Friday, 9 March 2012

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams 

I finally read Douglas Adams' seminal work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not entirely sure why it took me so long to pick up the book (or ebook, as that was how I digested it). Possibly it's because I have always thought it was a cult book for sci-fi lovers, and so I didn't bother to learn anything more about it. 

After much nudging from a friend though, I got the ebook, and boy, was it good! I am sure that everyone has read it before me, but just to reiterate: I dabbled a bit in philosophy studies in schoo, and in the past few months, have been working on the same subject matter, so I can say with authority that the satirical takes on ultimate questions and arguments on the existence of god are absolutely spot on.

Other lovely surprises (with some spoilers):
  • The term Babel Fish originates from this book!
  • I finally have the answer to Life, Universe, and Everything!
  • Douglas Adams totally predicted the advent of ebooks. How beautifully meta was it that I read the ebook version of this novel as it describes the Hitchhiker's Guide written by the character Ford as such:
It's a sort of electronic book...I'll show you how it works ... you press this button here, you see, and the screen lights up giving you the index. A screen, about 3 inches by 4, lit up and characters began to flicker across the surface.
  • Lots of hilarious yet subtle references to all sorts of subject areas, like: mathematical ('The highest prime number coalesced quietly in a corner and hid itself away forever'), biblical (Deep Thought preceding something 'greater' than itself, aka John the Baptist).    
I'm glad I finished just in time to celebrate what would be Douglas Adams' 60th birthday this weekend. There have been lots of publicity on him these days. See here, here, and here

Happy Birthday!

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