theology school but ended up in iron work.  His son, my father, renounced Christianity but not religion and rand for small periods of time but prefering the water.

My religion is pratical and reluctant. My running habit is a re-occuring theme.  In elementary school my events in track and field were always the sprints. 100m, 400m.  Middle school I nearly got suspended for running in the halls, climaxed with running into, on accident, Mrs. Robinson(1) and bowling her over.  High school I ran track and cross country.  Slow in both.  My yearly mile run for the fitness test styed the same from 5th grade on: 7m25s +/- 10s.

2010 I began running again in Bluebird Park.  That was when I first expeirenced a running high.  Couldn’t smoke, trying not to drink (too much), heart broken.  It was a good time to run.

2015 so rueful and energetic.  I discovered the super gym UMSL had just finished in time for my first term.  I began running again and timing my self.  I reached a two mile in 14m22s giving me a 7m11s miles at 27 years old.

2016 I began running in Forest Park and made a goal of running the 6.8 mile loop.  Ive done it in 50 minutees giving me 7m21s miles.

Buddahism has been a running theme in my spiritual history. My parents gott me a zen tarot card set as a kid, the book “The Tao of Sex” was always floating around, my dad kept a copy of the “I Ching”, and through my independent spiritual studies as a youngster I taught my self how to meditate and make space in the mind.  Now I’ve joined Refuge Recovery and am learning the three jewels, the four truths, and the eight fold path.

I learned from an essay “Mr. Greengenes” that boys most clearly inherrit their father’s traits because of our Y chromosone.  “Clearly” may not be the most precise word, maybe the traits we inherit are more like a running joke than a blue print to understand our fathers.

Footnotes:
1. A large, long not fat, lady.  5’11” maybe 6′.  She was taller than most teachers.

Stay tuned! Up coming later today is a review and brief analysis of Infinite Jest and next up in my review que is “Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger”.  SPOILER ALERT: So far (I’ve read the first 5) its an excellent anthology.