The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams is the first of six Comedic Science Fiction novels in the book series going under the same name (commonly referred to as the Hitchhiker’s Guide, The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy or The Trilogy in Six parts). The book was first released in 1979 and follows the main character Arthur Dent on his journey through the universe. The book has become a staple of hte sci-fi community and is a must for all sci-fi fans.
In the first four chapters we get introduced to the main cast of the book. Here we have Ford Prefext an alien who first came to earth to write about it for a an encyclopedia named “Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.” We also learn about Zaphod Beeblebrox. A weird alien who happens to be president over the Galaxy. Last but not least we get a fast introduction of Trillian an Earthling just like Arthur who follows Zephod around the Galaxy.
I find it fascinating how calmly the book talks about all the events in the first four chapters. A line we hear all the time in the book is “Don’t Panic” and it follows that advice to the extreme. I find that even if the characters sometimes get upset and starts screaming the atmosphere stays the same. It’s part of what makes the book so fun. It feels a little bit like “The earth gets destroyed? Just another day at work.”
It’s no secret that the earth get’s obliterated in the first couple chapters. Douglas Adams does a fantastic job of conveying just how small and unimportant we humans are for the rest of galaxy. So unimportant that we can be destroyed and killed to create a bypass through the galaxy. Of all end of the worlds histories I’ve heard about this one seems the most likely to me.
We also learn Zaphod and his ship “the Heart of Gold.” We don’t really get to know his full intentions but we learn quite a bit about the governance of the Galaxy. For example we learn that the president is just a mascot to distract the people from the real politics and leaders of the Galaxy. We also learn that Zaphod Beeblebrox is especially good at this. He is a real clown and that’s just what they want out of him.
To summarize these four chapters I’d say that they give an interesting perspective on our existence and on how small and unimportant we are. It throws you straight into the action and the destruction of earth and you start too wonder what’s going to happen next. The language used can sometimes be a bit challenging but that’s mostly because of all the new names on the Aline lifeforms you hear about. If I had to pick a favorite part of the book this far I’d say that it’s the part in chapter three when we learn about towels and why they are a must for all hitchhiker’s.