Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

No this ain't about the movie. This is about the book. Friends have been telling me incessantly that it's the funniest book ever written and I HAVE to read it, so I finally got myself a copy from Borders to see what the fuss was all about.

And lo and behold it did turn out to be the funniest book ever written. I could barely turn a page without laughing out loud. I wished I had read it sooner. These are all the things I wish I could say. But unfortunately the reality is it was as funny as the pimple on my ass.

I just don't get it. I consider myself a fairly funny guy (I'm being very humble here) but the humor presented in this book escapes me. Fine I did laugh like once, can't remember which part it was though. I was probably laughing because of how lame it was. I even tried re-reading it, I figured maybe I was too tired the first time so I couldn't give it my all or something, (I have the same problem with women) but it didn't work.

- Start of philosophical mode -
I guess humor is subjective. What someone finds funny might turn off another. There are those who think I am god's gift to comedy and worship the ground I walk on(thank you mom), but then there are also others who can't stand me with some even going to the extent of spitting vegetables at me during dinner. I guess the lesson here is you can never please everyone, you just gotta be true to yourself and do what you believe in.
- End of philosophical mode -


  1. I found H2G2 very funny, coz its utterly ridiculous...you know what I mean? I love the fact that this writer can concoct utter and complete nonsense in the name of literature..look at the words! Vogons..the only thing uglier than a vogon ship is a vogon itself...(who says that kinda thing?)!!!
    I am not shoving my preference down your throat..but yes, i do like the book..the second book turns boring halfway..but the thirds allright.

  2. gosh, you're one funny dude alright.

  3. i dont get how u cant get the book.
    as drops of jupiter said, the plain ridiculous-ness of the book is side-splitting!

    its the sorta book that has no point,jumpsfrom one story to another..that sorta thing..

    whatever u do, just dont watch the movie.
    trust me.

  4. Now I've read about one person who has loved the book and another who has hated it. Guess I'll have to check it out for myself!

  5. nono..i did find the book hilarious..in fact i loved it!
    the movie was just a bastardized version of it..(which sucked)

  6. Jupiter & Mahima : Yes it was ridiculous and nonsensical, but that's part of the reason why I don't find it funny. Maybe I am just not into that kind of humor, I don't know.

    Keith: Thanks, You are pretty alright yrself ;)

  7. movies are always bastardized versions of their books. i know for a fact that that happens with pretty much all of Steven King books. it does suck!!

  8. I guess you have to have 2 things going for you to enjoy the book:

    1. Cultural Context: Adams originally wrote it as a 14 part radio serial for BBC World Service... so if you read the book you're getting it 2nd hand... if you watched the movie... 4th hand (the Radio series, then there was the book, then the Stage Play [yes!} then the TV Series (grim!) then... not counting the T-shirt.... the Movie

    2. It was written in the early 80's - when SciFi was all 'very serious stuff': the whole concept is a parody of the Star Trek, Dr Who space-time-continuium gobbldygook.... if you don't know what a Dalek is you won't appreciate the Vogon

    3. This does restrict the audience a little, though he wasn't writing for You, Singaporean, American etc etc.. but for a domestic British market

    4. The humor is a direct line from Monty Python (which among many things gave the world Spam!), Not the 9-O Clock News, Rowan Atkinson's pre-Mr Bean stuff elements which now can be seen in The Office, or even The Kumars - theatre of the absurd

    5. Appreciate how all of the above in some way did change/or influence the world: 'The Book' ie the guige with the words written in large friendly letters on the front 'Dont Panic" is an e-book - anticipated the Apple Newton by 8 years, which of course became the PDA... and on the Net if you want your site translated into various languages you plug it into Babelfish - named after Adams' bizarre notion that a small guppy type fish, when stuffed into your ear could translate whatever language it hears into yours, even Vogon Poetry, absurd?

    6. Drugs - a certain fleeting relationship with certain combustable narcotics might be essential - Hey Man this was the eighties! Chill, ok!

    7. Personally I don't find you atall a 'funny guy', self depreciating, adolescent, derivative and occasionally sardonic - but funny? You don't even have a particularly good turn of phrase... possibly due to an absence of all of the above (not flaming you, stating an opinion)

  9. also you do need the inability to count - "2 things" ???

    The answer is 42

  10. Anonymous: Thanks for the long and detailed comment. I have to say I really liked your phrases, they were extremely well turned. So I guess to really enjoy the book I need to
    1. Get the radio series from the 1980s and listen to it.
    2. Get Dr. Who (cos I am already a fan of Star Trek and I recognized the parody)
    3. Be British
    4. Get Brit humor. (Admittedly I rarely do)
    5. Appreciate that this book influenced the world years after it was written. (Not sure what it has to do with humor though)
    6. Get high on pot while reading it.
    Sigh what happened to the good old days of being able to read a book and find it funny without extensive preparation?

    Oh and about you not finding me funny, that got me really upset, I just want you to know that. I hope you have really ugly kids in the future. Yes I am sorry for the rather unkind comment but you brought out the worst in me.

  11. actually getting a life might do just as well

  12. ooooo harsh words, you big anonymous meanie.