Prasanna Natarajan

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - by Douglas Adams

ISBN: 978-0345391803, READ: 2017-01-30, RATING: 910

So. Much. Fun! Sharp, witty lines from Douglas Adams will quickly make you fall in love with his writing. Imagine if every form of communication came to you like this!

See Amazon Page for details and reviews.

My Notes

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

“There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.”

Many had seen it as clinching proof that the whole of known creation had finally gone bananas.

the Vogons had recently taken to employing as catering staff on their long-haul fleets, on the strict understanding that they keep themselves very much to themselves.

If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.

Here is what to do if you want to get a lift from a Vogon: forget it.

“They’ve got as much sex appeal as a road accident.

He always found the actual traveling-through-space part of space travel rather trying.

poem “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning”

“Resistance is useless!” bellowed the guard. “Just don’t say things like that,” stammered Ford. “How can anyone maintain a positive mental attitude if you’re saying things like that?”

“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space, that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.” “Why, what did she tell you?” “I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”

Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.)

A computer chattered to itself in alarm as it noticed an airlock open and close itself for no apparent reason. This was because reason was in fact out to lunch.

We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.

Trillian had come to suspect that the main reason he had had such a wild and successful life was that he never really understood the significance of anything he did.

“No, no, Marvin,” lilted Trillian, “that’s just fine, really … just part of life.” Marvin flashed her an electronic look. “Life,” said Marvin, “don’t talk to me about life.”

The Encyclopedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as “Your Plastic Pal Who’s Fun to Be With.” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as “a bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes,” with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of robotics correspondent. Curiously enough, an edition of the Encyclopedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as “a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.”

“Come on,” he droned, “I’ve been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? ’Cos I don’t.”

One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn’t be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so—but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence the act.

“I suppose you’ll want to see the aliens now,” he said. “Do you want me to sit in a corner and rust, or just fall apart where I’m standing?”

When you’re cruising down the road in the fast lane and you lazily sail past a few hard-driving cars and are feeling pretty pleased with yourself and then accidentally change down from fourth to first instead of third thus making your engine leap out of your hood in a rather ugly mess, it tends to throw you off your stride in much the same way that this remark threw Ford Prefect off his.

Was there a reason behind it? There would be no point in asking Zaphod, he never appeared to have a reason for anything he did at all: he had turned unfathomability into an art form.

None of them was entirely satisfactory: either the climate wasn’t quite right in the later part of the afternoon, or the day was half an hour too long, or the sea was exactly the wrong shade of pink. And thus were created the conditions for a staggering new form of specialist industry: custom-made luxury planet building. The home of this industry was the planet Magrathea, where hyperspatial engineers sucked matter through white holes in space to form it into dream planets—gold planets, platinum planets, soft rubber planets with lots of earthquakes—all lovingly made to meet the exacting standards that the Galaxy’s richest men naturally came to expect.

All this Magrathea nonsense seemed juvenile. Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

One of Zaphod’s heads looked away. The other one looked round to see what the first was looking at, but it wasn’t looking at anything very much.

The deadly missile attack shortly to be launched by an ancient automatic defense system will result merely in the breakage of three coffee cups and a mouse cage, the bruising of somebody’s upper arm, and the untimely creation and sudden demise of a bowl of petunias and an innocent sperm whale.

He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

The Nutri-Matic was designed and manufactured by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation whose complaints department now covers all the major landmasses of the first three planets in the Sirius Tau Star system.

“Is it safe?” he said. “Magrathea’s been dead for five million years,” said Zaphod; “of course it’s safe. Even the ghosts will have settled down and raised families by now.”

Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.

“You think you’ve got problems,” said Marvin, as if he was addressing a newly occupied coffin, “what are you supposed to do if you are a manically depressed robot? No, don’t bother to answer that, I’m fifty thousand times more intelligent than you and even I don’t know the answer. It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level.”

Trillian burst in through the door from her cabin. “My white mice have escaped!” she said. An expression of deep worry and concern failed to cross either of Zaphod’s faces.

“Oh God,” muttered Ford, slumped against a bulkhead. He started to count to ten. He was desperately worried that one day sentient life forms would forget how to do this. Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers.

“Life,” said Marvin dolefully, “loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it.”

“Who are you?” said Lunkwill, rising angrily from his seat. “What do you want?” “I am Majikthise!” announced the older one. “And I demand that I am Vroomfondel!” shouted the younger one. Majikthise turned on Vroomfondel. “It’s all right,” he explained angrily, “you don’t need to demand that.” “All right!” bawled Vroomfondel,

Any bloody machine goes and actually finds it and we’re straight out of a job, aren’t we? I mean, what’s the use of our sitting up half the night arguing that there may or may not be a God if this machine only goes and gives you his bleeding phone number the next morning?”