I remembered watching this movie with Brother #1 and really enjoying it, but unfortunately after ten years, all the specifics I remembered was 'forty-two'. I didn't even remember what it meant - just that it was crucial. My library had a beautiful anniversary copy of the novel, and I decided it was time I refreshed my memory.
I don’t really know how to describe this book, other than as a very logical Alice in Wonderland in space. It is absolute nonsense, but somehow it makes complete sense when you think about it. Even with the parts that at first seem to be nothing but confusing, if you hang in there, it finally comes together.
When Earth is destroyed to make way for a new interstellar freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by his best friend, Ford Prefect, who unbeknownst to him is an intergalactic hitchhiker. Picked up by the aliens who have destroyed his planet, Dent is swept up into a cosmic adventure. Ford and Dent eventually meet up with Ford’s cousin, Zaphod Beeblebrox, who is fleeing from the police in a stolen technologically groundbreaking spaceship, and searching for a legendary lost planet.
There are many twists and turns, and ‘convenient coincidences,’ resulting in one of my favorite quotes ever:
'Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?'
It’s complex, witty, and just a straight up well-written space adventure. I hadn’t realized that Hitchhiker is an entire series, so when I reached the end I was kind of annoyed because I wasn’t prepared for it to come so suddenly. Now, though, knowing there are many more books picking up where this one ended, I think it was the perfect ending. Not too ‘cliffhanger-y’ but enough to leave you wanting the next one.
And from now on, when anyone asks me a question I don’t want to answer, I’m simply going to reply, “Forty-Two.” After all, that is the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.