Afterthoughts: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Do anything you want … but do it publicly

Presence is far more intricate and reward an art than productivity

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I can understand now why The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has become a staple of pop-culture: it is wild, clever, witty, and littered with wisdom. It is not quite laugh-out-loud funny, but there are so many jabs made about life on earth that I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

Douglas Adams has renewed my appreciation for comedy writing. There are very few “cheap laughs” in this book, it seemed as though behind each jab contained a well of wisdom.

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

If anything this book is an exploration of the absurdity of the human condition expertly disguised as an entertaining space adventure with aliens. The plot is outrageous in and of itself, but is mostly inconsequential aside from serving as a platform for Adams to go to work on what we think we know about living. It’s fantastic and extremely accessible.


Recommended. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is as memorable as it is entertaining. I wish I had read this earlier in my life, I know that if I had, I would have kickstarted my reading habit a lot sooner.

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