The story revolves around two human survivors who survived the senseless destruction of Earth. They venture through time and space in search of the meaning of life.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy plays with the notion of absurdity, but in the end, it gives us a cosmos that makes sense. The cosmos in Hitchhiker’s Guide is bizarre and depressing—not it’s a comedy. The humor is intended to take our attention away from how tragic the situation is.
In the later part of this article, we summarized the 193-page book in a single page for your better understanding of the plot.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy PDFThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy pdf
|The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
|Novel, Comic Science fiction
|Paperback, 193 pages
|October 12th, 1979
Arthur Dent, lying down in front of a bulldozer as his house is going to be demolished to make way for a proposed motorway bypass. His friend, Ford Prefect suddenly arrives and urges him that going to the pub immediately is of utmost necessity. In the pub, Ford explains that he is from another planet near Betelgeuse. The Vogons, other alien species are about to demolish the planet earth to make space for their hyperspatial express route.
Meanwhile, along with a human female friend Trillian, the president of the galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox steals the spaceship named the Heart of Gold. Ford loans Arthur the electronic guidebook The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and gives him a Babel fish to stick in his ear to translate alien communication when they hitch a trip on a Vogon destructor ship.
The Vogon ship captain ejects Ford and Arthur into space bur the Heart of Gold comes to their rescue and picks them up within 29 seconds after being ejected. The Infinite Improbability Drive of the Heart of Gold allows them to traverse interstellar space instantly causing Ford to turn into a penguin for a brief period.
Marvin, the depressive robot of Zaphod, escorts Ford and Arthur to eh bridge, and later that night, the Heart of Gold reaches the legendary planet Magarthea, a planet-building company that used to build planets for wealthy customers but then vanished. Suddenly, after declaring that Magarthea is closed for business, it attacks the ship with missiles. Arthur engages the Improbability Drive as the ship’s computer is unable to take evasive action. The missiles get turned into a sperm whale and a bowl of petunias and fall on the planet’s surface. No harm is done to anyone except Trillian’s two pet mice, Benjie and Frankie escape their confinement.
On Magarthea, Arthur comes across a planet’s elderly native while guarding the entrance of the tunnels where Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian were roaming. The elderly native introduces himself to Arthur as Slartibartfast and explains that the population is not dead, but rather has been sleeping till the economy has improved. The elder tells him that the residents are now engaged in building second earth with the help of the hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings known as mice, who helped build the first earth.
Slartibartfast brings Arthur to meet the mice, who commissioned the building of the first earth, after explaining that the beings built a supercomputer to determine the answer to everything, the universe, the life, and everything in between. And after 7.5 billion years of calculations, the answer that the supercomputer came up with is 42. Then the computer built a new improved computer, Earth, to find the question of the answer 42. The Vogons destroyed the Earth when the calculations were nearly finished. To Arthur’s surprise, the mice prove to be Benjy and Frankie.
Suggested by Zaphod and Ford, the mice want to buy Arthur’s brain to chop it off in search of their answer believing that Arthur may hold some ideas about the answer as the “brain was an organic part” of the Earth.
The advent of the galactic police to arrest Zaphod for the theft of the Heart of Gold saves Arthur, Ford, Zaphod, and Trillian from the pan-dimensional creatures.
After Marvin depresses the computer running the ship and life systems for the police into committing suicide. The five passengers all escape to the Heart of Gold, after which they head toward the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has become a multi-media hit all across the world. The novel has been translated into more than 30 languages by 2005 while achieving the top fourth position at BBC’s The Big Radio poll.
The novel has been adapted into a numerous spectrum of multimedia sectors soon after being released. It got adapted into comic books, video games, radio programs, movies, etc.
A Video game named Starship Titanic featured the novel in 1997, got a movie adaptation in 2005, TV series adaptation in 1981. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Hexagonal Phase was a radio adaptation aired in 2018.