The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

Book review on “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

Dylan Enerson, Reporter

Science fiction has always been my favorite genre to read, and I have slowly been making my way through both newly published books and classics that came years before my time. Some of my absolute favorites that I have read include a number of the most famous sci-fi books ever written, with classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey to newer works such as The Martian. After the last month though, it seems that there is a new contender to my favorite books I have read, and it answers one of the most important questions known to man, the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but I promise you, it will not go how you think it will. This book is, of course, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

The novel was originally published in October of 1979 and was written by Douglas Adams; it was based on the radio show of the same name. The story is centered around Arthur Dent and his galaxy-spanning misadventures following the largest tragedy to ever befall the Earth. The book itself was relatively short, clocking in at around 200 pages depending on which version you read and is the first in a series of five books written by Adams, with a sixth written later by Eoin Colfer. Once you finish the book you can even wrap it up by watching the film adaptation, which came out in 2005. 

As of now, I have only read the first book of the series but can say that I absolutely plan on picking up the others to complete my collection. One thing that I wish I would have done before picking this edition up was to check for the complete series which they sell as a single, 800+ page novel titled The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This edition will save readers some money along with taking up less bookshelf space.  

While I was reading the book, I found it extremely easy to follow the plot as it was simple, albeit, and intelligently written. The book focused more on comedy than it did scientific accuracy, and this is probably an understatement, but that does not stop it from being a fun adventure start to end. Despite being an older book, the comedy did not come across as dated by any means, and I thought it fit well with the style of weird comedy that is typical of memes today. The plot advanced at a reasonable pace, and the chapters were of good length to allow you to read one without diverting too much time from your day before reaching a stopping point. The characters were also entertaining to read with one of the highlights being a manically depressed robot named Marvin. 

I would give the first book in this series a solid 4.2 out of 5 stars and wholeheartedly recommend it. This book will be a hit with anyone who reads science fictions books or wants to try a shorter book that does not take itself too seriously while maintaining the most groundbreaking philosophical views, which even Plato himself could not rival.  


Dylan Enerson is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected].